Throughout 2013, I met with hundreds of CIOs across the globe. Not only are these conversations one of the most enjoyable parts of my job, but they are also important to directing internal investment strategies. A critical topic that continues to be mentioned by all the CIOs I speak with is how to shift investment dollars from IT infrastructure to growth initiatives.According to the Gartner Group, an average of 64% of IT budgets is spent just to run the existing business, with only 36% left for growth and transformation. With this benchmark in mind, EMC has been delivering for several years now a strategy consisting of a Cloud Computing approach to storage, where storage is consumed as a service based on service level objectives, or SLOs. Even if companies don’t choose to deploy charge back models to storage consumers, the model gives new insight on how to dynamically optimize resources to best balance performance and SLO with capacity and cost.The EMC Cloud Computing Storage Strategy embraces choice, with three alternative delivery models: Best of Breed, Proven Infrastructure, and Converged Infrastructure.The first model consists of Best-of-Breed components and technologies to enable cloud build out through a combination of trusted products such as VMAX, VNX, VPLEX, RecoverPoint, and the EMC portfolio of back up, recovery and archiving product. AIR Worldwide, an aviation support company, chose this approach for their IT Transformation to private cloud. By consolidating its storage with EMC VNX and the Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST) Suite, AIR improved its modeling ability by 10 times and decreased overall costs by 30%. Listen to AAR CORP’s Vice President of IT Operations, Jim Gross, explain why they trusted EMC for its journey to private cloud.The second delivery model uses a Proven Infrastructure approach leveraging EMC’s VSPEX initiative, enabling technology providers and EMC’s channel partners to deliver tested componentry through validated reference designs. Segyung BriteStone, a semiconductor supplier, implemented EMC VSPEX, reducing the need for storage capacity by 50 percent and yielding a 35% total cost of ownership (TCO) savings. Click here for more information on why this approach worked best for their environment.The third Converged Infrastructure approach delivers Virtual Computing Environments that are workload-optimized for particular applications, such as SAP, Oracle, end user computing/VDI environments and other applications, through a joint venture with VMware and Cisco called VCE. Watch House of Brick Technologies Chief Executive Officer Nathan Biggs and Chief Technology Officer Dave Welch discuss why they chose EMC’s converged infrastructure approach for the most demanding Oracle database environments. House of Brick Technologies was able to use Flash, VMware, and EMC VMAX- and EMC VNX-based Vblock specialized system for high-performance databases.Three different customers, three different choices for cloud infrastructure, all delivering transformational results by enabling a shift in investment from simply running the business, to accelerating growth and transformation.So where are you in your journey to the cloud?