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An Interview with Nick Brackney

by | Feb 17, 2022 | Interviews,

Nick Brackney

Nick Brackney

Senior Consultant, ISG Thought Leadership at Dell

Key Topics:Cloud, Technology, Edge-computing
Location:Seattle, WA
Bio:

Nick is a seasoned marketer and recognized thought leader in tech who is known for blazing new trails with emerging markets and stories, as well as supporting marketing professionals at all levels in achieving success on their journey. Most recently Nick led thought leadership in the IT automation space helping Dell Technologies reinforce its position as a market leader in helping organizations everywhere build smarter IT environments.

With an eclectic background spanning cloud, IoT, embedded systems, storage, SaaS solutions, network monitoring, amongst other technologies Nick brings a holistic view to technology conversations. Always happy to jump in on technical discussions and take part in panels Nick is passionate about helping organizations make better technology decisions.

How did you get to become an expert in your key topics?

I’ve spent nearly 20 years in the technology space. In that time, I’ve worked with incredible engineers, interfaced with some incredibly brilliant customers, and engaged with many tech leaders. I’ve been fortunate in the diversity of technologies I’ve worked with, spanning some of the most bleeding-edge technology areas like cloud, edge, and IoT, alongside your tried-and-true staple technologies such as monitoring, storage, and data protection.

So many experts who have 15-20 years in a single domain and are incredibly deep and well versed in that one area, there’s a ton of value in that. But I’ve been exposed to so many different ways of thinking about tackling these technology challenges that it has allowed me to find a unique perspective and voice to augment that kind of knowledge.

What sub-topics are you most passionate about?

I’m passionate about how technology is reshaping our lives. I think that digital transformation and leveraging data to create value for society are critical. Ultimately it all comes back to people, and I remember every day that the organizations, customers, and others I am interacting with all have things challenging them that technology can help make better. Whether it’s cloud technologies, automation for IT, the emergence of Edge and IoT, I’m excited to see how transformational these areas are for how we live and work.

Who influences you within these topics?

My biggest influence is often my customers, and even if it doesn’t immediately show up, filing away those conversations for a later date. These people are so brilliant, so it is important to listen to them and understand them. A few years ago, I made the mistake of assuming that containers/Kubernetes were a great thing to position to a customer at an executive briefing. I asked the retailer what their plan was for containers; their response floored me. “Does it say Facebook on the side of the building, Nick? No, we can’t keep our admins. What makes you think we can get to containers?”. This message is real, raw, and it’s from the horse’s mouth, yet it flies in the face of all the things you typically hear about container adoption.

Fast forward a few years, and that’s been a significant topic for me the technology skills gap and closing it via embracing automation. I also like to frequent the waterholes of many folks you (Onalytica) have identified as leaders, and I’ve learned a lot from them in our tweet chats.

What do you think the future holds in this space?

I’ve been saying for years that every company is now a technology company. I think in 2020, due to the Pandemic, this statement has finally transpired. If you think about the smartphone for a second, an entire generation has never experienced what it is like to be lost. They’ve been able to answer almost any question with a few clicks and an internet search, and they’ve been able to work from anywhere… just incredible.

I think something on the magnitude of that level of change is on the horizon for us as we embrace a digital world that intersects with and layers on top of our real world. How we do business will change, what we build and consume will change, and how we deliver value will change. It’s an inspiring time and one where we’re seeing an exponential acceleration of innovation. I guess the real question is how do we navigate that in a sustainable, fair, and rewarding way?

What brands are leading the way in this space?

The hyperscalers, who are big partners of ours, are often highlighted as some of the most innovative companies on the planet. Of course, my employer, Dell, has a ton of innovation in the pipeline. But what I find most interesting is how we’ve seen a shift from startups to enterprises for innovation. It’s interesting to me as I first landed in the job force around the dot-com bubble, the startups were constantly the ones moving markets, but we’re seeing enterprises get in on that a lot more. I think it is coming down to talent; with the stock market rocketing up for the past decade, we’re seeing the financial incentives pushing talent to larger companies. We also see the impact of network/platform effects, and it’s tough to argue with the value prop of buying into a platform or network that brings all these new capabilities to you. So, it will be interesting to see longer-term. Are we more likely to see success in something like the metaverse from Microsoft or Facebook, or do we think the decentralized web 3.0 movement will be what delivers that value?

I’m happy to hop on a podcast, support a tweet chat, or entertain other opportunities where it is mutually beneficial. Of course, it needs to make sense, given my employer.

What are your passions outside of work?

I enjoy hiking and am big into football and soccer. I’m also a foodie who has spent the last year mastering using a smoker, enjoying whiskey tasting, and hosting parties for my close friends.

What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?

I’m quite active on LinkedIn so that’s usually the best place to send a request.

 


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