InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services https://infocus.dellemc.com DELL EMC Global Services Blog Tue, 23 Apr 2019 16:32:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 Paving the Way to Digital Transformation with Senior Support and Sponsorship https://infocus.dellemc.com/greg_bowen/paving-the-way-to-digital-transformation-with-senior-support-and-sponsorship/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/greg_bowen/paving-the-way-to-digital-transformation-with-senior-support-and-sponsorship/#respond Mon, 22 Apr 2019 18:59:37 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=38310 Digital transformation is a strategic business imperative. Every organization needs to be a digital organization, powered by data, running in a multi-cloud world. Organizations that have not begun laying the groundwork for the digital future by modernizing their infrastructure, strengthening their development capacity, connecting delivery teams with their customers, and redefining how they build and […]

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Digital transformation is a strategic business imperative. Every organization needs to be a digital organization, powered by data, running in a multi-cloud world.

Organizations that have not begun laying the groundwork for the digital future by modernizing their infrastructure, strengthening their development capacity, connecting delivery teams with their customers, and redefining how they build and deploy software are lagging behind. Yet more than 90 percent of business leaders tell us they face persistent barriers to transformation related to speed, funding and risk. Breaking down those barriers is essential to start — and more importantly, accelerate — the mission-critical transformations required to realize the digital future.

As the world’s largest end-to-end technology provider, Dell Technologies faces many of the same challenges as our customers. In many established companies like ours, where you’ve been operating for decades, digital transformation is an enormously complex challenge. Previously, I shared how Dell began our ongoing transformation initiative and the lessons we’ve learned thus far. Called the Dell Digital Way, we are making a tremendous shift in our organizational culture along with integrating a combination of new processes and technology. In support of our customers who are considering or starting their own digital transformation, I thought I’d address how we have overcome one of the most common barriers: lack of senior support and sponsorship. Both business and IT leaders are jointly responsible for the digital business transformation of the enterprise.

Why You Need Executive Buy-In, and How to Get It

Senior support and sponsorship is a universal requirement for driving digital transformation. Once you have leaders engaged, budget and resources follow. As important as budget and resources are, leader engagement throughout the program is more critical. Transformation can only be successful if your leaders learn new tools and techniques and apply them to how they manage their teams. Consider the findings of the 2018 Dell Technologies Digital Transformation Index. According to the 4,600 senior leaders surveyed, lack of senior support and sponsorship is among the top 10 barriers digital transformation faces at their organizations. If your leaders aren’t engaged, your teams won’t work differently, and your new tools and techniques will stall.

More than a year ago, Dell made a commitment to transform our people, processes and technology to produce better experiences and products for our team members and our customers, and better outcomes for the businesses we support. We, too, had to garner support and sponsorship from our senior executives.

Why?

Because just like our customers — Dell must concurrently run the business and keep the lights on while driving digital transformation — and our senior management needed to understand and buy into what we were doing. More importantly, they needed to understand why we were doing it and how much they must invest – not just dollars but in overall commitment.

You can fund new technology and enablement but if you don’t change how your leaders are working with your teams and how you are measuring success, you are not transforming.

4 Key Takeaways from Working with Our Senior Executives

Start with the benefits of digital transformation for the business. Senior leaders are, of course, keenly concerned about cost — what financial upside will your transformation deliver and what will it cost to achieve your objectives. But the ability of the business to be and remain competitive in an ever-changing global market is paramount. Your executives need to understand why transformation is necessary, the vision, your business objectives. Leaders must recognize how investing will deliver not just cost benefits over the long term but significant speed and competitive benefits to their business as well.

Work with your CFO to communicate the return on investment. While costly, transformation has a strong ROI— which means you need to qualitatively and quantitatively show how your investment will pay off. Leverage data to show how transformation translates into business outcomes. At Dell, we created a business case for digital transformation that illustrates both cost avoidance and business growth, in partnership with our CFO, to help our senior leaders understand the return on the investment we were asking them to make.

To track progress against the business case we identified leading and lagging metrics. Our metrics range from adoption of specific behaviors, such as test-driven development, to technology adoption, such as Pivotal Cloud Foundry. By adopting these behaviors and technology, we expect improvements in key operational performance indicators — time to deliver, uptime, user incidents, defects — that should lead to positive business outcomes like increased delivery speed, cost savings and improved customer experience. By quantifying the increase in our efficiency, we secured senior leader support for resources and budget.

Help the business realize that digital transformation is an imperative: you need to create a modern operating model. In today’s fast-paced digital world, organizations need to respond quickly to changes. IT must evolve from back-office players to a catalyst for delivering competitive advantage and delighting customers. Without a modern operating model, this is very difficult, if not impossible.

Case in Point: The Dell Digital Story

At Dell, we wanted IT team members to move from being order takers to partners working directly and iteratively with business leaders, not other just representatives from IT.

To do this, we are:

  • Pairing IT Portfolio Leaders with business owners to make day-to-day technology decisions. Direct relationships with our business partners and customers increase collaboration and enable continuous delivery.
  • Eliminating overlay organizations that sit between the business and IT. Instead, we are building a continuous engagement model. This is allowing our technology teams to take a product versus program approach — and because the business is involved in technology decisions and planning, we deliver better software the first time.
  • Shifting the way senior leaders think about IT. Take delivery approach, for example. In our old model, IT would receive the request for capabilities for the business and then deliver months maybe years later. In our new continuous delivery model, the business sees the progress made in software releases every day. We are also more responsive to customer feedback. So, we’ve not only shortened delivery times, but we are also delivering more value. That’s the conversation that’s going to resonate at the senior level.

Keep in mind, our challenges are similar to your challenges.


Are You Going to Dell Technologies World?

Join me at Dell Technologies World on Monday April 29th at 8:30 a.m. in the session The Dell Digital Way: A Streamlined People, Process & Technology Approach for Digital Transformation to hear more about our approach to digital transformation and how we are enabling AI and ML in our products, processes and services. You’ll also learn about our comprehensive portfolio of enabling technologies and services, our collaborations and partnerships within the broader AI ecosystem, as well as our investments in innovative, early-stage companies to further AI and ML innovation. Plus, you’ll see case studies of world-leading companies and organizations in multiple industries that document how AI is enabling them to deliver game- and life-changing innovations to themselves and their customers.

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Workforce Transformation through Agile Learning https://infocus.dellemc.com/tim_wright/workforce-transformation-through-agile-learning/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/tim_wright/workforce-transformation-through-agile-learning/#respond Mon, 22 Apr 2019 14:50:00 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=38287 Digital transformation occurs when an organization puts technology into the heart of its offerings to accelerate business and operations. It is happening and will continue to happen because the need is real, as evidenced by findings in the Digital Transformation Index (2016). Information gathered from 4,600 business leaders revealed 78% felt that transformation should be […]

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Digital transformation occurs when an organization puts technology into the heart of its offerings to accelerate business and operations. It is happening and will continue to happen because the need is real, as evidenced by findings in the Digital Transformation Index (2016). Information gathered from 4,600 business leaders revealed 78% felt that transformation should be more widespread throughout the organization.

The action is already underway. A high percentage of the companies represented in the Dell Transformation Index are investing in these digital transformation areas:

However, digital transformation alone will not guarantee the desired business and operations successes. Workforce transformation that prepares for, accepts, and applies the many digital elements is crucial. In fact, one of the top five barriers that 91% of the DTI businesses face is lack of in-house skills and expertise.

