NetApp CEO Discusses the Role of AI in Business and Data Management

NetApp CEO Discusses the Role of AI in Business and Data Management

NetApp CEO Thomas Kurian shares insights on how AI can benefit businesses of all sizes and the importance of data management in maximizing its potential.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become an integral part of businesses across various industries. As the leader in data management, NetApp is well-positioned to shed light on the impact of AI on businesses of all sizes. In a recent briefing in London, NetApp CEO Thomas Kurian highlighted the company’s commitment to providing smaller businesses with access to the same tools used by larger organizations, while offering cost-effectiveness, simplicity, and flexibility. Kurian emphasizes the importance of getting data ready for AI, as data is now considered the unique intellectual property and asset of organizations in the age of AI.

Getting your data ready for AI:

Kurian explains that NetApp’s role is to help businesses identify and map their data, determine which applications access specific data, and unify and ensure its quality and governance. This process, according to Kurian, is essential in “getting your data ready for the use of AI.” He emphasizes that data plays a crucial role in the age of AI and is particularly valuable as an organization’s intellectual property.

The role of hybrid cloud:

Kurian maintains that hybrid cloud is the most effective solution for businesses looking to capitalize on generative AI. While public cloud platforms are useful for quick experimentation with small datasets, Kurian acknowledges that not all data resides in the public cloud. Businesses have data in their data centers, manufacturing floors, and other locations, making hybrid cloud the optimal choice.

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AI’s potential in different sectors:

Kurian envisions AI addressing significant challenges faced by humanity. He cites examples such as the role of technology in modernizing rural economies in India and the potential for AI to improve healthcare and life sciences. AI can enhance patient care, particularly in mental health, and contribute to the discovery of new medicines and the execution of digital patient trials.

NetApp’s utilization of AI:

NetApp has been leveraging AI internally to enhance software development tools and boost productivity. This includes modernizing old code, accelerating testing processes, improving documentation and technical notes, and utilizing generative AI tools to support customer service. Kurian emphasizes that even slight improvements in productivity can have a transformative competitive advantage.


As NetApp looks to the future, Kurian expresses optimism about the year ahead, highlighting the company’s strong portfolio. He believes that NetApp is uniquely positioned to help clients derive a competitive advantage by utilizing their data in a world where access to the latest AI models is becoming increasingly common. Kurian stresses the importance of distinguishing between hype and reality and tailoring AI solutions to specific business needs, ensuring that they align with the sophistication of the organization’s software development processes.