Thursday, March 31, 2011

Professors Schooled at NetApp on IT Industry Shift & More

Yeah, even Professors have to go to school sometimes, especially in MIS since it's always evolving with the technology. Professor Dhar and I had a chance to visit NetApp last Friday to hear about their latest technologies and what they see happening in the IT industry.

Fortunately there was no quiz but we did learn a lot, got to tour their state-of-the-art data center, and heard from Cesar Orosco, IT architect for NetApp's own internal IT, who said after 20 years in the field, he is finally seeing a fundamental industry shift from IT as a cost center to IT as a value center. Reinforcing that is this fantastic brand new video brief that NetApp produced featuring SunCorp CEO Jeff Smith explaining how "There has been a shift in focus from IT being required but expensive, to it being our absolute strategic asset." This is music to our ears.

While we were there, we heard about NetApp's Academic Alliance which makes lots of educational materials available to faculty and students. They got us in touch with the Program Leader, Mark Conway, who took a look at our department website and had this to say:

"I loved the 'Why MIS' link as it captures and aligns with a lot of our thinking around flexible and efficient IT.  Students in MIS may not need to know how to architect a data center, build a disaster recovery site or design a new cloud storage infrastructure, but they should understand the basic technologies AND the business issues and economics that are driving the adoption of virtualization, software-as-a-service and public-private clouds, etc… (in our humble opinion anyway)."

More music to our ears...and yours hopefully, as this reinforces that MIS is rising to new heights now & in the coming times and that our program's perspective is on target with industry trends.

We hope to be able to incorporate some of those NetApp learning materials soon - Mark "gets it" about focusing on the educational aspect rather than the marketing message, so I expect they will be really valuable. 

In the meantime, one of the presenters last Friday very highly recommended a book by Michael H. Hugos and Derek Hulitzky titled "Business in the Cloud: What Every Business Needs to Know About Cloud Computing". I haven't read it yet - just downloaded the free sample, the first chapter, to the Kindle app on my iPad but the presenter was describing it as essential reading for today's IT professional so I expect its a good bet. Here's the Amazon page for the book.

Final point of interest: NetApp was recently ranked by Fortune Magazine as #5 among the top 100 best places to work. I can tell you this was reflected in the lunch they served us which was better than the restaurants I frequent. Hope the academic alliance includes more lunches for the professors.

No comments:

Post a Comment