Source: Digital Transformation Index II, 2019

IT Roles Aligned for Emerging Technologies

From a skills perspective, the many aspects of “digital transformation” are clearly tangible in IT. As organizations rapidly move from siloed legacy infrastructure to dynamic, multi-cloud environments, the enterprise becomes digitally oriented and employee skills become more critical. The days of single-function roles such as storage or server admin are being eclipsed by roles that span emerging technologies such as AI/ML, IoT, Blockchain, and RPA. New roles are emerging that did not previously exist: multi-cloud operator, data engineer, Enterprise Architect and infrastructure security specialist among the most prominent.

IT professionals stand to benefit by evolving their skills for these new roles. A recent CompTIA study shows that finding workers with skills/experience in emerging areas – e.g. 59% for AI/ML and IoT, 55% for cybersecurity, 55% for app development, 53% data management and analysis – is a top hiring challenge reported by employers.

Organizational Support in Skill Development

Given that, it’s an ideal time for team members to enhance their skills to take advantage of the new opportunities for growth – and they’ll need their companies’ support to do so. Engagements with Dell’s customers have shown that skills transformation is an integral responsibility of both the individual and the organization. Individuals must develop the required skills to keep pace with changing technology; the organization must encourage this skills development by providing the learning solutions.

This post is specifically bi-focal. In addition to emphasizing the importance of transformation of the workforce, it also highlights continuous learning as a key success factor to driving real transformation.

Source: Digital Transformation Index II, 2019

A Learning Culture Complements Transformation

Let’s spell out the key benefits for transformation of the workforce and transformation by the workforce.

Clearly, digital transformation is taking place at an ever-increasing rate. Ideally, an organization witnesses zero gap between its digital transformation and its workforce transformation. Such perfection is not likely. Hence, effort should be made to increase the pace of workforce learning, skill-developing, and transforming. The closer that rate of change is to the rate of digital change, the more successful the transformation overall.

Another value to workforce transformation is its contribution to human asset management. The healthier any business’s attention to the value of its employees – its human asset – the stronger its workforce, more effective its operations, and greater its success. Investing in workforce transformation targets many of the elements of human asset management:

·         Recruitment ·         Onboarding
·         Retention ·         Development
·         Talent Management ·         Performance Management

 

A learning culture results from giving attention to workforce transformation as a factor of human asset management. The presence of a learning culture satisfies ambitious individuals looking for opportunities to learn and grow. It also supports ready access for those in need of knowledge and skills development resources. Finally, a learning culture is proven to create motivated, high-performing teams and organizations.

  • Deloitte (2016): Millennials view training and development as the most important job benefit (over flexible hours, cash bonuses, free healthcare, retirement funding, and vacation allowance).
  • Peter Senge (The Fifth Discipline, 1990): “The rate at which organizations learn may become the only sustainable source of competitive advantage.”
  • Jack Welch, former CEO at GE: “An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.”
  • Dell’s market research study shows that 94% of employees tend to remain at a company that invested in their career development.

The nature of the current workforce – four generations simultaneously included – and the pace of change that requires new or additional learning, promote specific and diverse movement from the traditional classroom training.

Variety in Learning Methods

Flexible, blended modes of content delivery are expected by the workforce. The volume of workload, the nature of assignments, and increasing comfort with digital information drive individuals to want training in a variety of modalities. These include instructor-led classroom, virtual instructor-led, on-line video and e-learning, to name a few. Offering the full composite of these several modalities benefits the organization and its learning culture.

Social learning, a specific type of learning that is increasing in importance and utilization exponentially, includes both social-media and on-job, peer-to-peer experiences. Dell’s Gen Z survey of 12,000 individuals revealed that 75% of them preferred learning from others on the job to learning online. That is despite – or perhaps due to – their being digital natives with extensive familiarity with online learning. As well, 72% expressed that social media can be a valuable workplace tool. The several types of social learning too easily lend themselves to casual, informal, spontaneous ways to toss out information. A cautious, controlled, well-orchestrated program of social learning opportunities will better suit any company.

Companies will succeed and fail based on their ability to translate data into insights at record speed. The work, innovation and investment to support that is happening now. –Michael Dell

Learning Architect: Adopt Programmatic Approach to Continuous Learning

Learning has become a 24/7 endeavor. Continuous availability of learning modules in any of several forms offers both economy of scale and user-friendly accessibility. Meanwhile, desire for on-the-spot learning in 1-3-minute mini-casts is increasing in time with the spread of digital transformation.

Real transformation involves the essential elements of digital transformation as well as the personal elements of workforce transformation. Effectively combining those two elements enables identification of skills gaps through a prescriptive assessment process. The findings help define a continuous learning plan that puts the organization and the individual on the road to transformation. This commitment and a true learning culture ensure that the transformation evolves successfully over time.


Are You Going to Dell Technologies World?

Join us at Dell Technologies World on Monday, April 29th at 4:30 p.m. in the session Workforce Transformation through Agile Learning where Jim Montgomery will share how Dell Technologies Education Services can help define a structured and continuous learning solution that enables students to redefine their knowledge and allow employers to feel confident they are building a team of trusted advisors that can deliver results.

 

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Three Years on Dell and EMC’s IT Integration Journey: Tales from the Largest Merger in Tech https://infocus.dellemc.com/jen_felch/three-years-on-dell-and-emcs-it-integration-journey-tales-from-the-largest-merger-in-tech/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/jen_felch/three-years-on-dell-and-emcs-it-integration-journey-tales-from-the-largest-merger-in-tech/#respond Fri, 19 Apr 2019 09:00:10 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=38235 This year marks three years since the Dell EMC integration began, the largest merger in tech to-date. As anyone would expect, it has truly been a remarkable journey. But beyond the press and excitement is the less glamorous, yet complex and intriguing story of the IT integration of two technology companies coming together. While the […]

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This year marks three years since the Dell EMC integration began, the largest merger in tech to-date. As anyone would expect, it has truly been a remarkable journey. But beyond the press and excitement is the less glamorous, yet complex and intriguing story of the IT integration of two technology companies coming together.

While the IT integration might not make for big headlines, there were big successes as well as major head-shaking moments. Today we are seeing the results of the integration strategy to both bring together many of our systems and processes and to keep a few separate. We’ve learned a lot on this journey and continue to break new ground on how to truly integrate two major enterprises. At Dell Technologies World we’ll share some our key lessons learned in the session “Tales from the Largest Merger in Tech.”

A Look at Dell and EMC at the Time of Integration

To put the size and scope of the integration into perspective, between Dell and EMC we had a customer base covering 98% of Fortune 500 companies with leadership in 13 Gartner Magic Quadrant categories; #1 position in 18 IDC markets including global enterprise systems, integrated systems, and PC monitors; and #3 in the global PC market; and 93% and 89% global customer satisfaction with EMC and Dell respectively.

From an IT perspective, we were bringing together thousands of IT employees, two sets of multinational workforces with different global footprints; different IT operating and delivery models; nearly 3,000 applications; very different eCommerce approaches; completely different system landscapes and network infrastructures; data centers at different levels of virtualization; and an array of employee laptops and nearly every variety of mobile device. We also had business partners coming together within their own functions, looking to IT to help pull things together from an application point of view as they too aligned their processes and data.

