Microsoft is fortunate to count among its customers some of the most innovative and productive companies in the world, and one thing that each of these organizations have in common is a drive to make their IT budgets, dollar-for-dollar, flawlessly efficient.

This is a time of great change in the industry.  Customers are faced with decisions around how to take advantage of cloud computing, and how to embrace the trends around the Consumerization of IT.  This blog is going to talk about those decisions and those solutions.

With In the Cloud I want to discuss with you – through ongoing posts, podcasts, and videos – how IT decision makers can think above and beyond product names or product features, and instead assemble cloud and datacenter solutions that are the best this industry has to offer.  A big part of this discussion will be about the Consumerization of IT, e.g. how companies choose to enable their users to work how, when, and where they want – while ensuring that corporate data is secure.

You might ask, 'why would the Consumerization of IT be covered under a blog entitled In the Cloud?'  Well, I believe devices should be managed ‘where they live,’ and, in a world where users are working on smart, always-connected devices, I believe they should be managed from the Cloud.

These types of discussions make my job here at Microsoft really exciting.  As the Corporate Vice President for the Windows Server & System Center division, I sit at a unique place within the company – a place where I actively work with the real world applications and deployments of our the world’s most commonly used products, such as Windows, Azure, SQL, Hyper-V, Active Directory, and (of course) Windows Server, and System Center.  As a result of seeing so many of these pieces in motion, I have the great opportunity to look at the industry the way our customers do, i.e. looking at how these products work together, rather than focusing on one product at a time.

In my role, I am responsible for the Program Management of Windows Server & System Center.  The term “Program Management” may seem a bit vague, so let me explain.  Microsoft structures its engineering organizations into four groups:  Program Management (they define the product strategy, and write the product specs), Development (they architect, build, and deliver the product), Test (they ensure the end-to-end scenarios and requirements of the specs are delivered, and that the product is high quality), and Service Engineering (they focus on operability, cost, and compliance across the live sites)

Program Management is a unique role here at Microsoft.  Program Managers (PM’s) like me are responsible for defining and planning the products and services that we will build, and that you eventually use.  Doing this requires that we spend a lot of time working closely with our customers to understand their needs, and it’s equally important that PM’s really digest the state of the tech industry and think creatively to anticipate where it will go. In a sense, our work never ends; a PM’s responsibilities are overarching throughout the planning, deployment, and then the lifecycle of the product or service.  It’s a fascinating job, and one that my team’s cloud-centric focus makes even more exciting.

My plan for this site is to share that excitement with you on a regular basis.  This site will be updated regularly and will act as a channel to discuss the IT industry, the cloud, and how our products can support the work you’re already doing – and what you’re planning next.