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Westcon’s CTO Bill Hurley’s top channel topics

12 Aug 2013

Westcon's Global CTO Bill Hurley joined the company in New Zealand for Imagine 2013 a bit earlier this year, offering an insight into how his approach can accelerate your business.

After joining the company five years ago, Hurley is now responsible for overseeing the IT which runs the organisation, a US$4 billion organisation spanning 77 countries and 3,500 staff.

Adopting an IT strategy which centres on leveraging managed services, the cloud and virtualisation in order to deliver cost-effective technology solutions, Hurley also retains the intellectual capital that he believes gives Westcon its competitive advantage.

Working with management teams around the world, Hurley told the audience a crucial aspect of his role was to understand what's going on in the tech space.

While sounding rather obvious for a CTO, Hurley delves deeper, gaining an insight into the channel, and how best Westcon can profit from it - essentially it's a tech heavy job.

But as with any Keynote Presentation in this industry, Hurley smiles when acknowledging the topics of the day - the cloud, almost obligatory wouldn't you say?, BYOD, Big Data and Software Defined Networking.

Before going into detail, Hurley asked the audience to consider the concept of Imagine. In other words, put yourself in the shoes of an IT director and ask yourself this, 'how do I make things simpler?'


"As an IT director I'm always dreaming about simplicity," Hurley said.

"Where Westcon is going to make money in the cloud is through the services wrapped around delivering the cloud as a component of the portfolio of the IT director."

How those cloud services are integrated into the organisation is really what the IT director cares about according to Hurley.

What keeps the IT director up at night is 'how am I going to integrate it?' with Hurley asking the question; "What are the major issues from an IT directors perspective?"


"BYOD as an IT director it is a nightmare," Hurley admitted.

While it may be wonderful for the staff concerned, managing and securing it is no easy task, with Hurley fighting to protect three key areas in the business.

"Firstly I must protect my network so that it can't crash," Hurley said. "Secondly I need to manage the devices to counter any hacking attempts.

"And thirdly, I need to protect the enterprise itself."

Referring to two specific components for BYOD, Hurley discussed the topics of Mobile Device Management and IP Address Management, offering industry insight on both.

"How do you manage the device? How do I manage the IT devices that are hitting my network as an organisation" he asked the audience.

Acknowledging the continuing growth of smartphones and tablets as a presence in the workplace, Hurley moved onto Google Glass, and the impact the device will have on the industry.

"Google Glass not only allows me to consume information through sight, I'm also able to produce information," he said.

"From an enterprise perspective this is bad for security.

"But as an IT director from a business viewpoint, I love having Google Glass. I no longer have workers canning boxes in the warehouse, they can simply look at the stock and the job is done.

"Essentially, Google Glass brings huge benefits, huge challenges and opportunities."

Such as, Big Data.

Big Data

"Google Glass will consume big amounts of data and it will generate big amounts of data," Hurley explained.

Citing the formal definition of Big Data as the ability to take structured data from databases and merge it with data generated from IP devices or social networks, Hurley claimed Big Data offers a tremendous opportunity for businesses.

"From a hardware and software perspective, we need to produce solutions which can consume and analyse the data," he said.


"If people call the cloud the most over-hyped technology, then next one is SDN," Hurley said. "It's significant, it's very real but it's going to take time to get here."

Hurley said businesses must realise that while the hype of SDN will far surpass the reality, SDN should not be dismissed.

"It would be akin to demising the impact of the server visualisation, the grease that oiled the cloud."

To watch Hurley's presentation from Imagine 2013 a little earlier this year check out the video below: