Working day in and day out with IT Masterminds from all manner of businesses, Matt Piercy, Vice President, Northern EMEA at VMware, sat down with us to share some of his insights.
Hi Matt, thanks for taking the time to speak with us. First of all, we wanted to ask what do you think are the biggest challenges facing IT Masterminds at the moment?
IT Masterminds have an undoubtedly tough job and will be forced to make some difficult decisions in the very near future. Leading the IT department means not only solving today’s myriad challenges but developing a map for the future – ensuring that the organisation remains competitive in the long and short term.
At the heart of this is bridging the ever-widening gap between traditional IT infrastructure, and the exciting new developments in the cloud computing and software-defined movements.
Of course, not all applications and services can be shifted straight across to modern infrastructure – and this is where much of the difficulty comes in. IT Masterminds aren’t just expected to solve the problem of today and even tomorrow – they also need to look after yesterday’s as well! Holding onto legacy IT might not be an attractive prospect but it must be done – if only to survive the barrage of regulatory and compliance issues facing organisations in many sectors. Understandably, this has a significant impact on their ability to modernise.
What should the IT Mastermind persona look out for at VMworld?
The IT Mastermind has to see the big picture – they don’t have time to sweat the small stuff. With this in mind, they need look at the overarching trends and innovations that are emerging in the market.
They will want to use these new ideas to open a dialogue with the board, and this means they need evidence that can prove the credibility of a solution and demonstrate it can deliver the desired business outcome. Attending a mix of technical and business sessions should prove extremely helpful, aiding their understanding of new IT innovations while imaging the possible benefits they can bring to the business.
For my money, their time would be best served in speaking and networking with their peers. Take the time to talk to other IT Masterminds who have tackled similar problem via different routes and in different industries, aiming to find inspiration in the decisions they made.
They can also come and chat to VMware’s executive team – people like Pat Gelsinger, Carl Eschenbach, Joe Baguley or myself who deal with ground-breaking business transformation with customers on a daily basis. We can act as a sounding board, discussing ideas to improve their organisation’s infrastructure in order to make them more competitive, allow them to be more aggressive in the market, and to deliver growth for the business.
What does the future hold for the IT Mastermind persona?
IT Masterminds need to stay one step ahead of the current trends. This means getting your head around the Chief Digital Officer role and how it could impact your business. The CIO role is now expanding, simply because every business project is automatically an IT project. With input into such a diverse range of business decisions CIOs are fast becoming the COO in-waiting.
Organisations will need someone on the board who can guide them through this digital revolution. Someone who can offer an explanation on the latest technology and discuss the potential impact it will have on the industry, on customer demand, and on the organisation itself. The IT Mastermind is the person best placed to fulfil this role.
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