#BoxWorks Speaker Spotlight: Alan Cohen of Illumio

Next up in our series of BoxWorks speaker spotlights: Alan Cohen, chief commercial officer of Illumio. He's also an active industry commentator, who recently published an interesting piece about the information economy on his blog, Ineluctable Modality. You can follow Alan at @ascohen and @BoxWorks on Twitter for the latest #BoxWorks updates.

Alan Cohen headshot1) What’s one technology trend that you see driving business transformation?

Businesses and computing are both going through a distributed disruption. For businesses, it is the transition to globalization, what Tom Friedman calls The World is Flat. That means everything is faster, cheaper, and can be made and shipped anywhere. In technology, it is the transition from client server to distributed computing. The entire IT infrastructure is turning into software than can run anyway (and be rented) and all of the apps must run in any environment and on any device.

2) Name three apps on your home screen.

Only 3? :) LinkedIn, Box and Spotify (because life without music is too quiet.)

3) What BoxWorks speaker or session (aside from your own) are you most excited about?

Jeff Weiner, Jim Collins and Andrew McAfee. It is the business equivalent of the Miami Heat’s “Big Three.”

4) What’s your favorite device for getting work done?

My 3G iPad. It is the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

5) What advice would you give to someone starting his/her career in your industry?

When you get up in the morning, write down the handful of things you need to get done that day and stop working when you have accomplished it. Also careers only appear linear on resumes or LinkedIn. I have been a school teacher, journalist, government policy wonk, and an accidental participant in tech. What makes you different makes you differentiated.

6) What blogs do you check daily?

Marc Andreessen’s Tweet Tornado, re/code, GigaOm. And I am a faithful reader of the New York Times.

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