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      INAP Executive Spotlight: Jennifer Curry, SVP, Global Cloud Services

      Welcome to the first installment of the INAP Executive Spotlight. In this series, we’ll be interviewing senior leaders in the company, hearing candid reflections about their careers, the mentors who shaped them and big lessons learned along the way.

      First up is Jennifer Curry, SVP of Global Cloud Services. An industry thought leader and champion of unsung IT workers everywhere, Curry is responsible for the architecture, infrastructure engineering and technical support of INAP’s cloud and hosting solutions, including bare metal, private cloud, managed hosting, third-party managed cloud and business continuity.

      Read on to hear her take on what makes a great leader, the challenges of diversity in the industry and how our office’s most vocal Fighting Irish fan almost became an accountant.

      The interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

      Tell us how you got into IT/tech. What inspired you to pursue it? 

      It was a little by accident, to be honest.

      I come from a family of accountants, and I assumed I would simply follow in their footsteps. I went to Notre Dame and graduated (from the best business school!) with a degree in accounting. A career in IT wasn’t on my radar.

      Fast forward to my second job after college—I was working as part of the finance organization at Platinum Technology.  They decided to start a financial systems group inside of the organization and asked if I would be interested in being a part of the group.  Never one to back down from a challenge, I said “sure.”

      I fell in love with the systems work immediately. From there, I continued in IT and eventually into engineering operations.

      What’s a typical day like for you?

      I don’t feel like I have a typical day, which is why I love what I do.  It is actually true that there is never a dull moment in my world.

      As a P&L owner, I spend considerable time looking at the financial health of the business unit—reviewing sales, updating forecasts and trends, evaluating spending. But the best part of my job is working with my teams on new products, reviewing technology updates and engaging with our customers to strategize on their needs and how we can help.

      What do you love about your role in tech? What do you think is the best part about being in the tech industry? 

      Our industry is always changing. It is highly competitive, and you have to consistently ensure your value proposition aligns correctly with the market. Being a competitive person, I embrace that challenge.  As a service provider, we are exposed to more emerging technology than a typical enterprise IT organization.  It’s exciting to be close to the VC markets and the technology they are bringing to the industry.

      How have you seen the industry change over your career in regard to diversity? How would you like to see it change? 

      There has definitely been a change in raising the awareness on inclusion in the tech world.  However, I am still the only woman at the leadership table more times than not. Obviously, change like this takes time and it is important for those of us who are in leadership positions to not become complacent.  We cannot stop being surprised or disappointed when we walk into the room and don’t see diversity in the folks sitting at the table. We have to remain vigilant in our execution of changing the look of the IT workforce.

      Out of the qualities you possess, which do you think has had the greatest influence on your success? 

      This probably sounds cliché, but my competitiveness is likely what has propelled my personal career growth the most. I am talking about competitiveness with myself and constantly expecting that my execution is better every day. If I were to always focus on competing with the person next to me, I wouldn’t be as successful. It wouldn’t fuel the right growth focus.

      In my role as a leader, I believe loyalty is the quality that helps develop and maintain high-performing teams. If your team trusts you, they will deliver more for you.

      Who are the people that have mentored you or been role models? 

      Kristin Ruth was my first true mentor and the reason I stepped into this IT world. She plucked me from working in Excel spreadsheets 12 hours a day and put me into a financial systems role.

      Doug Butler has been influential in my career for the past 10-plus years. He was the CFO at Looking Glass Networks and Latisys while I was at both companies. I seek his advice often. You wouldn’t think that a CFO would be an IT person’s mentor. But it makes sense since we spend a considerable amount of time managing our spend and ensuring we can articulate the ROI of what we are doing to our business leaders. He is now the CEO of an employee engagement software company and provides me a very different perspective on leadership these days.

      What are your thoughts on work-life balance and have your ideas changed over time?

      Burned out employees are not good employees. That’s why I encourage balance. You have to shut off sometimes in order to remain fresh and able to operate at your highest potential. Our culture is an always-on mindset, but if you look at the top technological minds, they all take time out (a lot through meditation).

      What advice would you give to someone pursuing IT as a career path?  

