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NetApp CEO Sees the World Changing Fundamentally and Rapidly

George Kurian, CEO, and president of NetApp, discusses how a true digital transformation and rethinking of IT assets and infrastructure.

According to George Kurian, chief executive officer of NetApp, the world is changing fundamentally and rapidly and digital transformation is playing an increasingly important role in how organizations address that change. From the entertainment industry to banking to healthcare to government, data is at the heart of how companies interact with their customers and stakeholders.

“The world is changing, and it’s a confluence of many things that have been building up over the years,” said Kurian. “From demographic shifts to development in technological capabilities, there is an opportunity to digitally deliver services to your customers in ways that didn’t exist before.”

Companies like Uber have changed industries by being able to use data to bridge the gap between supply and demand, connecting riders with drivers in a seamless fashion. In the entertainment industry, movies are created and distributed in completely digital formats. And many leading banks are now offering full services to their customers via their secure mobile apps.

“For traditional organizations who want to improve their businesses and serve stakeholders better, we have competitive advantage in our data” said Kurian. “We have knowledge of customers encapsulated in data. If you can use this data to get fundamental insights, you can serve clients better and differentiate yourself relative to the digital-only competition.”

In this new data-driven digital society, Kurian sees four principles of digital transformation. Speed replaces scale and size as the cornerstone for competitive advantage in digital business. And as a result, IT needs to transform. Traditional IT was built for cost and efficiency, and not for speed, so transformation is necessary. And in executing that transformation, companies need to plan to operate in a hybrid cloud world. Finally, because data is the cornerstone of how you offer differentiated capabilities to customers, you need to integrate your data across all of these hybrid landscapes by building data fabrics rather than data centers.

The cloud, according to Kurian, is transforming IT in multiple dimensions, and helping increase companies’ speed to create value. Customers are now evaluating which IT operations should stay within a traditional model, and which IT models can be “rented” in the cloud to enable speed of delivery. According to Kurian, “To move fast, you have to take advantage of capabilities wherever they exist.” This leads many customers to a hybrid cloud environment, which offers opportunities to innovate, build new applications, accelerate new services, and modernize systems.

Whichever environment customers are operating in or evolving towards, Kurian shared that NetApp is ready to help customers manage their data for competitive advantage in the digital world.


State and local government agencies of all levels count on NetApp for software, systems and services to manage and store their most important asset, their data.