Big DataData Storage

IT LIFE: Steve Lewis, UK CTO, Hitachi Data Systems

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Steve Lewis talks us through his career in IT, the future of IoT and love of guitars

What is your role and who do you work for? 

I’m the CTO for Hitachi Data Systems across UK & Ireland, and I also manage a team of enterprise and solution architects who are responsible for championing our solutions with customers. 

How long have you been in IT? 

I joined ICL on a graduate programme back in 1988 after passing my MEng in Electronics – hence almost 30 years! It doesn’t sound as long if you say it quickly! 

What is your most interesting project to date? 

The most interesting is invariably the next one you are about to get your teeth into. I can’t share much yet, but will say that we are in the process of doing some big things that marry our heritage in operational and industrial technology with new technologies like IoT. 

Steve Lewis Hitachi

 What is your biggest challenge at the moment? 

Gearing up for the transformation from just selling storage solutions to selling business outcomes. For example, predictive maintenance solutions, cloud consumption models, and digital evidence management solutions. Hence the formation of the architect team that I am now managing. But also, the need to develop new eco-systems with different partners to help deliver the overall outcomes. 

What technology were you working with ten years ago? 

Ten years ago I was working at Dell running their software and peripheral business across EMEA. We had just completed the acquisition of ASAP Software, and we were in the process of acquiring EqualLogic storage. This was, at the time, a new wave of simple storage arrays focused on iSCSI connectivity.  

It was also probably the first crack in the Dell/EMC relationship – now where are they?  At the time, I was responsible for getting EqualLogic sales off the ground across EMEA. We just invested in mobile demonstration units – lots of storage consultants with an EqualLogic box in a flight case travelling round to meet customers. 

 What is your favourite technology of all time? 

A Gibson Les Paul electric guitar plugged into a VOX or Marshall amplifier – who needs an iPad to amuse themselves? 

 How will the Internet of Things affect your organisation? 

Massively! Our future direction as “One Hitachi” is all about developing IoT solutions for the market. 

What smartphone do you use? 

iPhone 6S. Hence, I also carry around an iPad for mobile use on the road. I also heavily use Hitachi’s Anywhere content platform for file sync and share. Always comes in handy to be able to access my data from anywhere at any time! 

Hitachi

 
What three apps could you not live without? 

  1. HCPAnywhere (see above) 
  2. LinkedIn – I always like to know something about the people I am meeting 
  3. Ultimate Guitar – I currently have 5 guitars, a banjo (spur of the moment purchase), and a double bass (my latest addition). I’m always looking up tunes to learn to play…. 

 
What new technology are you most excited for… 

Being a bit of a petrol head, I am fascinated to understand how the personal transportation industry is going to evolve over the next 10-20 years. I personally like the concept of paying a monthly amount to have access to flexible Transportation-as-a-Service.

For example. during the week, I travel to work on my own so maybe I only need a small car, or sometimes a sports car (although not sure that this concept will exist in a fully automated world).  At weekends, I am travelling with the family (including 2 dogs), hence will most likely need a larger vehicle. 

What is your biggest cybersecurity concern?

  • Ransomware (28%)
  • Humans / Social Engineering (27%)
  • State sponsored hackers (14%)
  • Malware (14%)
  • Other (7%)
  • Out of date tools (6%)
  • DDoS (4%)

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If you weren’t doing the job you do now, what would you be doing? 

Having discounted Rock Guitarist as a mere pipe dream (just not in the right league), I would probably see myself more engaged in Engineering, or possibly in helping to educate and steer future generations who are interested in the social impact of IoT. 

 Quiz: What do you know about big data?