Data is pretty much everywhere and it’s not only multiplying, but becoming a strategic business asset.
A study last year by the research firm IDC pegged the amount of digital data in existence — everything from the pictures on your phone to the episodes of “House of Cards” you binge-watched on Netflix — at a little more than four zettabytes, and it’s growing at a rate of 40 percent a year. (A zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes.)
Most of that data is stored not on hard drives and phones but in massive data centers upon which your daily digital life depends more than you probably think. And more often than not, it lives on systems designed by EMC, the $24 billion company (2014 sales) that specializes in industrial-strength data storage.
So it seemed like a good idea to invite David Goulden, the CEO of EMC’s information infrastructure unit — its largest — to speak at our second Code/Enterprise Series: New York event on Sept. 29.
The business of how data is stored and used by companies is changing driven in part by the adoption of cloud computing schemes and also by straight-up changes in storage technology. Startups like Pure Storage and SolidFire have popularized the idea that flash memory chips can replace conventional hard disk-based storage technologies. EMC resisted the notion at first but now competes aggressively with its own flash-based products. And opportunities in big data — the catchphrase for collecting huge troves of business data for analysis that can help save or make money — have presented a lot of new challenges. Data once considered worthless and trashed is now being collected, saved and analyzed, creating new opportunities, but also a massive data deluge that thousands of companies are struggling to manage.
Things have also been changing at EMC itself. Singled out by the activist investment fund Elliott Management, it has come under pressure to rid itself of its controlling stake in VMware — the cloud software company it bought for $625 million in 2004 and which is worth $38 billion now. EMC’s stake in VMware is so large that the software company accounts for most of the parent’s valuation. Additionally, Chairman and CEO Joe Tucci has blown through more than a few self-imposed deadlines concerning his retirement and could name a successor any day: Goulden is generally seen as Tucci’s No. 2 and is clearly in the running to succeed him, so there will be a lot to talk about.
Goulden is the third speaker we’ve announced for Code/Enterprise. The other two are Marty Chavez, the CIO of investment banking giant Goldman Sachs, and Todd McKinnon, the CEO and co-founder of the cloud software startup Okta. We’ll be announcing additional speakers very soon, so stay tuned. Registration is open, but tickets are going fast. You can find all the information you need here. We hope you’ll join us.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.