EMC’s Paul Maritz: it takes leadership to move companies toward a data-driven future

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Credit: Albert Chau

It would be easy to think that moving companies toward a future in data would be a technological challenge, but Paul Maritz, EMC’s chief strategist and a key member of its Pivotal Initiative spin-off, took a different approach: it’s about human leadership.

Speaking with Om Malik on Wednesday in New York for GigaOM’s Structure:Data conference, Maritz talked about the two potential courses a company might take in heading toward a data-driven future:

“I think there’s two ways. One way is, unfortunately, Darwinian evolutions,” he said. “But others will change and change always comes through leadership, where someone in the organization has to really step up and drive change.”

Maritz said when he was at VMWare, he was fascinated that in looking at different companies in the same businesses, he could see that some would be fifty percent virtualized, and others only ten percent virtualized, simply because of the mindset at the organization that had inspired the change.

“Change really requires leadership. It requires people to understand the organization and get behind it,” he said.

Check out the rest of our Structure:Data 2013 coverage here, and a video embed of the session follows below:

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Jawaid Ekram

Paul is the right leader to not only move Pivotal to new platform. He has the unique capability to move the industry to this new platform. He is also very correct that this transformation can only happen when the new data driven platform is not tied to one cloud.

There would be two challenge that Pivotal / VMware would have moving forward. One would be engineering & technology and I think they would be able to execute on this front.
The bigger challenge Pivotal / VMware would be in running large cloud. Pivotal / VMware lack this DNA and it would be some time before they would learn this. It is more than just Dev/Ops automation. A service company requires a very different culture, how you think and interact with customer is totally different. Simple things like selling and customer’s service is very different. Service company product definition and execution is 180% opposite to product companies. Companies like Microsoft which have been running service for more than decade do not execute well on services because of their legacy product background.

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