Symantec CEO: Staying Ahead of IT Change

By:
03/10/2011
From the Road

For Symantec Corp. CEO Enrique Salem, the three critical issues facing IT leaders today—cloud, virtualization and the consumerization of IT—are also the three biggest opportunities for his “information protection” company. InfoWorld Editor-in-Chief Eric Knorr and I caught up with Salem to talk about how the company has prepared for the transition to what he calls “hyper-distributed” computing.

Align with strategic trends

As IT adds cloud and mobile platforms to the the mix of technologies it delivers, technology managers will want to secure them through a single system. “You don’t want one system for your on-premise technologies, a different set [of tools] for mobile computing, another set of systems for dealing with cloud-based services,” Salem said. “That is a nightmare.” Symantec’s response: the O3 initiative, which provides for setting policies, enforcing access and reporting on a single platform. “Our direction is to simplify a lot of things that you do today,” Salem said. “IT can’t afford more complexity.”

Adapt your business model

Symantec now delivers message filtering, data loss prevention, backup, recovery and as cloud-based services. The company is also working with cloud providers such as Amazon to integrate Symantec’s technology. “We’ll deliver services to you as an end customer and we’ll also integrate with the cloud providers,” Salem said. “From a business model perspective, I expect this to be much more of a subscription-based model, not buy a license and pay maintenance.”

Don’t take your identity for granted

CNBC dubbed Salem “Mr. Security.” That’s good, Salem said, because “as a company you want to have an identity. You want people to know you for certain things and usually people know you for one or two things.” But he also wants the public to associate Symantec with a broader range of products, including its storage and server management business. “What I want to do is make sure that people understand the vision of the company, which is this information-centric view,” he said. “With some of the new products we’ve launched we are starting to get momentum about why the integration of the storage and backup capabilities with security makes sense.”

Insiders, read the complete interview with Enrique Salem. Not an Insider? Register here.

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