THE INDUSTRY EXPERT: Sanjay Rishi—Reinvent yourself regularly

By Masha Tseveen.

Our latest addition to the Industry Expert interview series features Sanjay Rishi. If you missed our previous post, be sure to check out the interview with Gu Chen.

(Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM)Sanjay Rishi is Managing Partner for Cloud Consulting Services at IBM. He is responsible for IBM’s portfolio of cloud consulting services and leads a global team focused on helping clients harness cloud computing technology to drive business innovation across their value chains. Sanjay has more than 25 years of progressive consulting and industry experience leading large, multifunctional transformation programs for clients. Serving in a dual role as Chief Information Officer (CIO) and strategic business advisor enabled Sanjay to lead and affect sustainable transformational change for the company. He is a frequent speaker on cloud strategy and emerging technologies at industry and technology conferences, and has been a contributing columnist to business and trade publications.

What Cloud computing really means? Why it is so different from what has come before?

Cloud computing goes well beyond the technologies: infrastructure, platform, and software as a service! It is helping change entire business models and create new customers and revenue streams. Scalable, rapidly provisioned compute capacity and storage, fast run time environments are all hallmarks of Cloud – resulting in Speed, Cost, and Innovation.

A couple of months ago, IBM announced the plan to expand its Cloud Consulting Services portfolio to deliver more personalized services with greater speed. Tell us an example about how this is accelerating business outcomes?

Our clients are adopting cloud across a variety of entry points. They are migrating and modernizing their applications, adopting cloud technologies to transform business processes like Customer Relationship and Human Capital, and introducing mobile technologies to reach new customers and create new offerings.

According to IDC, there will be 7 million cloud-related IT jobs created worldwide by 2015. What training or certifications would you recommend?

Three primary layers of Cloud are Infrastructure as a service, Platform as a service, and Software as a service. Offered by multiple vendors, these offerings have various certifications. Architecture skills are, and will be in high demand. At IBM, we offer Cloud architecture courses to skill our resources.

What skill sets should IT professionals consider adding in 2014 to keep up with current technology?

Application development on Cloud platforms, architecture skills, and most importantly, the ability to blend industry skills with technology to provide business outcomes.

Let’s talk more about your career path. How did your career journey begin? What took you to where you’re today?

An engineer with an MBA by education, I started my career in manufacturing. Traceability requirements in aero space and automotive industries were my first foray into applying technology to business. Over the years I have transitioned between consulting, strategy, a CIO role, and technology leadership positions in an attempt to reinvent myself and learn.

What three pieces of advice would you give to young people who would like to follow a career path similar to yours?

Take risks, reinvent yourself regularly, treat everyone with respect.

Anything else you would like to share?

IBM is an enviable place to work with an unparalleled history and a future that will make a difference to the world. And it has depth of talent that humbles me every day.