IT changes focus in the world of the Internet of Things

Hicham Abdessamad, Executive Vice President, Global Services, Solutions and Support at Hitachi Data Systems (HDS). (Image Source:

The cloud transformation and exponential growth in data has prompted a new focus for IT stakeholders, and the worlds of IT and business are undergoing multiple transformations as a result. This, along with the speed at which such transformation is taking place, is driving dramatic organisational change.

It is true that even HDS underestimated the potential impact of cloud some years ago, but it quickly became clear that the Internet of Things (IoT) was bringing radical change in every organisation. As such, we have moved from being a component company to a solutions company.

We did this in order to remain relevant and valuable to our customers in a rapidly changing space. By 2016, 70% of CIOs will embrace a cloud first strategy. By 2020, most of the industry will procure IT as a service. Changes like these are immensely disruptive for those in the IT space. Our solution is that instead of shipping products, we are selling services and we are accountable for them every day.

In this new environment, IT companies are continually coming to market and companies that were not traditionally IT players are moving into the IT space. Non-traditional vendors such as Amazon have been able to displace $13 billion from traditional vendors, for example. Customers are becoming savvier and IT is being challenged because business users will not settle. IT’s biggest challenge today is staying relevant. Now, the industry has to focus on business outcomes.

Within this changing environment, IT also has to contend with the complexity of delivering superior value for money and harnessing big data to find new revenue streams and accelerate innovation, as well as address the growing challenges brought by mobility. Harnessing mobile extends beyond overcoming BYOD challenges – it also includes ensuring security, application and workload mobility, content and data mobility. There’s a big difference between an application and an app, and businesses need IT to enable seamless mobile access to all their data, applications and resources anywhere, anytime.

This environment has served as an internal wake-up call for us at HDS. We have changed our style and focus, with the motto ‘social innovation – it’s our future’. I believe that by delivering infrastructure, content management and information intelligence solutions in key industry verticals, we will meet the changing demands of a world challenged by explosive population growth. Key to this is developing products and services to improve power generation, transport, telecommunications, medical systems, public safety, oil and gas, and data storage. Our priorities going forward are globalisation, social innovation and cultural transformation, and more non-Japanese, local management is being appointed in the regions where it operates.

HDS is unique because we have deep vertical expertise and understand both infrastructure and information systems. We build the things that generate the big data, but also have services and IT components, so all the pieces fit together and help us remain relevant to our customers. Our infrastructure cloud approach unifies server, storage and network silos to simplify management and lower costs in line with enterprises’ need to do more with less. Thanks to our new social innovation group, we are pulling together the pieces and taking advantage of deeper expertise to deliver on our vision. With this mindset, we are embracing IT transformation and the challenges it presents – essential for any business wanting to keep up and thrive in the dynamic, IoT world we are operating in.

By Hicham Abdessamad, Executive Vice President, Global Services, Solutions and Support at Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)