…A Conversation with Dell CIO Paul J. Walsh
The role of chief information officers (CIOs) has evolved fundamentally during the past decade. In part, that’s due to changes in business computing, as traditional enterprise scale-up systems have been bolstered or entirely replaced with scale-out commodity solutions. But other, more generational shifts are also significantly disrupting companies and their customers’ and partners’ organizations, thus widening the issues that concern CIOs.
As a result, CIOs are collaborating with increasingly sophisticated, often vocal employees and groups who want to make technology work on their own terms, whether it be in using their own mobile devices or engaging with resources like public cloud providers that are often well-outside the purview of traditional IT. All things considered equally, the most effective CIOs are those who can successfully balance the needs of traditional constituencies with the desire for new innovations, and develop best practices that are positive for the entire organization.
Dell found those qualities in Paul J. Walsh who it appointed as its new CIO in September 2014. Walsh has deep experience in a variety of IT fields, including software development, forecasting, IT operations, and budget planning. Prior to joining Dell in 2013 as VP of Commerce Services, he was VP and GM of the Online Business Unit at Sears Holdings Corporation. Walsh also worked at Amazon where he helped define and deliver its e- commerce platform, was director of Product Management and Development at Quest Software and spent eight years at Microsoft in positions, including platform strategy, product planning and enterprise management.
During the recent Dell World conference in Austin, Texas, I had a chance to sit down with Walsh to discuss his new role as CIO, his priorities for Dell and how he believes the company stands to benefit from both traditional and new technology developments.
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NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT Spotlight.