Skip navigation

C9zQY8bXoAEdNON.jpg

If there is one thing that is constant in the IT world, it is change.  I learned early in my career, that helping people navigate change in their environment, driven primarily by technology, was a critical key to success.

 

My first experience with major change in the work environment occurred when I was a junior officer in the US Navy and a project manager for new IT systems at the Bureau of Naval Personnel.  We were helping the Navy transition from paper and “punch card” duty assignment systems to automated systems.  This was a big deal in the 1980’s and a major change for the Navy.  The most important lesson I learned from that experience was leadership.  The Admiral and Chief of Naval Personnel (BUPERS) made a commitment to lead this change, and he lead by example.  He used the new systems. He walked around the offices of BUPERS and questioned those who were or were not using the new systems so he could understand their issues. He emphasized to his entire staff how important it was to have their team use the new IT systems. He didn’t give them a choice.  He led from the front.

 

I learned from that Admiral that leadership is not about dictating policies and procedures from the top down. It’s about diving into the details, understanding the challenges and relating to those who have to implement the policies that one is establishing as a leader.

 

In those early days, we were implementing major changes, like putting personal computers on the desks of every employee.  This was despite the words of a CEO who said there would never be a personal computer on every desk or in every home.  That CEO’s major computer company was eventually acquired by Compaq Computer Co, (it was Digital Equipment Corporation).  A faint memory for many of us now.

 

One of my most memorable moments in IT, and dealing with change, dealt with the infamous Y2K challenge.  As a leader in software development, I was challenged with leading a massive change to the IT systems that had been in place for 20+ years or more.  No one really knew what would happen when the clock ticked midnight on Dec 31, 1999. We did know that we had a massive problem with all of our computer programs, written on mainframe computers, with 2 digit year data fields.  So, “98” could be “1998” or it could be “1898” or it could be “2098”.  What would happen with the financial systems, the benefits systems, the insurance systems, and other computer systems, when the clock ticked “Jan 1, 2000”?  There was fear, uncertainty, and concern about being locked in an elevator, losing access to bank accounts, and more.  So everyone in the applications and software development world scrambled in 1996 and 1997 to put together plans to address this daunting and upcoming event.  CICS programmers were being hired out of retirement at outrageous salaries to help rewrite old programs to handle the New Year. Millions of dollars were spent rewriting programs.  IT organizations were panicking about the massive change in front of them. Never were there so much planning, preparation and angst to be ready for that moment, when the clock ticked midnight.  And then it happened.  Jan 1, 2000 came and went.  There were no major outages. There were no elevators stuck in buildings with groups of people stranded.  No banking systems crashed.  It was a non-event.  In the end, I was proud that the IT profession had adequately prepared for the worst disaster of our lifetime, but we experienced none.

 

Despite the fact that this happened almost 20 years ago, the lessons are the same.  In today’s world, as we transition from “Cloud Computing” to the “Internet of Things”, we believe that we are going through the most dramatic change in our lifetimes.  I say to you, hold on to your seats!  You haven’t even imagined the change we will go through, in the next twenty years.

 

In that first job at BUPERS, I had the privilege of managing several defense contractors who were developing software for the US Navy. Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) was one of those companies.  I also happened to be at Compaq years later, when we were acquired by HP, and I ended up leading an HP Enterprise Services Sales team.  I have fond memories of working with both organizations. 

 

And now, those two companies have come together to form a new, transformational company, DXC.Technology.  While it is easy to be nostalgic and reminisce about the “old days”, it’s much more fun for me to look ahead and imagine what the new world will offer to us.  The IT Industry learned early that change is required to evolve!

 

          I’m so excited to write about a partnership between Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) and Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) that has been maturing and growing rapidly in the past several years.

 

          CSC and HDS are launching “CSC BizCloud powered by Hitachi Data Systems,” and have made moving to an enterprise-grade private cloud easy. CSC BizCloud and the Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) together significantly accelerate and simplify the transformation to IT as a Service. The solution enables rapid deployment with built-in governance and orchestration with CSC’s Agility Platform integrated with Hitachi’s UCP Director software.  Featuring pre-assembled hardware and pre-validated software, along with the native integration of all Hitachi and CSC system elements, CSC BizCloud delivers unmatched features, price and performance for supporting application and meeting service level agreements.

 

          This solution from CSC and HDS offers one platform for all applications, enabling the orchestration and integration of bare-metal hardware.  This feature is unique in that it allows for organizations to accommodate applications that have not been optimized for a virtualized platform and to accelerate the migration of applications that require a non-virtualized approach. The Logical Partitioning capability, along with bare-metal segregation, can drive a more cost-effective software licensing model for a variety of application environments such as Oracle and SAP. CSC’s Cloud Product Manager, Gabe Kazarian says, “We integrated the CSC BizCloud Offering with Hitachi’s Unified Compute Platform and together we help customers transfer to next generation technologies faster and accelerate the move to enterprise hybrid cloud by delivering more features and functionality to our clients.”

