Using cloud computing to build an enterprise asset

Sanjay Mirchandani of EMC Corporation shares how cloud computing is changing the conversation with the business and can deliver a long-term strategic impact.

Interview conducted by Bo Parker
Photo: Sanjay Mirchandani

Sanjay Mirchandani is senior vice president and CIO of EMC Corporation. As CIO, Mirchandani is responsible for extending EMC’s operational excellence and driving technological innovations to meet the current and future needs of the business. Mirchandani also leads EMC’s network of global delivery centers in India, Ireland, China, Egypt, Russia, and Israel. These centers support EMC’s worldwide research and development efforts, as well as provide customer support and shared services.

Mirchandani previously served as senior vice president, leading the EMC Office of Globalization. In this role, he identified global growth opportunities and developed the EMC business processes and infrastructure required for global expansion. He was also responsible for bringing new strategic international partners into EMC’s Global Alliances program. Prior to joining EMC, Mirchandani was Microsoft’s regional vice president, Enterprise Services, Asia, where he worked with the region’s largest customers and partners.

Mirchandani earned a master’s in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor’s degree from Drew University.

In this interview, Mirchandani details the impact of cloud computing in changing the role of the IT function to one that supports business development, innovation, and provisioning the user experience.

PwC: Why is cloud computing taking on so much importance? What is the big change?

SM: In the broadest technology sense, the cloud computing wave allows the unification of liquid pools of storage, network, and computing.

In a cloud model, these resources are offered back to users as a service that’s consumed “as needed” rather than “how built.” The result is a compute environment that can be used or consumed like a public utility. Historically, these IT resources evolved much more independently, not as coordinated as we see now. That maturity, along with the microprocessor evolution, is making this step change significant. We’re seeing incredible leaps in technology capabilities in short windows of time that allow us to be much more responsive to the business than in previous cycles.

At the risk of appearing controversial, I’d say this is really the first time where the computing platform—in this case cloud computing—is enabling focus on conversations among IT and application owners, as opposed to applications forcing an infrastructure decision. In addition, it is evolving the roles and responsibilities within IT, allowing them to be pooled and made more efficient.