InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services https://infocus.dellemc.com DELL EMC Global Services Blog Wed, 20 Feb 2019 20:46:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 How to Create a Visual Transformation Plan – the AS-IS/TO-BE Methodology https://infocus.dellemc.com/denise_partlow/visual-digital-transformation-canvas-cracked-the-code/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/denise_partlow/visual-digital-transformation-canvas-cracked-the-code/#respond Tue, 19 Feb 2019 11:30:10 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=37680 Transformation can be an overused buzzword. However, if we define it as executing a complex cross-functional program with both business and IT stakeholders, it becomes more concrete. But it doesn’t get any easier. The hardest part of any transformation is getting stakeholders aligned to agree on “what good looks like” once the change is complete. […]

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Transformation can be an overused buzzword. However, if we define it as executing a complex cross-functional program with both business and IT stakeholders, it becomes more concrete.

But it doesn’t get any easier. The hardest part of any transformation is getting stakeholders aligned to agree on “what good looks like” once the change is complete.

At Dell Technologies, we’ve “cracked the code” to helping customers achieve transformation. We’ve recently introduced new ProConsult Advisory services. These services help customers gain consensus across silo’d stakeholders. They leverage our experience of “what good looks like” and create actionable outcomes that customers can begin executing immediately. The services are available in three different levels – Base, Core and Plus. The difference between them is the depth of analysis that we do and the format of the deliverable.

We use the same approach, our AS-IS/TO-BE methodology, for all the ProConsult Advisory services. It’s a globally consistent methodology that applies across any transformation area – multi-cloud, business resiliency, end user computing, applications, etc. Whatever it is, we provide a consistent delivery experience with uniform deliverables.

Because pictures are more impactful than words, all of the deliverables are visual representations. We’re not producing a 100-page document that will just sit on the shelf. We’re providing something that can hang on a wall, be used to easily communicate a transformation strategy, and referred back to for tracking progress.

  • ProConsult Advisory Base is a one day workshop that produces an executive summary that has best practices and transformation examples based on industry standards and data.
  • ProConsult Advisory Core is a 3-week engagement where we create a deeper understanding of the transformation issues. The deliverable is an executive vision map that has a general plan and technology vision based on high-level customer data. This service is good for less complex environments.
  • ProConsult Advisory Plus is a 6-week engagement, and its deliverable is what we call the transformation canvas. It’s a detailed, more extensive analysis that’s good for more complex environments.

Figure 1 shows ProConsult deliverables from all three engagements.

The AS-IS/TO-BE Methodology – Building the AS-IS

Let’s take a closer look at the methodology using the “Plus” deliverable. We start with a Discovery Phase. We interview stakeholders and review existing documentation. We look at things like IT architecture, the technical environment, projects that are in process, business drivers, etc. We look at both technical and business requirements. What we do is create the AS-IS state as shown in Figure 2. This is the current view of all the elements of the environment that are relevant to our analysis.

Figure 2. Sample ProConsult AS-IS Section

In the Vision and Principles sections shown in Figure 3, we document existing vision and goals. Examples here might be to enhance the customer experience, reduce time to market, or monetize data assets. We also develop Guiding Principles. These Guiding Principles are key drivers for developing the TO-BE state. Some examples might be: automate everything, buy vs. build, or meet regulatory and compliance standards.

Figure 3. Sample ProConsult Strategic Vision and Guiding Principles

As we work on all these areas we’ll find out what the challenges are, what needs to be improved in the future state, and we document these in a detailed issues list.

We then build out a draft of the AS-IS, Strategic Vision, Guiding Principles and Issues, and we hold a workshop with the stakeholders to review and validate the information.

When we review the issues, we rank them Red, Amber or Green as shown in Figure 4. Red is when there is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately. Amber is when there’s an issue that needs to be addressed, but it’s not as urgent. Green is when it’s still an issue, but it may not need to be addressed right away. At the end of this workshop we have a “big picture” view of the current state that everyone has agreed on.

Figure 4. ProConsult Sample Issues List

The AS-IS/TO-BE Methodology – Building the TO-BE

Next we use our experience and best practices to build out the target, or TO-BE state as shown in Figure 5. The TO-BE state will address the issues that we looked at, and it will be aligned to the strategic vision and guiding principles. In this multi-cloud example, you can see recommendations for an infrastructure architecture, application placement across traditional and cloud environments, how people and processes will change, and the types of services that will be provided to end users.

Figure 5. ProConsult Sample TO-BE State

As we develop the TO-BE state, we look at the timeframe for execution, and we create a Transformation Roadmap as shown in Figure 6. The roadmap has workstreams for the governance, applications, operating model, and technology changes that are needed to achieve the TO-BE state. It shows detailed activities, and dependencies or links between the activities, over the timeline. We also identify some “quick wins” for things that can be executed immediately.

Figure 6. ProConsult Sample Transformation Roadmap and Benefits Analysis

Finally, we identify the benefits. We project current and future costs over the identified timeframe, and build out IT run rates and a high-level investment profile that shows the costs and the expected savings. It will cover both the financial impact as well as “soft” benefits or outcomes.

