10 Best CIOs to Watch 2018

Harnessing the Opportunities Presented By Data: Pure Storage


Pure Storage is a company based in California that develops all-flash data storage hardware and software products. It developed propriety flash storage hardware and also products that were tailor-made to be used with artificial intelligence-based systems.

The role of Chief Intelligence Officer at a company like Pure Storage is to lead the operations that develop technologies that help the company stay relevant in an evolving market. Cathleen Southwick serves as the CIO of Pure Storage. She joined the company in 2008 and leads its global IT strategy and advances the company’s operations through the delivery of next-generation technology capabilities and systems.

Cathy is an accomplished leader with over 20 years of experience defining and executing forward-looking IT strategies. Prior to Pure, Cathy held leadership positions at AT&T, including Vice President, Technology Engineering and Vice President, Cloud Planning & Engineering. During her tenure at AT&T, Cathy led the planning and execution of IT strategies from the Core Network, IT application modernization, and the IT cloud. Before joining AT&T, Cathy spent 11 years at Viking Freight System (now owned by FedEx) where she held escalating leadership positions in IT architecture and planning, software development, merger integration, strategic planning, human resources management, procurement, project/portfolio management, and process re-engineering.

She has an excellent track record of developing and directing technology strategy, change, delivery, and team building for global organizations; apply advanced business acumen, analytical skills, and excellent judgment. She was responsible for pioneering innovative solutions and delivered high-quality technology, critical business processes, and operational solutions that influence product design and realization. She has led successful Cloud IaaS strategy, development, and execution for various Fortune 10 companies.

Cathleen is Skilled in building relationships across the organization, influencing stakeholders, serving as a trusted advisor, and building consensus to drive positive change. Excel in both articulating business impact and executing at detailed levels.

Her expertise includes Technology Strategy & Roadmaps, Global Talent Development, Strategic Planning, Business & Financial Analysis, Merger Integration, Process Optimization, Program Management, Business Case Development, Financial Management, Team Building, Change Management, Negotiation, Risk Management, Software Development, and Data Analytics

Cathy holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Saint Mary's College and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

Let’s have a look at some of Pure Storage’s happy customers     

Toyota Financial Services

Toyota Financial Services New Zealand is the largest motor vehicle manufacturer-owned finance company in New Zealand. After years of difficulty with sluggish, legacy storage systems that were complex to manage and expensive to scale, the company now has a reliable, fast, and easy to use storage system, with more time to build out and improve its offerings.

Toyota Financial Services places significant emphasis on best practices and the ‘Toyota Way’. While much of its value proposition depends on the reliability and quality of its service, the team was struggling with a storage system that could not live up to either ideal.

  • Legacy storage was too complex to manage and difficult to expand.
  • Poor storage performance caused delays in accessing applications and files, impacting business productivity.
  • Pure Storage rolled out its transformative services to improve Toyota Financial’s operations.
  • Employees now have uninterrupted access to applications, while IT spends virtually no time managing storage. The team is also able to integrate business intelligence into its operations and enhance the performance of its critical applications.
  • Mission-critical applications run faster
  • Time spent replicating systems has shrunk from eight hours to less than one
  • Spinning up services now takes seconds instead of minutes
  • Team has more time to spend on key business intelligence initiatives

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport demands peak performance from every member of the team to continue its record-setting ways in Formula 1™. To push the performance envelope of its IT infrastructure, the team chose all-flash arrays from Pure Storage which have delivered blinding speed, unprecedented reliability and availability, and significant savings in operating costs.

  • Finding new means to efficiently collect, manage and share ever-increasing amounts of data used to improve racecar design and performance
  • Multi-disciplinary design and engineering requirements stress the team’s IT infrastructure in the constant pursuit of incremental improvements to race car performance
  • Requires an infrastructure that is portable
  • Pure Storage’s solutions had a huge impact on Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport
  • Team members both trackside and at the factory have instant access to critical data used to continually improve racecar performance
  • Team has eliminated complexity and possible points of failure
  • Response time for key database query slashed by 95%
  • The time needed to open critical data files cut by two-thirds
  • Datacenter rack space reduced by 68%
  • The time required to manage storage lowered by over 90%

“Data shared when and where needed is the engine of value. Convert data to value with a data-centric architecture across people, places, and clouds.”