Telling the Story at Dell Technologies World

It’s been an exciting three years, and while many times things felt chaotic, the reality is that we made a lot of progress and leveraged the opportunity to begin our transformation journey within IT as a newly combined organization. We made great plans with talented people and an agile mindset. Then we adjusted the plans within our governance framework, as we learned through delivery. The flexibility to ride and implement changes as we learned is what helped us achieve some major successes.

In my session, I’ll be inviting our head of infrastructure integration, Jaynene Hapanowicz, to join me on stage as we share the true stories of successes and lessons learned. We’ll provide examples that range from defining the architecture and culture explicitly to establishing a governance structure and picking the right people for the integration team. And, not least of all, we’ll be talking about the impact of an integration on the daily routine of IT as it becomes one of the highest priorities for the organization.

Dell Digital Today

Today Dell Digital (previously Dell IT) – is a part of Dell Technologies’ digital transformation with innovative, secure, and compliant systems for ourselves and our customers. We work across Dell in a direct and simplified approach to quickly design, develop, iterate and deliver new products and solutions that enable our internal business partners. We call this the Dell Digital Way. One of my fellow leaders in the Dell Digital Office of the CIO, Greg Bowen, has written about the Dell Digital Way. I encourage everyone to read the blog to get a deeper understanding of what it takes from both a cultural and methodological perspective.

The Dell Digital Way is a cultural shift in how we partner with our business teams using a direct, simplified and streamlined approach to quickly design, develop, iterate and deliver new products and capabilities.

Dell Digital is not just keeping the lights on, we are drinking our own champagne (using our own products). We are benefited by using Dell Technologies products and solutions while transforming and delivering business value. Our IT landscape today includes 22 data centers, 140PB+ of storage, 74k virtual machines, 86% server virtualization, more than 2,500 applications, 70k+ mobile phones managed, and 172 ecosystems supported for approximately 100,000 team members and our partners and customers…and the list goes on.

We successfully managed the combining of the Dell and EMC IT organizations, and we still have some work to do as we’re in the middle of our own digital transformation. I’m excited to share our stories and with you at the conference and learn from your experiences.


Attending Dell Technologies World?

Jen Felch’s and Jaynene Hapanowicz’s session “Three Years on Dell & EMC’s IT Integration Journey: Tales from the Largest Merger in Tech” will be on Wednesday, May 1 from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. in the San Polo room 3403 in the Venetian hotel at Dell Technologies World in Las Vegas.

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How Your Cloud Journey Could Unfold with IaaS, CaaS & PaaS https://infocus.dellemc.com/chip_kalfaian/how-your-cloud-journey-could-unfold-with-iaas-caas-paas/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/chip_kalfaian/how-your-cloud-journey-could-unfold-with-iaas-caas-paas/#respond Wed, 17 Apr 2019 09:00:53 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=38183 Organizations around the globe understand the need to modernize their application portfolio. What many are struggling with, however, is how and where to begin. How does a large enterprise define, assess and begin the transformation of their applications? Should they leverage a modern cloud development platform and gateway to new app cloud placement? How do […]

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Organizations around the globe understand the need to modernize their application portfolio. What many are struggling with, however, is how and where to begin. How does a large enterprise define, assess and begin the transformation of their applications? Should they leverage a modern cloud development platform and gateway to new app cloud placement? How do they balance cost and risk?

Today’s modern enterprise will utilize a range of application deployment models from physical and work machines virtualized on private and public infrastructures, through containers where we abstract the operating system with the application, to PaaS platforms like Pivotal Cloud Foundry where we can develop real cloud-native applications. And then there are other more progressive approaches to modern application development to be considered like Function as a Service, serverless, and others.

The Modern Enterprise in 2022

Based on data that we at Dell Technologies collected from a portion of our Enterprise customer base, the clear majority of workloads in today’s modern enterprise are still running in a traditional fashion with the most prevalent model, of course, being in virtual machines. About 8% in public, private and hybrid clouds and only 2% containerized or cloud native.

This, however, is forecast to change, rapidly!

The Modern Enterprise 2022

By 2022, a strong shift is anticipated with the majority of applications moving to public, private or hybrid Infrastructure as a Service, significant growth in container consumption and cloud native development as well as other modern application development techniques.

So what does your platform model need to look like? Or more to the topic, what is your Multi-Platform strategy going to be?

It is more than likely that every service layer shown above will be represented.

Reducing IT Footprint

One of the biggest trends we’re seeing right now in the market is around data center consolidation and a drive to reduce IT footprint. One of the respective outcomes is a heavier push to the cloud – driving workloads to the cloud where it makes sense, looking to densify consumption, seeing what’s left, then shrinking the footprint of our new data center and reducing DC migration costs accordingly.

A logical off-shoot of this topic is emphasis on Software-as-a-Service or SaaS applications. Finding SaaS alternatives is very attractive to both IT and the business.

There are multiple benefits to SaaS but put simply, it gets you out of the software development and operations business and for many classes of applications, this makes sense. On the negative side, probably the biggest push back is Security.

Meanwhile utilizing Platform-as-a-Service or PaaS for modern application development is absolutely a game changer for customers looking to revolutionize their application development paradigm, deliver cloud native applications and digitally transform the business.

The biggest positive for PaaS is business alignment and on the flip side, the biggest negative is barrier to entry – PaaS adoption is about agility and DevOps and impacts every aspect of traditional IT. It’s a major paradigm shift that many companies simply are not prepared for.

Containerization is hot, very hot!

Containers are very much like a VM but include an abstraction of the OS eliminating the need that a VM has to carry the entire OS and Hypervisor. As such, containers tend to be orders of magnitude smaller and can spin up in a fraction of the time and resource than the VM. One concerning trade off is that each container carries a root password which can be troubling from a security standpoint.

Containers vs. VMs (Source SDxCentral)

And finally, we have Infrastructure-as-a-Service or IaaS, and Traditional Infrastructure – which would include co-lo facilities as well as managed services. According to the statistics we discussed earlier, this is where as much as 98% of applications and data live today – and if you believe the projections looking forward – it is also where 85% of your applications and data will live 4 years from now.

I’m sure that every one of your enterprises is using IaaS today. Whether that’s in a centralized controlled manner driven by IT or the result of an anxious business user with a credit card. IaaS represents great opportunity and great risk. We know that shifting from traditional infrastructure to cloud can represent cost savings as high as 70% or potentially cost millions of dollars per month in uncontrolled spend.

Traditional Infrastructure is of course here to stay except the very few of you that are interested in zero footprint.

Multi-platform Model

A multi-platform strategy is simply a stepping stone to a final list of targeted landing zones to be realized over some time horizon.

There are many options to be considered and in some cases the choice will be quite simple, while in others there will be no clear winner and final selection will be arbitrary.

So how do we go about building a multi-platform strategy?

Developing a multi-platform strategy is built on two major areas of consideration.

Defining a Multi-platform Model

 

First, the current portfolio and its demands. Portfolio Analysis initially gives us visibility into the demands that the current portfolio has on the future state multi-platform model and specific target landing zones. Once those landing zones are firm, we can continue analyzing the portfolio and, hopefully, become leaner as we progress and the reason why we recommend a sprint-based approach. Every customer situation is different, but we typically look to advance-profile on the order of 25% of the portfolio. This gives us a relatively high level of confidence that, if inventory selection was done right, we should have a good representation of the portfolio.

