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The Transformational CIO: Leadership and Innovation Strategies for IT Executives in a Rapidly Changing World by Hunter Muller

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The End of “Inside” versus “Outside”

Andy Lark is vice president of marketing for the Large Enterprise Group at Dell. His role gives him a spectacular vantage point from which to view the global transformation of IT. According to Andy, most CIOs are ready to embrace change—but they just aren't sure how to do it.

“I've found that for the most part, CIOs and CTOs are flexible, enthusiastic, and willing to embrace change. They are very ready to embrace change,” says Andy. “But the challenge for them is embracing change while at the same time protecting the context of the business. This is a very complex scenario and there's a lot of risk involved.”

Andy says he detects a distinct level of naïveté around cloud computing, due in no small part to the hype surrounding it. Here's his take on the current situation, in his own words:

I just came back from an event in Australia, where you've got every major cloud vendor down there touting cloud at a buck a gigabyte, or whatever it might be. That's a very attractive value proposition.

I spoke to some of the CIOs at the event and I asked them, “Where's the data going to be stored?” “Singapore,” they said. I asked if that would meet their security policies. “No, the data is not allowed to leave the country,” they told me. From my perspective, that seems like a bit of a problem.

Then I asked, “What's the security protocol for moving the data around?” and they said, “Well, there isn't one.” And I said, “So you're okay with that?” and they said, ...

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