At GE, shutting down its data centers is like cleaning out a closet

GE (s ge) will shut down most of its 32 data centers over the next five years as it transitions to the cloud, and GE CIO Jamie Miller said at Gigaom’s Structure conference Wednesday that the move is revealing just how much of the centers are wasted infrastructure.

“Shutting down a data center, it’s kind of like cleaning out a closet,” Miller said. “When you really start opening it up and looking at it, it’s very cathartic.”

While much of their content can be ported to the cloud, a lot can simply be shut down. The closure of the data centers will help GE focus on its three commitments to its customers: speed, innovation and cost

She added GE is also adapting as software becomes more and more a part of hardware. For example, when GE sells a jet engine, it generally contracts to maintain the engine over its lifetime. Data collection during flight used to happen at takeoff, once during travel and at landing, but an engine can now easily collect a terabyte of data in a single flight.

“What we’re really seeing is a mashup of (hardware and software),” Miller said. “As you bring all this together and you have this convergence, you can really see much bigger and more powerful results you can drive.”

A video embed of the session follows below:

Photo by Jakub Mosur

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