Second, the Business and IT agenda. This agenda really defines what IT needs to be in order to support the future state.

It’s a matter of getting to what’s critical today and in the foreseeable future. It requires a range of input from Business and IT stakeholders as well as representation from Application Development. Certainly, in a smaller enterprise this can be scaled back to a relatively small group, but in a large enterprise, this could involve dozens of stakeholders.

The kinds of information that need to be understood:

  • Cost including controlling spend, favoring OpEx over CapEx or for customers that are already over-extended in the cloud, perhaps a shift back to on-prem through repatriation, and a better balance between OpEx and CapEx.
  • Business demand and the appetite for digital transformation – some companies have already completed their digital transformation journey, others have begun on their journey, and many are yet to get started.
  • What digital transformation may bring especially in terms of the internet of things, big data and new devices deployed demanding a new approach to multi-tiered computing, will all influence the platform model and the multi-cloud model that will be its derivative.
  • Legal and regulatory changes that can have significant influence especially on data transmission and storage.
  • End-user computing.
  • The need for speed and finally…
  • Current Cloud footprint, cloud strategy and the cloudification of existing applications all must be considered.

Summary

With a detailed understanding of your current portfolio and the Business and IT Agenda, Dell Technologies can develop a platform strategy to support your application demands in the future and do it in a cost effective and efficient way. This multi-platform strategy will drive a multi-cloud strategy which then can be used as the basis for infrastructure and operating model transformations.


Are you going to Dell Technologies World?

Join us at Dell Technologies World on Monday, April 29th at 12:00 p.m. in the session Application Transformation: The AmerisourceBergen Journey To Cloud With IaaS, CaaS & PaaS where Brian Stingley, the Director of Cloud Architecture at AmerisourceBergen, a Fortune 50 company, will share their decisioning framework and process for application modernization as part of their cloud journey. This real world example demonstrates how a large enterprise can define, assess and begin the transformation of their applications, leveraging Pivotal as a modern cloud development platform and gateway to new app cloud placement, all while balancing cost and risk. At the conclusion, a panel of experts from AmerisourceBergen, Dell Technologies Consulting Services (including Chip Kalfaian) and Pivotal (including Prem Raghav), will answer your questions and provide insights into key lessons learned and critical success factors.

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Strategy for a Brave New Multi-Cloud World: Navigating the Public, Private, Hybrid Cloud Frontier https://infocus.dellemc.com/stephen-stack/strategy-for-a-brave-new-multi-cloud-world-navigating-the-public-private-hybrid-cloud-frontier/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/stephen-stack/strategy-for-a-brave-new-multi-cloud-world-navigating-the-public-private-hybrid-cloud-frontier/#respond Tue, 16 Apr 2019 09:00:36 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=38134 Leveraging multi-cloud architecture is essential for modern IT operations to deliver the development speed and infrastructure flexibility that today’s business demands. But navigating the multi-cloud world presents a unique set of challenges that require a thoughtful strategy to avoid getting mired in the many facets of this shifting frontier. Dell IT is in the midst […]

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Leveraging multi-cloud architecture is essential for modern IT operations to deliver the development speed and infrastructure flexibility that today’s business demands. But navigating the multi-cloud world presents a unique set of challenges that require a thoughtful strategy to avoid getting mired in the many facets of this shifting frontier.

Dell IT is in the midst of developing and implementing that strategy to allow us to seamlessly and securely manage a combination of private, public, and hybrid cloud resources.

As we are progress along our digital transformation journey, the insights we have gained thus far may help you navigate your way in the multi-cloud world.

Delivering in a New IT Landscape

To understand the need for this transformation, you need to look at how IT has evolved. Not long ago, delivering good technology for the business meant developing traditional applications with a strictly on-premise delivery model. We built a traditional three-tier application architecture – data base tier, middleware tier, and a web front end. We put all that on our physical data center infrastructure and that often took a long time to deploy and manage. Developers worked within this rigid model, with little flexibility to meet business demands and a low time to value.

Today, that approach has been totally eradicated with the rise of the multi-cloud ecosystem, the escalating pace of business demands and the changing role of developers in meeting those demands. The developer has become king and IT now needs to focus on unlocking the developer experience to bring value to the business as quickly as possible. That means giving developers what they want when they want it, leveraging the flexibility and agility of multiple clouds.

Tackling this new model of service delivery raises two fundamental questions: What does the strategy for multi-cloud look like and how do we transform ourselves in terms of people, process and technology to deliver it?

Defining our Multi-Cloud Strategy

For Dell IT, multi-cloud encompasses an on-prem cloud environment made up of our private cloud (software defined data center) and multiple public and managed cloud services being used by our applications and development teams depending on their preferences.

Creating a multi-cloud strategy and architecture includes several key capabilities, from foundational to value creation. For our foundation, we built security, governance and automation features on-prem that align with the public cloud to drive a frictionless developer experience while protecting company assets.

To harness value in the cloud, our developers needed to embrace a new style of development based on cloud-native principles. Cloud-native apps are built in smaller chunks of code—or micro services— rather than traditional monolithic blocks. Micro services can be deployed, tested and changed quickly. The cloud-native approach enhances IT’s ability to operate and manage software across private and public cloud environments. Dell IT uses Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF) a turnkey platform for cloud native applications. One example use case of this is ‘How Dell is Evolving Online Buyer Experience with PCF and Pivotal Labs Methodology.

A major part of our multi-cloud strategy has been reviewing hundreds of our traditional apps to determine which should be rewritten in PCF and be migrated to the cloud, retained in their current form, retired or re-platformed.

At the same time, we are two years into a multi-year modernization journey powered by VMware Software-Defined Data Center architecture – a core component of our multi-cloud strategy. Results so far include enabling automation, rapid provisioning of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), enabled Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) infrastructure, and deployment of some cloud-native apps on-prem and on public clouds.

Creating a Single Pane of Glass for Multi-Cloud

As we continue to migrate apps to multiple clouds, a growing challenge is to manage and understand how company assets are being deployed, used or exploited. We are in the process of creating a central portal to view and manage our multi-cloud environment—an agnostic single pane of glass into the various clouds.

Thus far, we have developed the preliminary infrastructure for our Cloud Hub architecture, which aims to abstract the management and operation of multiple clouds from the clouds themselves. The hub will provide automated services to developers and avoid manual enablement of individual discrete clouds. Instead, our operations and engineering teams will manage multiple clouds through a single, central exchange.

Consumers will use three methods to access this new platform:

  1. Web-based self-service for developers or engineering management and operations.
  2. Application Programming Interface (API) driven consumption.
  3. Engineering management and operations access so they can see what we are doing, what we’ve got for resources, advanced troubleshooting, etc.

We are continuing to shape this abstraction layer using multiple technologies, including VMware vRealize Operations, vRealize Automation and others from the vRealize Suite.

Cloud Skills are Job #One

Certainly, standardizing on the right technology is important to successfully transition to multi-cloud, however, transitioning your IT staff from legacy to having modern— multi-cloud skills is even more important to your cloud strategy success.

