Data#3 founding director retires after 30 years

Mark Esler says consumerisation is pushing businesses towards hybrid infrastructure, as the 30-year veteran retires from his role as Queensland general manager.

Data#3 has announced the retirement of one of its founding directors, Mark Esler, after 30 years with the company.

Esler will finish up in his role as the company's Queensland general manager at the end of April, and will be replaced by Ray Merlano as acting Queensland general manager until a permanent replacement is announced.

Esler has been involved in the business technology industry for over 40 years. He started his career in 1976 with IBM, before spending the next 30 years playing leading roles in sales and operations with Data#3.

According to Esler, consumerism has been driving a large portion of the significant shift towards the adoption of hybrid infrastructure by businesses — from mid-sized firms to government bodies — over the years.

"Basically, the marketplace has got use to hybrid infrastructure through the forces of consumerism," he said.

"Consumers now have so much on offer that businesses need to be more flexible in their thinking, and that's why they're looking at hybrid infrastructures. Whilst we have seen very big trends over the years, like the introduction of the internet, digitalisation, and GPS, I think we have become more accepting in understanding that some workloads are better suited to infrastructures where it's partially on-premise and residing offsite."

While businesses continue to have the conversation where they decide which applications stay on-premise and which should be moved to the cloud, Esler said businesses will always have three key goals to meet: More effective service levels, improving costs, and increasing flexibility.

Even for a company like Data#3, which provides services to cater for the hybrid IT environment, the goals are the same, Esler said.

"For example, some of Data#3's applications sit in the company's own private cloud infrastructure, like ERP, accounting systems, and inventory, because we like to keep a tighter control of it and closer to the business. But some applications, such as Salesforce, are cloud based, and they may reside in the US because we feel it's safe to do that," he said. "But it just depends on a business' workload."

Looking forward, Esler believes consumers' adoption of multiple devices is creating a lot of activity, and, as a result, the storage market is burgeoning.

"The public cloud is going to explode because of the amount of information that comes in and out. The influence of big data, social media, and the cloud is now forcing traditional vendors to come to market with solutions that matches the times."

Data#3 reported revenues of AU$771 million in the 2012-13 financial year, and has approximately 900 employees. The company is headquartered in Brisbane and operates from 12 locations across Australia.