NetApp CEO sees integration as the core asset in a hybrid world - SiliconANGLE News


Google Cloud Chief Executive Officer Thomas Kurian’s twin brother, George, shares a lot more than the same personal features. Both are now CEOs of major technology businesses, both grew up together in India and both possess a strong affinity for the hybrid, multicloud world.

For George Kurian (pictured), CEO of NetApp Inc., the hybrid model sits at the center of his company’s approach, providing a fabric that weaves together all of the various platform elements to realize the full value of enterprise data.

“The world gradually moves from process-centric or system-centric to a data-centric world, where the core asset that you’re operating on is not the value of an individual business process, but the integration across your business processes,” Kurian said. “This is why we think in a hybrid world you need something like a data fabric to stitch together all of these landscapes. You’ve got to operate the hybrid world as an integrated world at the data layer.”

Kurian spoke with John Furrier and Stu Miniman, co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, during the Google Cloud Next event in San Francisco. They discussed how companies must be willing to show flexibility in dealing with the pace of change and his appreciation for the good fortune brought to him and his brother (see the full interview with transcript here).

Need to optimize infrastructure

Kurian recalled how, over the course of attending conferences such as Google Cloud Next for the past five years, he has been impressed with the speed of change taking place within the industry. This speed has required that information technology organizations take a different approach, one that Google has modeled effectively with its Site Reliability Engineering solution, a process the firm uses to track the performance of its public services closely.

“To move faster, IT is creating vertically integrated squads,” Kurian said. “Look at Google’s creation of Site Reliability Engineering. It’s really a way to accelerate the creation of digital services and optimize infrastructure.”

Neither of the Kurians’ companies have been insulated from waves of digital change. NetApp saw strong business growth after its founding in the 1990s, only to be sidetracked as cloud computing took off. Heavy investment in research and development plus a focus on serving the hybrid cloud world have led to a turnaround in the company’s fortunes.

“It’s a time of change, and our view is you’ve got to lean into it,” Kurian said. “The skills and the cultural values that you’ve brought are going to help you innovate into the future, not necessarily just the products and the ways that you’ve done them.”

Asked to share a perspective about his twin brother, who was named CEO of Google Cloud in November, Kurian offered an overall assessment for the two of them.

“We both realize how lucky we are,” Kurian said. “It’s amazing that two guys in India who had never seen a computer until we left to come to the U.S. now have an opportunity to be a big part of the computer industry.”

Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s extensive coverage of Google Cloud Next this week:

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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