Team members need to understand the diversity of capabilities on each cloud that you use. In our case, engineering and operations need to enhance and enrich their skills to help them manage, engineer and architect for multiple different clouds as well as the abstraction layer. The complexity is enormous. The need for new skills stretches across all of our infrastructure, engineering, operations and security teams. Leaders also need to understand new cloud organizational models, thinking about a future goal of consolidating siloed and discrete teams into balanced or product driven teams.

Concepts like automation and robotics, which are counter to the manual, methodical operations IT is used to, are central to creating business value in a multi-cloud world. Overall, team members need to shift to building infrastructure that is more cloud-like—i.e. automated, elastic, on-demand, multi-tenant, scalable, self-healing and measurable.

While our engineers have trained for a number of years on cloud skills, we launched a broader education effort a year ago and are now accelerating our training campaign.

Lessons Learned for Multi-Cloud Strategy

As you navigate the multi-cloud world, here are some priorities you should consider:

  1. Define your business outcomes. What is it you are trying to achieve with this multi-cloud strategy? For us – we are trying to bring products to market faster and better through an enhanced developer experience.
  2. Get your stakeholders (IT and business leaders) engaged early to understand your multi-cloud strategy goals and benefits.
  3. Skills and training. From senior leaders to operations and support staff, prepare your people on digital transformation and multi-cloud strategy because they are the ones that are going to get you there. Technology alone isn’t enough.
  4. Leverage existing investment in on-prem data center infrastructure but optimize and automate to add significantly greater business value.
  5. Develop a hybrid multi-cloud strategy.

Are You Going to Dell Technologies World?

Stephen Stack and Ujjwal Rajbhandari will be featured in a Dell Technologies World session on Dell IT: Realizing Our Vision Of A Frictionless Multi-Cloud Architecture on Tuesday, Apr 30, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM, Thursday, May 2, 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM.

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The Death of the Data Center Is Greatly Exaggerated https://infocus.dellemc.com/tedstreck/the-death-of-the-data-center-is-greatly-exaggerated/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/tedstreck/the-death-of-the-data-center-is-greatly-exaggerated/#respond Mon, 15 Apr 2019 09:00:50 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=37899 Every year… check that, it’s almost every day we hear something that says it will be the next best thing. Huge campaigns are created and flashy ads and commercials tout how it will eliminate the need for x or y. Now I could be talking about IT or the auto industry or any number of […]

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Every year… check that, it’s almost every day we hear something that says it will be the next best thing. Huge campaigns are created and flashy ads and commercials tout how it will eliminate the need for x or y. Now I could be talking about IT or the auto industry or any number of other industries. But for this blog, I will be using auto industry analogies to discuss the data center and the requirements for private enterprise data center ownership for the foreseeable future.

You may say, just one second there old timer, but bear with me. Even in Texas and Colorado where I split my time, ranchers still use horses when the automotive and ATV industry cannot fill the need. And much the same, we still have legacy mainframe, Unix and Windows, all which were supposed to have been end of life by the latest and greatest at some point in the last 20 years.

Zettabytes of Data Traffic

Now I am not saying there will not be a change in how we do business, but what I am saying is that the complex nature of the data center as we know it is going to continually increase, as digital business growth pumps more data through enterprise systems. And that makes for some interesting traffic on the information highway.

First, let’s explore this by examining some recent research. A data center study by AFCOM in 2016 had some interesting statistics:

  • Annual global IP traffic will reach 3.3 zettabytes by 2021
  • Global IP traffic will increase nearly threefold over the next five years

You will find several other vendors out there who have predicted roughly the same or are using this same information. It’s true, most likely, and another thing that is predicted is the majority of that traffic will be generated by non-wired devices.

Enterprise Data Centers Becoming a Foundation for Many Cloud Services

We know non-wired devices will comprise most of the traffic just by looking at the statistics on social media accounts or the number of people staring at their smartphones. It’s tempting to think that with all this power in our pockets, is there still a need for back-end data systems?

At first glance, you could almost deduce that there is good reason to support the claim that data centers will go away, but no, it is just the opposite. Eventually all that information pumped to the devices has to be stored and processed somewhere. Your smartphone just doesn’t have that capacity… yet. Just like my local grocer can’t supply all its needs on its own, nor the local gas station; large truck loads of supplies arrive daily. Yes, there are local trucks and individual local providers but the analogy here is it takes a lot of different contributors and a huge, largely unseen supply chain to provide the whole experience.

How do I know this?

When there is an outage on Amazon, Facebook, your company’s web portal—you pick the medium—it doesn’t get blamed on the device in your hand. It was a data center, or component of, that failed somewhere.

Enterprise Data Center Investments on the Rise

Now you might say, yes, but with the rise of these public cloud providers, aren’t they the ones who are providing the back-end data centers instead of enterprise data centers?

Well, let’s look at a few more statistics from that AFCOM study:

  • 58% of the respondents owned between 2 and 9 data centers
  • 19% owned more than 10
  • Respondents also stated that roughly 5.3 of their data centers will be renovated
  • The 3-year forecast showed that they plan to increase number of data centers

This data suggests that enterprises are continuing to invest in their data centers and even increase them, instead of reducing them.

These are not small data centers either, with the study showing that 48% of respondents said they are between 5k and 50k square feet, and 16% said they were between 100k and 500k square feet. These same respondents were made up of entities who had their own facilities, used colocation data center providers and private and public cloud.

Private Cloud Keeps Growing

Let’s remember that private cloud is still in the enterprise data center. IDC predicts that private clouds will keep growing. While some of this growth comes as traditional application environments and are superseded by internal private clouds, these clouds also will support many new digital business applications.

Additionally, some workloads are being re-patriated from public to private clouds. How big is this trend? One analyst firm estimates that nearly 50% of all entities who have moved workloads to public clouds have made efforts to move workloads back to their enterprise data centers due to cost, security or latency.

Diverse Workloads are Here to Stay

Another twist to this plot is that some cloud providers, notably Amazon and Microsoft, have announced on-premises public cloud, which will increase capacity requirements of enterprise data centers. Even the public cloud providers find benefits from locating in enterprise data centers.

It’s hard to escape the conclusion that enterprise data centers will be around for a long time.  However, they will have a broader and more diverse set of workloads, including private and public clouds, as well as traditional systems.

To correlate the longevity of the enterprise data center to our automotive analogy, some entities have their own car, some rent, and some use other transport and ride-hailing services, such as Uber. Some have pickup trucks, and some have semis (owned or leased). However, this growing diversity in transport vehicles and consumption options has not resulted in fewer vehicles being sold nor in less traffic and congestion. There were some optimistic assumptions that the rapid rise of ride-hailing services would mean that private car ownership would decline or perhaps disappear altogether, but this hasn’t happened yet, even in some of the most tech-savvy and traffic-dense cities with a range of transport options.

Defying earlier predictions, Harvard Square continues to see growth in the number of cars despite 6 subway stations, and several lines and bike lanes. (Photo credit: Juliana DiLuca Photography)

A recent Boston Globe article cites the continued growth in automobiles in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the home of Harvard and MIT, defying earlier predictions, as the city continues to grow, despite having 6 subway stations, many bus lines and bike lanes. Interestingly, this growth in Cambridge is largely due to technology innovation in such industries as biotech and software. The point here is that just as no single transport model has emerged, neither will a single computing model by a panacea for IT organizations. Diverse enterprise data centers will increasingly continue to play a key role in multi-cloud strategies for most IT organizations.