 

          Just a few short years ago, the relationship between HDS and CSC was based on their purchasing HDS Storage platforms and delivering storage and private cloud services to their clients.  It has evolved into a partnership where HDS and CSC are launching private and hybrid cloud services together, to the market.  This is a new activity for our partnership, launching a joint solution, and driving new revenue and client acquisition together.  We are eager to see how far this new strategy and partnership will take our two organizations.

Lynn McLean

A Woman in Technology

Posted by Lynn McLean Mar 15, 2016

woman_img_438x388.png

 

I’m often asked what it is like to be a woman in the high-tech field.  Before I can answer this, it helps to understand my perspective. I was raised in a family with five children; three brothers and one sister. My father was an Air Force Officer, and his mother graduated high school at 16 and was the first in our family to attend college.  I played sports through the varsity level in high school, earned a scholarship from the US Navy to attend college, and started my career managing twelve sailors and two federal system integration teams at the age of 22. I was raised to believe I am equal to anyone else, and I can achieve whatever I set my mind to do.

In the first month of my Naval career, I was an Officer and project manager, and a Navy Senior Chief who worked for me came into my office to “explain” to me why his team had not yet met one of their programming deadlines.  He threw around words like “ASCII” code, ”hexadecimal”, and “assembly language” hoping I would leave him and the team alone if I didn’t understand the true nature of their challenge.  He did not know that I had just received my Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, which included many hours in the lab trying to get those very same types of programs running.  What he said to me was complete nonsense, and needless to say, after that he didn’t try to pull the wool over my eyes again. 

I’ve found that to earn the respect of one’s peers, the most important attribute is to prepare.  One must do their homework, understand the problem, look at a variety of solutions, and offer recommendations.  It’s hard to challenge someone who has properly prepared, and I found over time it didn’t matter the gender, race or background of a person if they are respectful enough to prepare for whatever the challenge at hand may be.

The sad truth is that 30+ years later, people still ask me what it’s like to be a woman in technology. So, as a gender group, we women still have much work to do. But I’m optimistic we will get to a point where there are an equal number of women and men in any field, but especially in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math industries.

cube.jpg

Continuing on my theme of puzzles, I would like to make a comparison of our industry’s converged architectures to those of a puzzle.  If you think of a Rubik’s cube, or a box with 1000 puzzle pieces, or a complex mechanical engine, it is not an easy task to make the disparate parts and pieces come together successfully for a final solution or working product.

In today’s IT world, there are a number of converged solutions on the market, and some working solutions are easier to create and solve than others.  For example, can you imagine buying a remote control car where you had to assemble it to create the working product?  Or if the components of that car had arrived in 3 or 4 different boxes from 3 to 4 different manufacturers?  How confident are you that it would work flawlessly once assembled the first time?  Or if after you purchased a puzzle and you found some of the pieces did not fit upon assembly? How much time would you have invested before you found out?

HDS is proud of the architectural designs engineered by our teams across the world.  These converged architectures are designed and tested with specific applications, including solutions from SAP, VMWare, Microsoft, Oracle and other software vendors. We call these architectures the Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) solutions. The Hitachi goal is to provide solutions that work flawlessly and are optimized for the specific application environment.  The benefit is that our clients and customers do not have to engineer and assemble the component parts themselves.  They don’t have to worry about the solution working efficiently when installed in data centers.  The solution can be up and running quickly which allows business leaders to focus their time on leading the business.   In summary, I guess Hitachi likes to solve puzzles, too!

 

cube.jpg

    My current role is leading sales for Hitachi’s UCP and Converge Solutions with our Global System Integrator Community.  Yet, I find it’s important to share that I have both a business and technical background.  I have a BS and MS in Computer Science, and in my early career with nine years in the Navy, I led the development of large IT and Weapons Systems Solutions.  As a woman in STEM, I have had an amazing career where I also had the opportunity to lead a large applications development team to solve the complex Y2K challenge.   This is probably why I enjoy the complexity of large projects and the challenge of technical sales, because I deeply understand the term ‘mission critical’?  It reminds me of solving very difficult and complicated puzzles.

 

     I spend most of my days traveling the globe to work side by side with our Global System Integrator partners addressing their business challenges as if we were solving difficult puzzles together.  Hitachi Data Systems provides a single source for our Converged Solutions that is already tested and architected for business critical applications, such as SAP, Microsoft and Oracle.  Our superior technology, paired with the Global System Integrators’ application expertise and services capabilities, make the GSI and Hitachi partnership the perfect union. Winning deals and increasing revenue together is the ultimate!!

 

Now back to puzzles.  I have always enjoyed a challenge.  From competing in basketball, to weekend races in college solving the Rubik’s cube, to running half-marathons, I love the rewarding feeling of achieving a goal, solving a puzzle, or winning a tough competition!