AI and data investment pay a huge dividend for CIOs

Hello and welcome to Protocol Enterprise! now: Four enterprise tech leaders discussed the state of IT, an accident at a memory chip plant is the last thing the chip shortage needs and where the top executives of enterprise tech are next.


AMD gained x86 server chip market share for 11 straight quarters, largely at Intel’s expense, according to Mercury Research data. AMD now captures 10.7% of the server market, up 3.6 percentage points from the previous quarter.

This is the data, stupid

It wasn’t too long ago that Fortune 500 CIOs were more valued for their cost -cutting intelligence than their technology vision, but those days are behind us. The megacorporation CIO is now at the heart of their company’s business strategy now that every company is a technology company to one extent or another, which means they play a unique role shaping how business teams work and technology.

Protocol Enterprise is excited to host four technology leaders from some of the largest companies on the planet – Rob Carter, CIO, FedEx; Sheila Jordan, chief digital technology officer, Honeywell; Chris Bedi, CIO, ServiceNow; and Vittorio Cretella, CIO, Procter & Gamble – during our virtual event “Changing the Role of the CIO” earlier this week. You can watch a replay of the entire discussion here, but we want to call a few highlights.

The pandemic forced every company in the world to think differently about their tech approach, which made our panel’s work easier in some ways and more difficult in others.

  • “We’ve all catapulted the future here through the pandemic, and over the past few years, and so the dialogue has increased,” FedEx’s Carter said.
  • “One of the silver linings in COVID-19 is that it has made its technology authentic and relevant to every individual in the organization,” said Honeywell’s Jordan.
  • “Every single function, every single strategic business unit has a digital agenda and we sit in the middle to help organize it,” he said.

But it lacks skilled IT professionals, even in companies with huge budgets.

  • “What keeps me awake at night is … how to make sure we continue to feed the talent pipeline of talented technologists with great business insights,” said P & G’s Cretella.
  • That means embracing the concept of “shadow IT” rather than fighting it, says Bedi of ServiceNow.
  • “I really think that if we do that we can let all the talent in our companies actually participate in their own digital transformation without having to go to a central organization,” Bedi said.

Investments in data and AI technologies pay real dividends for the tech leaders on our panel.

  • “Data is the currency of digital innovation,” Jordan said. “I really think at some point – and I don’t want to insult anyone in the audience – but the infrastructure and applications are going to be less relevant.”
  • However, “putting the right guardrails, the right management and management around data has been the best way to empower [employees]”Carter said.
  • All the panelists thought that AI would be a very important part of their future, but Bedi warned that “with more sophisticated AI algorithms, people don’t understand it much, and people want interpretable AI,” which can lead to frustration.

We closed the panel by asking our crew to list emerging technologies they are most excited about integrating into their businesses.

  • For Carter, edge computing has tremendous potential to transform the shipping business: “This is the frontier; how far do networks and technologies go to enable new things we never dreamed of? ”
  • Jordan of Honeywell noted the importance of data but also emphasized sustainability. “Looking at products and services, at what we deploy and how we can have a positive impact on sustainability, will be critical over the next three years.”
  • “I don’t want to use the word metaverse, it’s kind of exaggerated these days,” P&G’s Cretella said. “But definitely, I think the hype around virtual realities and hybrid environments will be less hype and more basic reality in the future.”
  • Bedi of ServiceNow does not want to single out either one technology, instead emphasizing that modern CIOs have an amazing range of emerging technologies to play with. “What gets me really excited is the application of them: How do we make them real?

– Tom Krazit (email | kaba)


Businesses need applications faster than ever before, and they need them to solve more complex and sophisticated problems. This means that IT teams need a better way to quickly deliver great software and a better way to partner with their business counterparts. That’s where low-code comes in.

Learn more

Memory prices are set to rise

A mysterious contamination of flash memory material made at two factories in Japan has triggered shutdowns since January, Western Digital and Kioxia revealed late Wednesday. Material contamination has affected 3D flash memory chips built in factories, which operate under a partnership between the two companies. Nor did it give a thorough explanation of the issue, or what caused it.

Memory is like the oil of the semiconductor business: a valuable commodity. And now there will be 6.5 exabytes less memory on the market, which equates to about 50 million 128 gigabyte solid-state drives, or about 13% of the groups ’total output for the first quarter.

As a result of the contamination issue, TrendForce now expects flash memory prices to increase by 5% to 10%, compared to the estimated price drop before the factory problems. What’s bad for Kioxia and WD, however, could be good news for Micron and Samsung, which also produce flash memory.

– Max A. Cherney (email | kaba)

Business moves

Laura Heisman has been appointed CMO at VMware. Heisman previously led communications and marketing on GitHub.

Sylvain Cazard has been named GM of Asia Pacific and Japan at VMware. Cazard was formerly VP of business in Central Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Janet George joined Intel as head of the Cloud and Enterprise Solutions Group. George is a former vice president at Oracle, and starts at Intel Feb. 14.

Josh Leslie joins Gremlin as CEO. Leslie previously held leadership roles at VMware and became CEO of Cumulus Networks, which was later acquired by Nvidia.

Thanks for reading – see you tomorrow!


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