Perhaps a better way to look at this is to think less about the physical location (enterprise data centers vs. public cloud) and more about how workloads are structured and consumed (physical or virtual assets tied to particular applications vs. public or private cloud services shared across multiple applications). I’ll explore this more in another, upcoming blog.

Is Data Center Investment Worth it?

With all the cloud talk, you might think that would mean a decline in data center investment. On the contrary, from a facilities standpoint, there’s a lot of new investment in data centers. According to a study by real estate firm CBRE, which was focused on tracking the investments of the actual buildings and facilities, 2017 was a banner year for US data center investments, with nearly $18.2 billion being spent. In most cases, the life span of a data center is typically 10 years at the top end.

A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Dell Technologies, focused on the data center infrastructure itself, analyzed how long it takes for the investments to pay off. Forrester concludes that the payback period of 3.5 years and benefits seen at the 5-year mark are worth the investment.

This still gives us a few years to watch this ever increasingly complex organism mature into what it started as many years ago, when the web exploded, and smart devices flooded the market. By the way, one of the reasons cited for this explosion in growth was the requirement to store data for self-driving cars.

Summary: The Data Center Isn’t Dead, it’s Becoming Repurposed and More Powerful

Will we continue to make advances in the data center space? Absolutely. Will that landscape change? Absolutely. Just like in the automotive space. But just like in the automotive space, new methods and technologies get added, but the base still stays. And so, it will be with data centers. After all, there are, according to the US government, nearly 3 million data centers in the US alone, so transitioning away from them would require a massive shift that will take years.

By any reckoning, enterprise data centers are here to stay. As Mark Twain famously quipped, reports of his death have been greatly exaggerated. So, treat reports of the death of the data center with similar caution.

To learn more about our perspectives on Data Center services and how we address these challenges, including whitepapers, descriptions of our tools and services, visit our website here.

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Insights into Integrating Cloud Ops, IT Ops and AppDev https://infocus.dellemc.com/tedstreck/insights-into-integrating-cloud-ops-it-ops-and-appdev/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/tedstreck/insights-into-integrating-cloud-ops-it-ops-and-appdev/#respond Fri, 12 Apr 2019 09:00:46 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=38099 It’s like a DVD stuck on replay. For years we have existed in an environment where the IT landscape is constantly evolving, but somehow the theme stays the same. Every year, sometimes more frequently, new technologies and new demands are added to the already existing overtaxed and crowded IT environments. With each new addition, IT […]

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It’s like a DVD stuck on replay. For years we have existed in an environment where the IT landscape is constantly evolving, but somehow the theme stays the same. Every year, sometimes more frequently, new technologies and new demands are added to the already existing overtaxed and crowded IT environments.

With each new addition, IT and business teams around the world are being asked to address emerging technologies. Some of these asks are converged environments, infrastructure services, SaaS solutions, CaaS/PaaS platforms, infrastructure as code, APIs, Office 365, on-prem, off-prem and more. End users are demanding services faster than ever before in the most complex environment to date. Some of the technologies are retired or re-platformed, but not all. Day to day business must continue running.

How can you effectively manage it all?

With a top-down service-based approach to consuming cloud services. There may have been a time when it seemed that the environment was well-managed, easier to provision, and not in a high state of flux. One may well wonder if they can ever get back to that, and the answer is yes, but it will take time, patience, and a well thought out and documented plan. Although we may not remember it, we had to apply thought and change in those times when it seemed more manageable.

Re-engineer IT

If one is to learn from history, they should remember that they started by developing new teams to address areas that were new or had matured to a new level of function.

Those wishing to change could start with a cloud and IT infrastructure operations team. This team would, in collaboration with the business’ development teams, focus on configuring, upgrading, scaling, and operating in the infrastructure. They would design, manage, maintain and support the cloud environment. And they would build or document and expose infrastructure APIs.

But does that mean we can jump right in and start from there?

Certainly not. We will need to make sure that the connection between legacy and the new or future environment is well understood and documented. The move to cloud has been a long journey (over 10 years now). The reason is that in general those who moved or tried to move to the cloud have either made too broad of assumptions or did not fully understand the environments of the workloads being moved. Since they have already decided that configuration will be a part of the new cloud and infrastructure team, they need to make sure they understand the current configuration. This gives them the insight needed to upgrade the current environment or whether its current configuration will be valid in the cloud environment.

Additionally, will the configuration scale to the levels needed? Or is it already too large and need to be adjusted to be more efficient and cost effective?

If it’s a public cloud this is important because cost will be a major consideration. If its private, the teams will want to make sure they are using those resources better than in the previous environment.

Managing the New Environment

The management of the new environment and its capabilities will be governed by whether it is a public or private cloud environment. It will entail much more thought and process creation in the private cloud world for these areas. This is because there is much more control on the clients’ part in a private cloud world. What this does point out is that a good deal of thought needs to be put toward understanding what is needed in the way of insight into public cloud providers and how those contracts are managed.

Once an infrastructure is in place and could start to support the services required, the provisioning aspects and development management processes must be defined. Especially around the APIs the resources will be utilizing. This is often one of the most difficult and time-consuming areas of transformation. The number and different locations/owners of those API’s can become a full-time job if they are not addressed early in the re-engineering process.

New teams for this environment will need to focus on application development for (PaaS/CaaS) platforms. This team would focus on same elements of configuration, upgrades, scaling and operations but for the applications platform. The team would also be responsible for building and exposing APIs that support software development needs as discussed earlier. Like the cloud and IT infrastructure group the same considerations will need to be in place as it relates to understanding and documenting the current environment, to define and document a more efficient and responsive XaaS environment.

Shared Operations

For other operations, including service management and automation, they naturally become shared responsibilities that work well together if the infrastructure groups as well as the application development team align early and build a common plan for configuration, management, maintenance, etc. The synergies gained by teaming early will continue to pay off as they mature in their transformation and pursuit of the next generation of technologies and services.


Attending Dell Technologies World?

Join us at Dell Technologies World on Tuesday May April 30th at 12:00 pm in the session “Insights into Integrating Cloud Ops, IT Ops and AppDev” to walk through three scenarios and learn about new processes, new roles, and new ways of working that break down silos and integrate Cloud/IT operations, development platform operations, service management and application development.

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How 5G Relates to SDN and NFV Technologies – Part III: Architecture (Continued) https://infocus.dellemc.com/javier_guillermo/how-5g-relates-to-sdn-and-nfv-technologies-part-iii-architecture-continued/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/javier_guillermo/how-5g-relates-to-sdn-and-nfv-technologies-part-iii-architecture-continued/#respond Thu, 11 Apr 2019 09:00:12 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=37993 In the previous blog, we talked about how SDN and NFV will speed up the roll out of 5G and introduced the concept of network slicing. So, let’s get back to this revolutionary subject and especially the supporting use cases, for what we discussed in Part II would amount to only theory without them. 5G […]

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In the previous blog, we talked about how SDN and NFV will speed up the roll out of 5G and introduced the concept of network slicing. So, let’s get back to this revolutionary subject and especially the supporting use cases, for what we discussed in Part II would amount to only theory without them.

