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BW Businessworld

‘Mobile Is The New Computer’

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Could you elaborate on the Redefine theme?
There is a constant growth of data. Much of data is generated personally, but businesses have responsibility for it. Of the four big technology trends, the first is mobility. Cloud computing is the other one. Big data is an early trend, but will differentiate businesses in the future. And then, there is social media.
The impact of social media on customer interaction is huge. If you have a good customer experience, you will probably communicate that on social media. Organisations are now conscious that social media has to form a part of their IT strategy. Redefine is an umbrella message to say organisations have an opportunity to redefine IT. By doing so, they can impact the business in a positive way. For instance, the Uber taxi service is a transportation company, but it does not have any assets. Its business is being redefined through technology. The customers’ interaction with your company is now via a mobile device. These trends are going to influence IT in the future.
Earlier, we had mainframes and centralised computers, followed by networked PCs and client servers. The third platform is mobile, cloud, social, and big data. The mobile device is becoming the computer for people.
Where do you see the most activity?
I see activity everywhere. Across Asia-Pacific and Japan, there is a lot of investment in the cloud, and how to leverage cloud technologies. We see a lot of customers build private cloud. Some of the public cloud companies have set the norm to run IT. Our customers are now taking technology in a way that they can provide IT as a service to their customers. In mobility, we are seeing huge investment in virtual desktops. Data analytics is early. So, people are saying, if I can bring data together, combine it with resources from outside, I can get the business.
Do you see the IT market in a state of flux?
The entire IT market is in a state of change. The big companies are changing. Look at IBM and HP. They are going through massive change. Dell is privatised. The companies that many of us have grown up with are in a big state of change. There are a lot of startups around big data, analytics, virtualisation, mobility. The landscape is changing, based on the four big IT trends I mentioned. IT companies have to look and say, what am I good at, and how am I going to extend that in a new world. But with change comes opportunity, which is tremendous. There is so much going on. 
What does this mean for people in IT firms?
Right now, we have a global sales transformation going on inside EMC. We have to look out over the next 5-10 years and see what the customer will need. 
(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 01-12-2014)