On Monday, May 13, 2013 General Motors unveiled a state-of-the-art $130-million enterprise data center in Warren, Mich. This comes less than one year after GM announced a plan to transform its global Information Technology (IT) department. The company is betting a thoroughly transformed IT department will help accelerate GM’s global business operations.
The Warren data center is located in GM’s Technical Center just outside of Detroit. Also announced was that GM will begin construction on a companion data center this summer on the GM Milford Proving Ground. These two centers will integrate and streamline all aspects of product development, manufacturing, marketing, sales and OnStar applications to generate more functionality and faster access over time for any GM employee anywhere in the world.
“The Warren data center has been benchmarked against the finest in the world – including Google and Facebook. It represents a significant advancement in GM’s computing capability and brings information in-house,” said Randy Mott, GM’s Chief Information Officer. “This Data Center gives us a leg up on information security and functions as the company’s missions control center – supporting every critical element of our business.”
Housed within the data center is GM’s mission control center. Boasting 48 work stations and a 955-square-foot video wall composed of 28 configurable screens to monitor data use across operations around the clock. It’s a tech-lovers dream and is the capstone of GM’s efforts to transform its IT operations to help the company work smarter and faster, as well as be more responsive to customers.
So why consolidate from 23 data centers to two centers? In this instance, GM will leverage the two data centers to create a secure, private cloud that allows super-computing applications, servers and data storage to be efficiently and quickly accessed among multiple users. This will help with business operations by increasing responsiveness to customers, speeding up marketing initiatives and delivering on objections to shareholders.
To drive increased innovation, GM also recently created four U.S.-based software and system development “Innovation Centers” located in Warren, Mich.; Austin, Texas; Roswell, Ga. and Chandler, Ariz. To date, 1,800 new IT employees have been hired at the centers and, in the next three to five years, GM plans to hire 4,000 more employees to staff the four facilities.
GM is heavily recruiting the best and brightest across the country and are having success. They are creating a world-class IT organization inside of a car company, and many IT professionals and college graduates want to be part of something big.
Combined, these four innovation centers and the two new data centers are the heart of GM IT’s initiative to better support company-wide efforts to more efficiently increase innovation and help the company deliver winning products around the world.