CloudNOW award winner Seema Jethani started out with a degree in computer engineering from the University of Mumbai in India, moved on to receive a Masters in Computer Science from North Carolina State University and then a MBA, Strategy from Duke University – The Fuqua School of Business before working for IBM as a computer engineer and then a competitive strategist for the cloud computing group at IBM. She is currently Director of Product Management at EnStratus where she manages customer requirements and relationships and develops product strategy, pricing, messaging and sales tactics.
With this type of background, Seema is uniquely qualified to share her perspectives about the challenges around cloud computing and the opportunities ahead. She describes how rapidly IT is changing, moving from a time when engineers requested and received many systems they manage on their own, to a time when servers work with clients within big companies, and now to a time when big companies are moving into the cloud.
This rapid change is met by resistance by many, inside and outside the IT department. But the wave is turning as companies are recognizing the strategic advantage of embracing the cloud to improve performance, maintain governance and security requirements, while also creating a scalable, flexible, sustainable solution for the internal staff and for working with partners and customers. In short, embracing the cloud means that a company can focus on their core competencies. Therefore, the cloud is exploding and companies big and small must choose the cloud option to remain competitive, so resistance is futile.
In some ways, it is easier to adopt cloud solutions in a small company, which is less process-driven, less weighed down by legacy solutions and by serving a large user base. However, the downside is that sometimes there is not enough infrastructure or process in place to get things done. So if you’re in that situation, create a solution to address the problem at hand.
In some ways, it is easier to work in a larger company, with more people and infrastructure and resources to support you and your team. But sometimes the number of people and processes and groups and legacy applications can be a hurdle to getting things done. So if you’re in that situation, find an executive sponsor and a project you feel passionate about and drive results from there.
We concluded the discussion talking about women in the cloud and technology overall. Seema pointed out that there are only 20-30% of people in classes and at work who are in technology, and encouraged women to feel confident about pursuing careers in math and science, to leverage their strengths and passions, and to overcome any stereotypes about what people think about having women in technology. Seema is doing her part as an active member of the CloudNOW (Cloud Network of Women) community, serving on their research team and putting together events on topics ranging from security to performance.