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Seeing the Forest for the Trees: A Sustainable Approach to Digital Transformation

Bask Iyer By Bask Iyer CIO, Dell and VMware April 19, 2018

Earth Day is nearly here again.

While I strive to commute on my trusty bike, I know I can personally do better to give back to Planet Earth. In addition to getting back on the saddle and doing my video calls under a shady tree on my bicycle trail, as a CIO, I believe it is also critical for us to embrace a more sustainable approach to delivering on our digital transformation in today’s hypercompetitive marketplace.

Without a doubt, there are direct ways to make a difference environmentally. For instance, at Dell, we have been collecting and turning ocean plastics into recycled packaging for our computers. And we’ve also embraced virtualization, cloud computing and even data center design to reduce energy consumption, cooling costs and even the amount of floor space required to run our business. However, as Dell and VMware’s CIO, I also like to think about what we can do to extend our sustainability and legacy of good even further.

Extending Sustainability to the Business

We have a unique vantage point because we design, support and understand all the interdependencies across various critical business systems. For instance, working with our business partners, we can analyze data to automate and streamline processes, as well as make business savvy and environmentally-friendly enhancements to our supply chain, manufacturing and logistics processes. And, that’s just for starters. The stronger the partnership with our business teams, the more we can drive better business and environmental impacts like this across the company.

Empowering the Workforce

No surprises here. Our workforce is mobile, global and always on. It no longer matters where they are. However, if we provide the right access, apps and collaboration tools, we can power fewer offices; reduce the need for business travel; eliminate commuting congestion and stress; and ultimately provide team members with a more satisfying work/life balance. We’re drinking our own champagne for the greater good.

Creating Evergreen Careers

We all want to work for a company that does good. At Dell, we do a lot to advance our legacy of good. However, we should also encourage our team members to consider innovations that also advance our environmental and sustainability objectives. By continuing to hire, train and retain diverse and creative team members that believe in giving back and advancing our global community, we will have the skills and desire to make more of difference while delivering value for our business. And, they will be happier to work here too.

Making an Impact

Caught up in the minutiae, we often get stuck in an infinite loop and “can’t see the forest for the trees.” In IT, it is common. Every day, we juggle hundreds of projects while finding time to pursue our digital transformation strategy. However, my leaders and I work to consider how our projects and innovations can also advance our environmental and sustainability objectives. Not only can we enhance our business, but do something good for the planet. We can see the forest for the trees.

Make sure to learn more about how Dell is fighting plastic pollution, “Doing Our Part to Fight Plastic Pollution“, from Trisa Thompson, Senior Vice President & Chief Responsibility Officer at Dell.

Happy Earth Day!

Bask Iyer

About Bask Iyer


CIO, Dell and VMware

Bask Iyer, the Chief Information Officer for both Dell and VMware, oversees the critical technology systems supporting some of the world’s largest global business and commerce operations. Iyer is also responsible for driving Dell and VMware’s digital transformation to accelerate outcomes; deliver world-class experiences; and share the team’s best practices using technologies, services and solutions from both companies.

Iyer, VMware’s CIO since 2015, expanded his CIO responsibilities in 2016 to also lead the Dell Digital and IT organization. A respected industry veteran, Iyer brings more than 25 years of experience in executing and driving change in traditional Fortune 100 manufacturing companies and Silicon Valley-based technology firms.

Prior to joining VMware, Iyer served as senior vice president and chief information officer at Juniper Networks, where he was responsible for the company’s technology and business operations, including critical services around business transformation, global business services, IT and real estate, and workplace services. He also served as chief information officer at Honeywell and at GlaxoSmithKline Beecham for consumer healthcare research and development, where he was also the company’s e-commerce leader.

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