Brazil, the B in BRIC, is regularly in the media. An emerging economy going through deep social transformations, Brazil is facing serious infrastructure challenges. With millions rising from the lower to middle classes, urban mobility and transport are under discussion. Roads, ports, airports, communication, and energy management are also challenged. In the middle of this revolution, the finance industry organized CIAB, the largest financial and technology sector event in Latin America.The finance industry in Brazil has always been a leader in technology adoption. Brazil’s unified compensation system was among the first in the world to interconnect multiple banks in real time, under modern and innovative regulation. With this spirit still in mind, the theme of the show was very appropriate: New Challenges of the Financial Sector.New consumers, modern banking models, mobile payment, social interaction, and advanced security threats are all trends driving the need to change and achieve more efficiency with technology so it was no surprise that the biggest message at the event was the financial industry’s dependence on IT. Now, more than ever, financial services organizations need technology to succeed.EMC was a Diamond Sponsor at this year’s event, with former CIO Sanjay Mirchandani on stage discussing IT Transformation and IT Efficiency. EMC’s positioning on Cloud, Big Data, and Trusted IT was perfectly aligned to the event.While there, I had the opportunity to meet with customers and partners at EMC’s booth, speak with journalists who wanted to better understand EMC’s cloud solutions for the finance sector, and present on the Cloud Computing industry panel.The panel was very interesting. With representatives from IBM, Capgemini, and Brasilcap (a national credit operations company), we discussed the vision, roadmap, evolution, and state of IT around Cloud Computing in the finance industry.There are three important aspects that I would like to call out.First, we are on the verge of a new digital platform called “the third platform” as coined by IDC. The scale of users and new applications puts pressure on existing infrastructure, and the old ways just won’t work anymore. In order to remain relevant, IT organizations will need to be prepared to be elastic and flexible like never before.Second, Cloud transforms IT, and the early adopters are already taking advantage. Organizations need to accelerate Cloud adoption and stop asking “when” and start asking “how.”Lastly, the Software Defined Data Center will be the new way to deploy infrastructure that is elastic and flexible, and can meet efficiency demands through built-in automation and virtualization. EMC’s Converged Infrastructure Vblock offering with VCE and new Software Defined Storage platform, ViPR, demonstrate how we’re helping transform infrastructure management for the Cloud Data Center.These three messages were reinforced during the Q&A session that took place after the presentations. It was a great interactive discussion that called for specific industry examples. Fortunately, I came prepared with the NYSE Euronext Capital Markets Community Platform story.This example shows how a finance organization not only took advantage of its own IT efficiency for enabling the business, but also leveraged these new strengths to seize opportunities that were born from a new world of interconnected financial services.CIAB started many conversations on the linkages between the finance sector and IT, and I hope EMC can continue to make strides in helping these companies lead their own IT transformations.