At Data Center World Local Chicago, Bill Kleyman will be our keynote speaker, presenting “Digital is Defining the Data Center. Are you Ready?” I had a chance to ask Bill a few questions to learn more about how digital is disrupting our lives, how data centers are at the heart of it all, and what to do in Chicago.
What was your first job related to data centers?
Right out of college, I had a chance to work as a network and virtualization engineer. Little did I know – but I was actually helping a lot of organizations build their initial cloud environments. That’s when I got to know the data center. Most of all – it was an exploration into legacy data center ecosystems and how they bridge with cloud. It was a fascinating time to enter into IT. And, it was really fun to watch the data center begin to transform.
What are the most significant changes you’ve experienced since then? And what are your predictions for how your job will change in the next 3 years?
One of the single biggest changes I’ve seen over the years has been the direct integration of IT operations with the entire business process. The trends that we’re seeing now show that pretty much every single organization will become a digital entity – powered by their data center platform. Those organizations that know how to capture parts of this digital revolution are the ones creating real-world competitive advantages. And, I’ve found that it’s the role of leading technologists to help other organizations get to their digital journeys. We’re living in an interconnected world where data is being created in massive amounts. The future of our business world will revolve around a digital ecosystem helping empower users to use technology to its fullest potential. This will involve new processes around big data, cloud, more virtualization, IoT, security, and much more. Remember, the data center (in some form or another) will be at the heart of this journey.
What are the top 3 favorite things about your job?
- Every day is something different. The pace of technology is absolutely staggering… and I love it. I get an amazing opportunity to work as the CTO of MTM – where I interact with awesome customers across all verticals. Then, I get the chance to write and speak about it too! The discussions are always fun and always evolving.
- Changing people’s lives. It’s not just about bringing a new piece of technology or product to market. It’s about how these new solutions fundamentally help change people’s digital lives; for the better, of course. Predictions about the future are increasingly becoming predictions about what disrupts our lives; and not just about a single piece of technology. I love empowering others to leverage these tools to do great things in the world.
- Shifting technology and business paradigms. Ever have that ‘aha!’ moment? You know… when you’re eyes open up and you suddenly understand the power of a service or solution? I live for those moments. When a person’s or company’s reality shifts to understand the power of a given solution – doors open for opportunity to progress. I love educating everyone from executives to engineers around the power of digital systems and how it can all change their world.
Without needing to issue a “spoiler alert”, what can attendees expect to learn from your session?
A lot is changing the business world; and a lot of it starts at the data center level. It’s critical to understand this “digital” revolution beyond just the word “digital.” What does this mean for IT? What about the data center? In our session – we’ll define the modern digital landscape, discuss an interconnected world, and point out how the data center is at the heart of it all.
Have you authored any recent blogs or articles related to your session that you’d like to share with attendees?
Absolutely! Here are a few good ones to catch up on:
Taking off your presenter hat, what are you hoping to gain from attending Data Center World Local – Chicago?
I’ve always absolutely enjoyed interacting with the Data Center World community. This is a group of brilliant professionals who always have amazing stories to tell. I’m really looking forward to chatting with attendees, catching up with friends, and hearing about new projects and initiatives!
Since you’re lucky enough to call Chicago home, what suggestions do you have for first time visitors?
We’re going to be in the heart of the city – so there’ll be SO much to check out. Some tips for visitors:
- Take the train! The CTA is great here and you can get to pretty much every Chicago neighborhood. Getting a pass is easy and navigating isn’t hard at all.
- Check out downtown! If you get the chance, take a drive on Lake Shore Drive (do it in the evening to see our amazing skyline light up). Millennium Park and the Magnificent Mile are always great. Oh, be sure to check out the museum campus – it’s all nice and in one spot.
- I’m a Cubs fan… so I’d feel pretty bad if I didn’t at least mention a visit to Wrigleyville. Getting there is SUPER easy. Just take the Red Line from downtown to the Addison stop. That’s it! Make sure to walk around, experience the atmosphere, and really enjoy the area.
- Eat the food! There are some amazing deep dish pizza spots; be sure to check it out!
On a personal level…
What are you reading right now?
I’m finally almost done with this one… it’s a great read! The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win. I really like this book; it explores better ways to align with the business, how to communicate more effectively, and where IT plays a critical role to help a business succeed. A customer recommended the read, and it’s worth it!
What’s your favorite album or who’s your favorite musical artist of all time?
I’ve got way too many musicians and albums on my mind to list a favorite or two. I think it all depends on the day and the mood. Sometimes it’s a classical kind of day; other days we need to get some Led Zeppelin going.
Deep dish or New York style pizza?
You’re asking a Chicagoan…. Deep Dish, please.