#191 – CIO Pandemic Priorities

#191 – CIO Pandemic Priorities

Chris EvansGuest Speakers, Pure Storage, Storage Unpacked Podcast

This week, Chris and Martin are in discussion with Cathy Southwick, CIO at Pure Storage. The topic of conversation is the results of a CIO survey undertaken by Pure to look back at the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and how customers have changed their IT strategies. The discussion covers how Pure Storage has adapted to the lack of in-person site visits and adapting to remote installation and operations. Digital transformation projects have continued, while customers have adapted their priorities and goals to align with the challenges presented by COVID-19. Public cloud has been an easy target for migrations. Customers are now looking at how best to rebalance workloads between on-premises and the public cloud as companies stabilise and re-adjust to a COVID-compliant way of working.

You can find Cathy’s LinkedIn article and the results of the survey here – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-we-can-learn-from-cios-covid-19s-impact-cathleen-southwick/

Elapsed Time: 00:32:51


  • 00:00:00 – Intros
  • 00:00:30 – Martin gets trolled by Google Maps!
  • 00:03:30 – How has Pure and their customers managed the Pandemic?
  • 00:06:00 – How has data centre access being managed?
  • 00:09:00 – Digital transformation projects have continued to be delivered
  • 00:14:00 – Automation is top of the priorities, with security and customer experience
  • 00:16:30 – Employee well-being figured highly
  • 00:17:30 – How have customers adopted the cloud?  Tactical or Strategic?
  • 00:21:00 – FinOps – Financial operations for cloud will be the dream next job 00:24:00 – Will Cloud drive the “as a service” models?
  • 00:26:10 – The Portworx acquisition indicates a pivot towards data and data mobility
  • 00:28:35 – EMC – Where Information Lives – describes the future for storage companies
  • 00:30:40 – Wrap Up

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Cathy’s Bio

Cathy Southwick joined Pure Storage in 2018 as Chief Information Officer. In this role, she leads Pure’s global IT strategy and advances the company’s operations through the delivery of next-generation technology capabilities and systems.

Cathy is an accomplished leader with over 20 years of experience defining and executing forward-looking IT strategies. Prior to Pure, Cathy held leadership positions at AT&T, including Vice President, Technology Engineering and Vice President, Cloud Planning & Engineering. During her tenure at AT&T, Cathy led the planning and execution of IT strategies from the Core Network, IT application modernisation, and the IT cloud.

Before joining AT&T, Cathy spent 11 years at Viking Freight System (now owned by FedEx) where she held escalating leadership positions in IT architecture and planning, software development, merger integration, strategic planning, human resources management, procurement, project/portfolio management, and process re-engineering.

Cathy holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Saint Mary’s College and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

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