As a sports fan, I can enjoy a good “Game Changer.” If you caught Sunday’s 49er game you saw the game change when Ted Ginn Jr. returned a kickoff 102 yards and executed a 55-yard punt return to help San Francisco beat Seattle 33-17.
As CEO of Brocade, I also appreciate a true business game-changer. Starting now and into the next two decades the cloud is arguably one of the most significant technological game-changers since the Internet. Clouds have the potential to fundamentally alter how we store and process data, transforming consumer and business technologies alike. Trends such as the forecast of $80B expenditure in cloud technology and anticipated $100B spend in mobile devices will have tremendous downstream impact, producing more network traffic in 2010 alone than in the 40 years prior to the Internet. For a leading networking solutions provider like Brocade this is a significant game-changer; one that also has the capacity to enable even greater life-changers in the areas of education, healthcare and more.
I had the pleasure of defending my claim during a recent gathering of more than 600 business and community leaders at an event produced by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and co-sponsored by Silicon Valley Community Foundation and Wells Fargo. During Game Changers 2012, I talked with my co-panelists Rosanne Foust, Weili Dai, Ann Bowers, State Senator Joe Simitian and moderator James MacGregor about ways in which we can collectively stay competitive as a State and Nation. In addition to cloud technologies we addressed the value of a diverse workforce and the need for gender equality; the importance yet lack of disruptive technologies that will advance our education system; the crucial role that smart development can play in regional growth; and the imperative that we stay out of our own way while engaging in effective public/private partnerships.
There was a lot of talent and innovation represented in the room, but the real game-changer that I asked everyone to get involved with is Hunger. One in 10 residents of San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties – the capital of innovation and eighth largest economy in the world – receives from assistance from our local Food Bank. Investing in education, new technologies, political and legislative reform won’t do us much good if part of our community can’t get access to the basics. And if you’re like me, the fact that approximately 16 million children in our country don’t know where they will get their next meal is just unacceptable. We will soon be kicking off this year’s Second Harvest Food Bank Holiday Food and Fund Drive and I hope you will help me change the game and end hunger in our community.
You can read more about my technology game-changer and the entire collection of essays written by Dianne Feinstein, Tom Werner, Kevin McCarthy, Aart de Geus, Shai Agassi, Gavin Newsom and more here. I also invite you to leave me a comment about your personal Game-Changer. Better yet, get out there and take the action to make it a reality.