5G Use Cases

According to most industry experts and stakeholders, all 5G use cases that will be enabled through network slicing and network virtualization, will be based on the three primary use case categories:

  1. Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB): eMBB provides higher bandwidth and higher speeds for everything from streaming in 4K definition to handheld devices and infotainment systems to critical real time platforms, smart cities and to fleet management telematics for safety and diagnostics.
  2. Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communication (uRLLC): uRLLC supports real-time, mission-critical communications such as autonomous driving, industrial robotics and emergency disaster response and location services. We are talking response times smaller than 1 millisecond! Think of what kind disasters could occur with self-driving vehicles driving over 60 miles an hour.
  3. Massive Internet of Things (mIoT): InFocus has many great posts that cover IoT in detail so I won’t cover the subject here. When we talk about MIoT, we are talking about the massive implementation of IoT. MIoT serves billions of low-cost, long-range, ultra-energy efficient connected devices across remote locations, as well as cloud applications not requiring frequent or real time communication.

Source: Qorvo ITU-R IMT 2020 Requirements

5G NR: Faster, More Responsive

Another important section we need to cover for the architecture is the 5G New Radio (NR).

Why am I bringing it up?

Because we have been focused solely on the network core components but we can’t have a fully 5G functioning system without the radio part, which also brings plenty of innovations.

New Radio is the global standard for a unified, more capable 5G wireless air interface. It will deliver significantly faster and more responsive mobile broadband experiences and extend mobile technology to connect and redefine a multitude of new industries.

What are the key cornerstones of the New Radio?

  • New radio spectrum: The introduction of 5G will accelerate this trend with many more applications being accommodated by the technology. Whilst improvements in spectrum efficiency will be made, these will not be able to accommodate the huge increases in usage, so more spectrum is needed on new frequencies.

5G Spectrum: Strategies to Maximize All Bands (Source: Ericsson)

  • Unified design across frequencies: With the 5G New Radio utilizing a wide variety of frequencies, possibly 3.4 to 3.6 GHz below 6GHz and then 24.25 to 27.5 GHz, 27.5 to 29.5 GHz, 37 GHz, 39 GHz and 57 to 71 GHz range as possibilities for the mmWave radio. It is important to have a common interface across these frequencies. OFDM is used in Wi-Fi, DSL internet access, 4G wireless communications, and digital television and radio broadcast services.
  • Optimized OFDM: Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) is a method of digital signal modulation in which a single data stream is split across several separate narrowband channels at different frequencies to reduce interference and crosstalk.

Sample Source OFDM Source 3GPP

  • Beamforming: Beamforming is a technology that has become a reality in recent years and it offers to provide some significant advantages to 5G. Beamforming enables the beam from the base station to be directed towards the mobile. In this way the optimum signal can be transmitted to the mobile and received from it, whilst also cutting interference to other mobiles. The move to higher frequencies allows for much smaller antennas and the possibility of programmable high directivity levels.
  • MIMO: MIMO, multiple input multiple output, has been employed in many wireless systems from Wi-Fi to the current 4G cellular system and it provides some significant improvements.
  • MU-MIMO: The downlink significantly improves the capacity of the gNB antennas. It scales with the minimum of the number of gNB antennas and the sum of the number of user devices multiplied by the number of antennas per UE device. This means that using 5G MU-MIMO the system can achieve capacity gains using gNB antenna arrays and much simpler UE devices.
  • Spectrum sharing techniques: Much of the radio spectrum, although allocated, is not used in an efficient manner. One of the techniques being proposed is for spectrum sharing.
  • Small cell: A small cell network is a group of low power transmitting base stations which uses millimeter waves to enhance the overall network capacity. The 5G small cell network operates by coordinating a group of small cells to share the load and reduce the difficulties of physical obstructions which become more important at millimeter waves.

Summary

I hope this 3-part blog series helped you understand the main architecture concepts and technologies that enable 5G and how they are tied to SDN and NFV. Within a few years, 5G is going to change the lives of pretty much everyone on this earth.

In case you missed Parts I and II of the series, you can find them here:

How 5G Relates to SDN and NFV Technologies – Part I: Introduction and History

How 5G Relates to SDN and NFV Technologies – Part II: Architecture


Are You Going to Dell Technologies World?

Join myself and Mahesh Seshadri on Tuesday, April 30th at 12:00 p.m. in Realizing the Promise of 5G, Are You ‘Foundation-ready for the Future?'” where we’ll discuss the new era of 5G computing which brings together several key industry trends including software-defined everything, Cloud Native, DevOps, Artificial Intelligence, etc. 5G has the promise to completely transform industries with a new wave of services including mobile broadband services, connecting cars, drones, smart retail, industrial robots and much more. Come and learn how to design your infrastructure to build the foundations of your 5G future.

Sources

Nokia

Techtarget

Blog YTD2525

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How to Free Up Your IT Talent to Drive Innovation and Transformation https://infocus.dellemc.com/doug_schmitt/how-to-free-up-your-it-talent-to-drive-innovation-and-transformation/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/doug_schmitt/how-to-free-up-your-it-talent-to-drive-innovation-and-transformation/#respond Wed, 10 Apr 2019 09:00:34 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=38090 Study shows services free IT staff to focus on transformation You’ve heard it before: Businesses today must transform if they’re going to survive. But that doesn’t make it any less true. It’s why our services organization is in the midst of its own digital transformation―to make sure we’re ready and able to support our customers […]

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Study shows services free IT staff to focus on transformation

You’ve heard it before: Businesses today must transform if they’re going to survive. But that doesn’t make it any less true. It’s why our services organization is in the midst of its own digital transformation―to make sure we’re ready and able to support our customers in their transformations.

There’s no question that the expert deployment and support services we provide can help accelerate time-to-value on new technology investments and maximize productivity for IT and end users. But what role might these core services play in helping an organization to achieve their digital transformation?

Innovating with Services

Innovation Leaders Need IT Services To Drive Transformative Outcomes” – A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper

We commissioned Forrester Consulting to take a closer look at how IT decision makers are using deployment and support services to drive their transformative outcomes.

Their study, “Innovation Leaders Need IT Services To Drive Transformative Outcomes” based on a survey of close to 700 IT decision makers worldwide, found that accelerating transformation was indeed a major reason for engaging outside experts for support and deployment services.

For example, 70% of respondents cited “faster deployment time” and 63% cited “less risk” as reasons for using deployment services, but an even greater percentage―80%―said the services provided “more time for innovation.” And support was no different, with 77% of respondents saying that using support services “allowed their IT staff more time for innovation.”

Digital Transformation is a Business Imperative

The need to shift IT focus from day-to-day maintenance to innovation is not news to IT leaders. But the urgency to transform is becoming more acute. Digital transformation is a mandatory business imperative and IT is at the center of a company’s planning and execution. When it comes to transformation, it’s no longer a question of “if?” and “why?”, but “when?” and “how?”

To track the digital transformation trend, Dell Technologies, in collaboration with Intel and Vanson Bourne, recently surveyed 4,600 business leaders across 40+ countries. The results, published in the Dell Technologies Digital Transformation Index II (DT Index II), found 91% reported they were facing major hurdles in moving their digital transformation forward, and almost 1 in 3 feared their business will be left behind.

Overcoming Barriers to Transformation

Both the DT Index II and the Forrester study identified the lack of IT resources and lack of in-house expertise as top barriers to transformation. In fact, 62% of respondents in the Forrester study said they lacked the skills to realize the full potential of technology purchases.

