Digital Realty, a San Francisco-based global data center services giant, has appointed the first CIO in the company’s 10-year history, signaling that the change in strategy it kicked off early last year would not be limited to pruning of its massive real estate portfolio and partnerships with service providers.
Its new CIO will be Michael Henry, currently senior vice president and CIO at Rovi, a cloud media technology company based in Santa Clara, California. He will start at Digital next week.
Digital’s CEO William Stein said Henry will drive technological innovation that enables the company’s employees, such as new IT platforms and systems.
“The exchange and analysis of data is critical to all of our clients, and it certainly is for our employees,” Stein said in a statement. “Having Michael’s outstanding talents as a transformational technologist, as well as a thought leader, will accelerate unlocking employee innovation and insight and directly benefit our clients.”
Digital has built its global business as a provider of wholesale data center space and is known primarily as a data center landlord. Since last year, however, the company has been trying to change that perception.
It has been pursuing more and more partnerships with companies that provide services beyond its core space-and-power competency. It has also placed more emphasis on retail colocation space in several of its properties that have especially high numbers of carriers.
That the company has hired a CIO to give more sophisticated tools to its employees shows that like many other big enterprises it is looking to technology to increase its value to customers.
Digital CTO Jim Smith will retain his role, while also overseeing the company’s property and technical operations.