technology gaining attention because of its money-saving potential is
virtualization, which Killeen said is key to more
efficient use of the company's IT infrastructure. GM is implementing VMware ESX as well as Sun
Microsystems' virtualization technologies in its data centers.
GM is not yet utilizing cloud computing services such as those offered by
Amazon.com and Google, the company is taking a hard look at those offerings, said
computing services are related in concept to the GM's all-outsourced strategy,
he noted. "The cost of that kind of environment is very enticing. It does
fit an outsourced model. It's less a cultural change for GM. We've been in the
mode of having our data somewhere else for some time," Killeen said.
a company like GM can ill afford downtime, a problem that cloud computing
providers such as Google and SAAS (software as a service) providers such as
Salesforce.com have suffered from.
Click here to read more about the trend toward "private clouds."
would expect guarantees of uptime in any deals with cloud providers, Killeen. "We would need to
have the right service-level agreements," he said, adding that the idea of
GM or a service provider building an "intracloud" that would serve
only GM is an attractive idea that he is scrutinizing.
The bottom line
Killeen enables GM to work as a
global company and marshals GM's IT resources to support stringent economies, GM
must continue to pursue its larger corporate strategy of introducing new
vehicles and winning over buyers.
IHS Global Insight's Wolkonowicz sees it, GM must convince the American public that
the company is at the forefront of automotive technology. Cars like the
electric-powered Chevrolet Volt can go a long way toward getting that message
across, said the analyst.
technology is leading, but the public does not realize it," Wolkonowicz
Killeen and company can keep GM
on a steady course though the economic maelstrom of 2009, the public may yet
have a chance to develop that understanding.