Symantec CEO Clears the Fog

Posted by Prof M. Eric Johnson on November 29, 2011 | Comment (7)

Symantec CEO Clears the Fog Photo

I had the pleasure of hosting Enrique Salem (CEO Symantec) today as part of our Britt Technology Impact Series.  This year the series is focused on cloud and we have already had a fantastic line-up of speakers from infrastructure providers (Peter DeSantis of Amazon), service providers (Kent Parker of Ariba), the enterprise user side (CIOs of Nestlé, Bechtel, and Hilti), and the startup space.  Each speaker this year has pointed to security as an issue in the cloud.  So it was fantastic to have Enrique speak to that concern.  He argued that while security should not be taken for granted, it is not a show-stopper.  In fact, he argued that many firms would be more secure in the cloud than running their own IT.  His bigger concern, particularly for consumer cloud services, is privacy.    “You can’t control what users put out themselves” and once it is out there, it will be there forever. 

Besides security, Enrique noted that the hype around the cloud has created many myths including:

  • There will be a “big switch” – He argued that the switch will take more time than many believe and that enterprises will maintain a substantial IT infrastructure far into the foreseeable future.
  • Cloud computing is IT commoditization – Rather than commoditizing the role of enterprise IT, the cloud will focus the IT organization on higher value-adding business activities.
  • Cloud comes in a box – He argued that “cloud in a box” offerings are overpriced and that firms should focus on assembling low-priced commodity components.
  • Customers are moving to “the” cloud – There is no such thing as “the” cloud.  Rather the cloud is a collection of publically available services.

View the video highlights of Enrique's talk:


7 comments so far

  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Nov 29, 2011

    Mr. Salem captivated the audience during today’s talk on security challenges and cloud computing.

    As someone who is not interested in pursuing professional opportunities within technology, but in nonprofit education management, I appreciated his comments on what it takes to be a successful business leader. Mr. Salem embodies his definition of effective leadership through empowering others, and setting/meeting ambitious goals.

    We were all inspired by his dedication to his work and passion.

  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Nov 29, 2011

    Mr. Salem’s talk was very informative and - something that tends to be rare in the cyber security arena - optimistic.  His belief that use of the cloud isn’t inherently less secure, but simply less mature, provided a refreshing view of a still developing capability - one which he believes can ultimately provide greater security in time. 

    His optimism and approach to security was reflected in his comments on other topics as well, including the best way to approach understanding a new vulnerability.  Again, it was refreshing to hear a business leader suggest that working together, even if it means sharing information with your competitors, is the best way to successfully provide a strong defense.

  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Nov 29, 2011

    With eloquence and efficiency, Mr. Salem shedded light on the murky topic of the security of cloud computing. Tuck was lucky to have him.

  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Nov 30, 2011

    Enrique also commented on the successful collaboration with other leaders in Cloud Computing, like  He said critical to Symantec’s rapid adoption was a complete audit that Salesforce allowed Symantec to conduct.  Symantec determined that Salesforce treated their sensitive data with the care they would give it themselves, which is how world leading cloud computing providers should behave.  It was a fantastic presentation overall.

  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Nov 30, 2011

    Although Enrique Salem’s point about cloud computing not being inherently less secure was well taken,  because cloud computing is such a revolutionary development, there will likely be many emerging vulnerabilities as people use the technology in new ways.

  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Dec 3, 2011

    I think Enrique’s 4 arguments related to “big switch”“

  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Dec 3, 2011

    I just want to add that I also agree with his concern about consumers’ privacy. Privacy shouldn’t be taken for granted at all.

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