Expert deployment and support delivered by IT service providers help address both of these issues directly by effectively extending the internal IT team’s resources and skill sets, or in the case of some services, literally becoming integrated members of the team.

In the Forrester study, those respondents that use external deployment and support services reported being able to shift 36% of their IT staff’s time to innovation or more strategic initiatives by partnering with an IT service provider for technology deployment and support.

That’s the type of customer impact that makes what we do so gratifying.

Mapping Services to Customer Needs to Help Make Transformation Real

We are continually asking customers how we can better help them to achieve their transformation initiatives. Their answers help us to evolve and refine our portfolio of end-to-end services―from strategic consulting, deployment, and education―to ongoing support and managed services.

When it comes to deployment, IT departments tell us that they want to be able to lean on us for the specific technical expertise and resources they need―when they need it.

For example, a customer might want help with basic hardware installation; or filling gaps in their technical knowledge; or taking care of planning, logistics, and complex hardware and software integration across a global environment.

If so, we’re ready today with flexible ProDeploy and Residency Services that map to these needs.

As for support, customers tell us they want us to continue to reduce their need for it―and, when necessary to reduce their need to be actively involved in it.  So we’re leveraging advances in data science, such as AI, machine learning, and deep learning, to architect ever-more proactive, predictive and data-driven support. (Today we’re the only technology vendor to offer consistent, proactive, and predictive support―from individual PCs to the data center with our ProSupport services.)

Are You Making the Most of Your People?

In addition to helping free internal resources to drive transformative outcomes, ever-evolving deployment and support services give IT organizations new opportunities to consider the strategic values they want their staff to bring to the business.

For example, does it really make sense to use internal IT resources for one-time technology deployment and day-to-day support tasks? Tasks that can be performed effectively and efficiently by an external IT service provider with deep expertise and large economies-of-scale?

Or does the real value of an internal IT organization come from its unique combination of business, technical, and institutional knowledge?

Our job is to become the trusted partner that frees your talent to go further, faster, to drive the innovation and digital transformation your business needs.


Attending Dell Technologies World?

Join us at Dell Technologies World on Tuesday May April 30th at 8:30 or Thursday May 2nd at 1pm in the session Your Modern Data Center: Meeting The Real Staffing Challenges Of Transformation to understand the concerns facing IT staffs during data center modernization and explore solutions and results found by those undergoing that transformation. Dell EMC experts share insights and results from IT global IT managers and provide tips for a smoother experience.


For more information:

Innovation Leaders Need IT Services To Drive Transformative Outcomes, a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Dell EMC

Dell Technologies Digital Transformation Index II

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Are You Ready to Accelerate Your Digital Future? Learn how with Real Experts (and Real Solutions) – to Drive Real Results. https://infocus.dellemc.com/barbara_robidoux/are-you-ready-to-accelerate-your-digital-future-learn-how-with-real-experts-and-real-solutions-to-drive-real-results/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/barbara_robidoux/are-you-ready-to-accelerate-your-digital-future-learn-how-with-real-experts-and-real-solutions-to-drive-real-results/#respond Wed, 10 Apr 2019 09:00:13 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=38056 Dell Technologies World, our premier technology conference, is designed to educate, inspire, and connect our communities of customers, partners, influencers and technologists, to help lay the foundation of our digital future. It is an ideal opportunity to see, touch and discover products, solutions and services to accelerate transformation – and to learn, discuss and debate […]

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Dell Technologies World, our premier technology conference, is designed to educate, inspire, and connect our communities of customers, partners, influencers and technologists, to help lay the foundation of our digital future. It is an ideal opportunity to see, touch and discover products, solutions and services to accelerate transformation – and to learn, discuss and debate with experts who have been leading the charge.

This year’s event theme is “Real Transformation” – something we do every day in Services. During the event more than thirty of our Services and Dell Digital experts will be leading technology, IT leadership and emerging trend discussions on a variety of topics designed to help customers with their IT, Workforce, Application and Security transformations.

It’s all happening in Las Vegas, April 29th-May 2nd at Dell Technologies World. Here’s some of our experts and the can’t miss topics they’ll be covering:


Make the Most Out of Your VxRail Investment

Norman Dee – Global Discipline Lead: Operating Model Enablement, Dell Technologies Consulting Services

The Dell Digital Way: A Streamlined People, Process & Technology Approach for Digital Transformation

Greg Bowen – Senior Vice President and CTO, Dell Digital’s Office of the CIO

Realizing The Promise Of 5G: Are You “Foundation Ready For The Future”?

Javier Guillermo – Principal Consultant, Dell Technologies Consulting Services and Mahesh Seshadri – Senior Distinguished Engineer, Dell Technologies Consulting Services

Financial Justification of the Move to Multi-Cloud

Norman Dee – Global Discipline Lead: Operating Model Enablement, Dell Technologies Consulting Services

Dell IT: The Latest Step On Our Software-Defined Journey: Implementing SD-WAN By VMware VeloCloud

Jason Chan – Senior Director, Global Network Services, Dell Digital

Get Your Strategy & Transformation Programs On Track

Ted Streck – Global Data Center Discipline Lead, Dell Technologies Consulting Services

10-Lessons Learned In Applying Pivotal Approach To Dell.com Next-gen E-Commerce Platform and Evolving Customer Engagement At Dell.com 

Harsh Acharya – Vice President, Buyer Experience, Dell Digital

Insights into Integrating Cloud Ops, IT Ops and AppDev 

Ted Streck – Global Data Center Discipline Lead, Dell Technologies Consulting Services

Your Modern Data Center: Meeting The Real Staffing Challenges Of Transformation 

David Mensing – Director of Product Management, Support and Deployment Services

Connected Technology Is Healthy Technology & Results In Actionable Insights 

Michael Shepherd – Lead AI Research Technologist, Dell EMC Support & Deployment Services

Behind The Curtain: Transforming The Global Command Center 

Doug Driskill – Vice President, Dell EMC Support & Deployment Services

Dell IT: Realizing Our Vision of a Frictionless Multi-Cloud Architecture 

Stephen Stack – Director of Enterprise Architecture, Dell Digital

Application Transformation: The AmerisourceBergen Journey To Cloud With IaaS, CaaS & PaaS 

Chip Kalfaian – Global Discipline Lead – Application Profiling, Dell Technologies Consulting Services and Brian Stingley, the Director of Cloud Architecture at AmerisourceBergen

Three Years on Dell and EMC’s IT Integration Journey: Tales from the Largest Merger in Tech 

Jen Felch – Senior Vice President, Dell Digital’s Office of the CIO and Jaynene Hapanowicz- Senior Vice President, IT Infrastructure, Dell Digital

Workforce Transformation through Agile Learning 

Tim Wright – Consultant, Workforce Transformation, Dell EMC Education Services

Mitigating Migration Complexities with Mission-critical Experience 

Jackie Avery – Senior Solution Engineer, Virtustream

Paving the Way to Digital Transformation with Senior Support and Sponsorship [Coming Soon]

Greg Bowen – Senior Vice President and CTO, Dell Digital’s Office of the CIO

Dell IT: Transforming the Technology Experience of our 100,000 Strong Workforce [Coming soon]

Pat Quigley – Vice President, Team Member Experience, Dell Digital

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