Thursday, 07 May 2015 08:11

Digital: biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution

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The current digitisation wave could be bigger than the Industrial Revolution, according to EMC's top executive.

EMC chairman and CEO Joe Tucci (pictured, left) told an EMC World 2015 audience the move into the digital era is the biggest shift for business since the industrial revolution, and it's possibly bigger.

Businesses have two options: either be hit by the disruption, or ride the opportunity. "You don't want to be Googled to death," he said, referring to the way newspapers suffered as advertising moved online.

Tucci said the EMC Federation (EMC Information Infrastructure, VMware, VCE, Pivotal and RSA) is focussed on supporting the three imperatives for businesses that want to ride the opportunity: building a digital business, transform IT with cloud technologies, and improve cyber security.

"Our core philosophy... [is that] you want choice and you don't want to be locked in," he told his customers.

EMC has the scale needed with its 16,000 engineers and developers, and spends 12% of its revenue on R&D and another 8% on acquisitions of leading technology companies - that's a US$5 billion annual investment in innovation, he said.

But asked whether EMC might acquire Hadoop specialist Hortonworks, Tucci said he wouldn't talk about specific potential acquisitions as that would only drive up the price the company would have to pay.

And as for the investor faction that thinks some parts of the EMC Federation should be spun off as completely separate companies, Tucci said it can win more business together than separately. "I do believe we are better together," he said.

Disclosure: The writer attended EMC World 2015 in Las Vegas as a guest of the company.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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