Interview: Mac Devine, CTO, IBM Cloud on the Fast Approaching Perfect Storm

We discuss why we should anticipate a technology perfect storm soon, Enterprise IT challenges, distinct capabilities of IBM BlueMix and more.

Mac DevineMac Devine is currently serving as Vice President of SDN Cloud Services and CTO, IBM Cloud Services Division and as a faculty member for the Cloud and Internet-of-Things Expos.

Mac has 25 years of experience with networking and virtualization. He became an IBM Master Inventor in 2006, an IBM Distinguished Engineer in 2008 and is a Member of the IBM Academy of Technology since 2009.

He served 2 years as the Chief Architect for IBM System z Enterprise Software and 2 years as the CTO for IBM Cloud partnerships and client innovations within the IBM Corporate Strategy team.

Mac served 2 years as Director and CTO Cloud Portfolio within IBM Global Technology Services. He leads the technical due diligence for the SoftLayer acquisition which lead to the creation of IBM Cloud Services Division. He co-authored Springer’s Handbook of Cloud Computing used by colleges and universities

Here is my interview with him:

Anmol Rajpurohit: Q1. While sharing your vision for the future, you mentioned the term "The Perfect Storm". What does it refer to? How far in future should we expect the seamless collaboration of Internet of Things (IOT), Big Data and Cloud technologies?

Mac Devine: The definition of a perfect storm in weather is a " rare combination of circumstances leading to an event of unusual magnitude". That is what I see happening across the IT landscape. The-Perfect-StormCloud Computing technology is allowing customers to tap into almost "infinite" capacity. BigData is transitioning away from "batch orientation" to real-time, streaming analytics. Embedded sensors are getting smaller, smarter and cheaper. These dynamics all coming together will allow customers to reach new magnitudes for scale, speed and cost. In terms of when we will see this happening, I believe the future is now and in 2015 we will see significant intensifying of the Perfect Storm for IoT.

AR: Q2. Currently, what would you consider as the biggest challenges faced by Enterprise IT? What are the key questions that companies should ask while investing in any particular Cloud platform?

MD: The usual answer, it depends! It depends on the Industry, it depends on the Challengesgeography, it depends on the business priorities, etc. If an enterprise customer is in a highly regulated industry or geography then a key question will be "does the cloud platform and/or cloud provider give the needed data protection, data locality and data privacy needed to maintain data governance and compliance. Also in terms of business priorities, enterprise customers need to determine whether a Mobile First or Cloud First focus is most important. Refer: IBM BlueMix

AR: Q3. How do you distinguish IBM BlueMix from its competition?

MD: IBM Bluemix distinguishes itself from its key competitors in several dimensions:
  1. It provides a comprehensive set of runtimes, services and integration capabilities that addresses the needs of developers from startups to enterprises
  2. It provides a great user experience for rapid and intuitive application development for a broad range of use-cases including web, mobile, Internet-of-Things and Watson-based cognitive applications
  3. It supports multi-tenant public and single-tenant dedicated models that provides flexibility for application security and performance needs
  4. It provides comprehensive coverage across the DevOps lifecycle including build and deploy pipelines, vulnerability scanning, application monitoring and performance management, logging etc.

AR: Q4. What are your favorite IBM BlueMix use cases? Are there any apps that have attracted your attention lately?

MD: There are several use cases where we have seen Bluemix used by developers to build cool applications. Mobile applications where backend services are developed and run on Bluemix; New applications for Internet-of-things; Applications that use Watson APIs on Bluemix to build user interactions based on cognitive capabilities; and many many enterprise use cases that are building new ways of reaching users while securely integrating with existing enterprise services. All of these use cases have resulted in many new applications and services.

BlueMix Use Cases Here are a couple of external links to some innovative apps which were developed with BlueMix:

Second and last part of the interview