Journey to Cloud: Step 10 - Adopt an Attitude of Continuous Improvement

Step 10 in the Journey to Cloud podcast series, Nutanix CIO Wendy Pfeiffer talks about the way forward in a post-COVID world where IT is tasked to do everything well at once.

By Jason Lopez

By Jason Lopez March 05, 2021

For many businesses, COVID-19 was a crisis that came out of nowhere. But companies that invested in digital transformation before the pandemic fared better than those slow to adopt modern IT. For the IT departments of many enterprise cloud-ready companies, lockdown orders and the need to feed entire workforces with remote technologies tested their mettle. 

“As the world is figuring out how to move ahead in this time of hybrid cloud, hybrid work, hybrid modes of everything, education, doing business, communication...we're having to do everything well all at once,” said said Wendy Pfeiffer, Nutanix CIO in the final segment of a 10-part Tech Barometer series Journey to Cloud.

Based on the ebook Charting the Course to Cloud, Pfeiffer shares lessons she learned shifting Nutanix into a billion-dollar, hybrid cloud-powered business. In Step 10, she explains the importance of continuous improvement.

Nutanix experienced a seamless transition to an entire workforce suddenly doing their jobs from home. A major reason for that was because Pfieffer’s team already established new systems and processes before the pandemic. They bridged the gap between on-premises and multiple cloud information systems. The IT team has been able to deploy new cloud technology instantly while managing the entire infrastructure from a single console with a few clicks.  

Nutanix IT also started sharing its technology experience with peers outside of the company, learning from 3rd parties how to use its own software better and providing new opportunities to improve, according to Pfieffer.

“No matter in what area of the world, no matter in what vertical, we need to have this capability to run and manage our ecosystems well,” she said. “And the ideal model for doing that is hybrid cloud. And the only way to truly run a hybrid cloud is to have a common operating system and hypervisor and set of tools.” 

More from the Podcast series:

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Relying on Remote IT During COVID-19

Transcript:

Wendy Pfeiffer: This isn't really an IT discussion. It's just to human discussion.

Jason Lopez: The Journey to Cloud with Nutanix CIO, Wendy Pfeiffer.

Wendy Pfeiffer: The only way that we progress is from a position of humility, a position of honesty. And then we have to have a desire to progress. We have to have a hunger to do the work. And so if people inside of a company have that hunger, then that company will progress. If an IT department has that hunger and that humility and that desire to progress, then we don't have to do gigantic things. Every small thing we do makes a difference.

That has led us to what I'm going to call step 10. We now have this common substrate, which is helping us to operate a virtual, private cloud effectively across on-premise and public cloud environments. We have this common AOS and HV making everything that we run, run efficiently and make the most efficient use of resources. Also, our people are running a single shared technical and operational environment. On top of that, we are measuring how effectively and efficiently we deliver services, both the business services and capabilities to our company, as well as services to our employees. And as we measure any opportunities for improvement, we're applying modern technologies and tools to address those challenges. And so we are doing more and more things, right the first time as we continuously improve. And our NPS scores are remaining at 90 or above, meaning our employees are continuously being presented with very productive ways of working. 

The next thing that we're doing, I'm the living example of that right now, we're starting to share this with our peers outside of Nutanix. This has been such a transformational and powerful journey for Nutanix, and we're also learning from how other folks use our technologies. We are constantly tuning that engine. We're constantly fueling ourselves and our team members with new opportunities to improve. Over time, but especially over the next let's call it six to 12 months, as the world is figuring out how to move ahead in this time of hybrid cloud, hybrid work, hybrid modes of everything, education, doing business, communication, et cetera, look, we're having to do everything well all at once. At the same time, there's so much pressure on us economically, and we have much less ability to actually send people in to do hands-on work. So we have to do much more virtually and remotely and so on. We don't want the easy button, but we want the healthy button. We want the button that allows us to keep that very diverse, complex ecosystem healthy through every season through every time of change. And we want every member of that ecosystem to thrive, whether it's sales or R & D or finance or legal, or even IT folks themselves. And no matter in what geography, no matter in what area of the world, no matter in what vertical, we need to have this capability to run and manage our ecosystems well. And the ideal model for doing that is hybrid cloud. And the only way to truly run a hybrid cloud is to have a common operating system and hypervisor and set of tools. 

At this point, the only vendor I know of who offers that is Nutanix. Yes, I work for Nutanix, but it's technically correct that we're the only ones who have this capability at this time. And so it's just been a pleasurable journey for me at Nutanix. And I'm hoping that this journey and talking about how we got from where we started to this point today will be helpful to others as they're working through this time.

 Jason Lopez: Wendy Pfeiffer is the Chief Information Officer of Nutanix. This podcast series of 10 Steps to Cloud comes from her ebook, Charting the Course to Cloud. This is the Tech Barometer podcast from The Forecast. Listen to other podcasts in this series with Wendy Pfeiffer at www.theforecastbynutanix.com

Jason Lopez is executive producer of Tech Barometer, the podcast outlet for The Forecast. He’s the founder of Connected Social Media. Previously, he was executive producer at PodTech and a reporter at NPR.

© 2021 Nutanix, Inc. All rights reserved.  For additional legal information, please go here.

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