EMC CEO & Chairman Joe Tucci

Published: May 5th, 2015

LAS VEGAS – EMC World 2015 marks Joe Tucci’s 15 year at the event. And, instead of pushing the Hopkinton, Mass.-based vendor’s new portfolio of products Tucci talked about the digital transformation of business and what you need to do to get in front of the wave.

Tucci outline three business imperatives of building a digital agenda for your company.

Imperative No. 1: Go on the offensive

Tucci said customers need to rediscover software and the art of writing software. Obviously the priority is for mobile devices, but beyond that there needs to be an understanding that the app that you build will have thousands of users creating million times more data.

“The Chinese proverb: May you live in interesting times. Well congratulations we all live in very interesting times. And, from an IT perspective we live in unprecedented times. What is happening is we have entered into the digital era. This is the biggest shift to happen in business since the industrial revolution,” Tucci said.

This digital wave may hit business hard and the opposite view is it creates a new business opportunity for those with the ability to ride the wave, he added. Considering that there will be 30 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020 creating data in zeta bytes means that business can become Google’ed to death, which happened with advertising and Amazon’ed to death for the book business.

Imperative No. 2: Transform IT

As you move to an all-digital strategy transforming IT will mean lowering costs, while improving agility and innovation. Tucci suggests accomplishing this you must move to the cloud either managed by a channel partner in a private or public cloud or run by yourself.

Imperative No. 3: Laser Focus on Cyber Security

“The bad guys are out there,” Tucci said. Security must be married with big data so that the bad guys can be caught in the act. Security driven analytics will be the key and this will take a new round of investment, according to Tucci.

He added that EMC has set up the Federation of companies EMC II, RSA, VCE, Pivotal and VMware have been set up to address all three imperatives.

“These are like building blocks or Legos. This is not for the faint of heart. The one core philosophy is choice with no lock in. That is our pledge. But to do this it will be expensive and needs scale.”

Tucci went on to say that he has allocated 12 cent of revenues for R&D and a further eight per cent of revenues for acquisitions. That totals roughly $5 billion.

In the last two years, EMC has acquired Nicira, NSX, AirWatch, Pivotal, ScaleIO ECS, XtremIO, and DSSD. All those acquisitions cost $6 billion and collectively only contributed a billion dollars. This year Tucci said this set of vendors will grow 100 per cent to $2 billion. “We are still losing money, but the difference is it brings power to our mission for the digital era.”