From Silos to Services: Cloud Computing for the Enterprise

Aug 31 2015   8:01PM GMT

The New Face of IT Transformation

Brian Gracely Brian Gracely Profile: Brian Gracely


I typically don’t pay much attention to politics, but after the 2012 election, I was intrigued by the team that built the underlying technology platform to drive donation and voter-awareness, led by Harper Reed. The ensueing set of articles helped me connect together how powerful technology could be in leading social change and the impact it has on government. In the race to elect the most powerful person in the world, Harper Reed was essentially the most important person to make that happen.

HarperReed-1When I was getting the EMC {code} program started in 2014, I knew that it would be important to help the executive team understand the types of people that were involved in open source and modern application development. It was definitely a different audience than traditionally buys storage arrays. As part of a presentation, I showed some pictures of well known people in this space. One of the pictures was of Harper Reed. Of all the people I showed, that pictures got the biggest response. Hippy! Homeless person! No chance that person will be our customer!

Fast forward a few years and I saw an announcement that PayPal had acquired a company called Modest. They were a company that specialized in mobile payment platforms. When I saw the picture of the founders, I was taken back to that day when I realized that their was a new face of IT transformation.

HarperReed-2¬†Somewhere in this story is a lesson about not judging a book by it’s cover. People that are changing government. People that are changing the payment system for the most popular computing device on the planet. No small tasks.

More so, it goes to a piece of advice that I’ve given many companies that are trying to get involved in modern IT; Cloud Native Apps, DevOps, Open-Source and other modern revolutions. The advice is simple – you will start seeing people that have a look similar to Harper Reed start sitting in your meetings with customers. Those customers are starting to build more of their own differentiated applications. The developers are the new kingmakers. That person might not speak up in the meeting, but they are influencing decisions. Offer to take that person(s) out for a beer. And make sure it’s a good craft beer. Then listen, a lot! They have ideas about how to change their business, and they are often looking for people to help them gain executive support.

There is a new face of IT transformation, and they aren’t wearing a suit and tie.

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