The IT industry is in the midst of its largest disruption to date, according to Brian Gallagher, President of EMC's Enterprise Storage Division.
Speaking at EMC's CIO Connect Middle East event in Dubai on Wednesday, Gallagher said that the emergence of the so-called third platform of computing -- made up of cloud, big data, social and mobility -- has made a number of IT processes redundant. However, he hastened to add, innovation is now rife across the industry as a result.
"Many of our customers are already in the future," Gallagher said. "They're experiencing challenges, but they've already brought to bear what the rest of the world will be doing. Over the next several years, probably another 10, the rest of the industry will continue to follow as new capabilities are built out."
Gallagher indicated that EMC's relationship with the third platform revolved around big data and cloud.
Cloud is a big growth driver for EMC, but Gallagher said that big data was going to be the next big thing. While cloud uptake in the Middle East may not be mind-blowing, Gallagher said, the cloud market is comparatively mature when talking about big data. Only a fraction of EMC's customers have big data plans for the next couple of years, and only half of them actually have big data policies in place.
However, as more businesses realise the value that can be gleaned from big data, they will eventually implement policies. EMC hopes to capitalise on this.
That said, the vendor is still pursuing cloud strategies aggressively throughout the region, according to Mohammed Amin, Senior Vice President, Middle East, EMC, who was also present at CIO Connect.
"We have, in the telecoms market, more than a 70-percent market share in infrastructure," Amin said. "We're helping so many customers to build their cloud strategy. I can't mention which ones, but in some instances, we're building cloud infrastructures for a whole country."
Amin also spoke about targeting regional banks and financial institutions, which are lacking in cloud adoption due to security concerns. He spoke about convincing one bank customer to adopt a cloud-based model for payroll, and that it had reduced costs enormously. And as more adopt cloud, he said, costs would go down.
Gallagher echoed the point about targeting banks, saying that, in the United States, banks are now required to preserve data at three sites, rather than two. This, along with stringent requirements on technological processes, results in banks innovating much more quickly than other industries, particularly when it comes to managing vast amounts of data.
"This relates to the requirements they have," he said. "Banks are typically in the future fast."