      You are going to have to self-study—a lot. If leadership is your goal, realize that means putting your team first, over yourself.

      How would you do things differently (if at all) if you were starting out now? 

      I’m not sure I would change anything. I wouldn’t be who I am if I took a different path.

      What are some of the big lessons you’ve learned in your career? 

      Be open to new opportunities and just work hard. If you work hard and execute consistently, opportunities come your way. I didn’t seek out many of my positions: They were offered to me based on my track record of execution and my willingness to take on something new.

      I’ve been terrified of some of the roles that were given to me to be honest. I think that is why I have been successful in such a male-dominated industry—I wasn’t afraid to be afraid.

      Watching people interact, listening not just to learn about what they are saying but to seek to understand the dynamics of how people react to one another. Sometimes people mistake the quiet ones for being disengaged, but those are the folks who are going to blow you away because they have taken the time to truly understand all of the dynamics of a situation or event.

      Ryan Hunt
      • Sr. Communications Manager

      Ryan Hunt is Senior Communications Manager. READ MORE

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      DART Box™ – Cloud Seeding Made Easy

      Setting up your backup and disaster recovery data in the cloud—called seeding—is the first step in any business continuity plan. The process has two considerations that we at INAP treat with utmost care: speed and security.

      Our proprietary DART Box™ (Data Acquisition and Recovery Transfer) seeding system is the answer to both, allowing you to safely and securely ship large amounts of data into our enterprise, production-grade cloud storage.

      INAP dart box

      FAQ: Isn’t shipping physical media slower and less secure?

      Not necessarily. While creating your first backup over the internet is optimal for small amounts of data, the rate of transfer depends on the congestion of the public network, providers and routers.

      That’s why large datasets in the terabytes can easily take too long for business continuity migration schedules. For security, encryption is typically a safe bet, but there will always be a small risk of the data being intercepted.

      Transferring Large Quantities of Data? Use the DART Box™ System.

      Large datasets are best seeded with physical media; however, traditional physical media like hard drives, CDs and thumb drives must be encrypted and securely shipped for maximum peace of mind.

      With INAP’s DART Box system, shipping your organization’s mission-critical data is both safe and simple. We send you specially encrypted 6 TB hard drives in a tamperproof box that includes everything needed to get your business continuity plan moving and digitally secure your data. In addition, the box comes with security measures that will protect your hardware from physical tampering or alert you to any attempts.

      dart box contents

      Locally transfer your data, ship it to INAP, and our data center technicians will take care of the rest. The service is provided free of charge with all INAP business continuity plans.

      Remember, this is a one-time operation: Once the seeding process is complete, you’ll only need to remotely back up the data that changes after the initial transfer. Chat with us to learn more about the DART Box and explore our full suite of security, compliance and business continuity solutions.

      Explore INAP Disaster Recovery as a Service.


      Ryan Hunt
      • Sr. Communications Manager

      Ryan Hunt is Senior Communications Manager. READ MORE

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      eBook: 4 Economic Benefits of Hosted Private Cloud

      The cloud promised it all: flexibility, scalability, agility. These benefits have convinced many enterprises to move their on-premises IT infrastructure to the cloud. And certainly, many found that the cloud offered exactly what they promised.

      For others who moved to the hyperscale public cloud—especially those whose applications have steady, predictable workloads or must adhere to strict compliance standards—capturing the benefits of the cloud without running into potential pitfalls has proven difficult.

      Even harder still is finding ways to manage costs and get the cloud expertise you need to fully leverage your solutions.

      Hosted private cloud is a smart way to get the benefits of the cloud in a right-sized, custom-built deployment—and with the economics to make sure your solution works for you.

      Fill out the form below to download our ebook today.

      Learn more about hosted private cloud and the economic benefits you can expect from a Virtual Private Cloud or Dedicated Private Cloud, including:

      • Resource optimization through rightsizing
      • Quick deployment and flexibility for special projects
      • Expanded operational capacity
      • Efficient use of human capital and minimizing opportunity costs
      Nick Chang

      Nick Chang is the Editor of INAP’s blog and a Content Specialist on the marketing team. READ MORE

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