After we create the draft of these sections — the TO-BE, Transformation Roadmap, and Benefits — we get the stakeholders together again to review and validate them. At the end of the review, we have a “big picture” view of the target state that everyone has agreed on.

The AS-IS/TO-BE Methodology – The Results

So in 6 weeks we produce a visual representation, a transformation canvas that can be hung on a wall in an office or in a conference room. It can be used to track progress and to show the project strategy and goals to all of the IT leaders and executives.

But the most important thing is that the process will create consensus across stakeholders with clear next steps that can be started the next day.


For more information, visit www.dellemc.com/ProConsultAdvisory and take a look at this animated video.

Are you ready to transform?

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Infrastructure as Code (IaC): The Next Generation of IT Automation https://infocus.dellemc.com/scott-bils/infrastructure-as-code-iac-the-next-generation-it-automation/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/scott-bils/infrastructure-as-code-iac-the-next-generation-it-automation/#respond Mon, 18 Feb 2019 10:00:41 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=36915 In the recent analysis of Dell EMC and VMware IT Transformation Workshops, CIOs continue to prioritize initiatives that help to accelerate delivery of software and applications for the business. The top emerging priorities for CIO’s were the desire to achieve continuous deployment (89%) and DevOps (87%) based on anonymous customer data. For many of our […]

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In the recent analysis of Dell EMC and VMware IT Transformation Workshops, CIOs continue to prioritize initiatives that help to accelerate delivery of software and applications for the business. The top emerging priorities for CIO’s were the desire to achieve continuous deployment (89%) and DevOps (87%) based on anonymous customer data.

For many of our Dell EMC customers, efforts to accelerate software delivery velocity and drive cloud application transformation have initially and understandably focused on developers. ‘Top down’ DevOps initiatives have focused on creating continuous delivery (CD) pipelines that eliminate the manual processes, hand-offs and bottlenecks associated with the software delivery lifecycle (SDLC) and underlying value stream. Particular focus has been placed on streamlining and automating source code and build management, integration and testing, as well as overall workflow.

As the DevOps name indicates, infrastructure and IT operations are also a critical, integral part of the story. Automating provisioning of development, test and production environments and related infrastructure is also critical to increasing overall software release velocity. Just as with application source code, infrastructure configurations can also be treated as pure code. Treating configurations as code provides the same benefits as it does for applications, including version control, automated testing, and continuous monitoring. Treating configuration as code and handling changes through CD pipelines helps prevent ‘snowflake’ infrastructure deployments that cannot be reproduced and ensure that configuration errors never make it to production.

But while the automation of provisioning with Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and pipelines is clear, many organizations to date have relied primarily on standalone automation tools and one-off scripting. While this approach certainly is an improvement over manual workflows and processes, IaC provides far more than traditional automation practices. It automates full-stack deployment of infrastructure and apps; it offers source-controlled infrastructure and packages. It introduces software development practices that are applied to infrastructure build and operate procedures; infrastructure self-monitors system configurations and infrastructure self-heals to known-good state or version.

Cloud Native IT Operating Model

To provide the AWS-like experience that developers often seek, IT organizations are finding that IaC is required for private cloud and internal CaaS, PaaS and IaaS services.  Organizations are either launching IaC initiatives that extend and leverage DevOps efforts, or in some cases are even launching pure ‘bottom-up’ IaC initiatives focused on leveraging CD pipelines to define and manage the creation, configuration, and update of infrastructure resources and services. IaC is critical to enabling IT to operate like a public cloud provider, and provide the speed, flexibility and resiliency needed to support Digital Transformation.

One of our recent Dell EMC Consulting customers in the technology services sector wanted to provide their developers a common experience across their multi-cloud environment and deliver “public-cloud responsiveness” using an on-premises converged infrastructure solution. The key desired outcomes from their DevOps / IAC initiative was to minimize the inconsistency when building infrastructure components, while improving the efficiency of deploying both the cloud and on-premises infrastructure. As with most DevOps / IAC transformation programs, driving culture and behavior change was a key priority. The customer was seeking to cultivate internal knowledge and practical experience with Infrastructure-as-Code and DevOps concepts & tools and transform disparate client teams into one that follows Infrastructure-as-Code and DevOps behaviors.

Our Dell EMC Consulting team worked with the customer to use Infrastructure-as-Code and DevOps methodologies to architect & automate the deployment of high-performance converged infrastructure platform, and to develop a customer fulfillment pipeline for provisioning of both cloud and on-premises infrastructure resources including compute, storage and networking. Our Dell EMC Consulting team also provided coaching and mentoring that enabled the customer to enable a pipeline-driven Cloud platform for IaaS (and eventually PaaS & CaaS).

As a result of their DevOps / IAC engagement with Dell EMC Consulting the customer was able to:

  • Accelerate the fulfillment of Infrastructure to platform teams regardless of public cloud or on-premises requirements, and deliver IaaS using Infrastructure-as-Code and CD tool chain at end of sprints.
  • Provide resilient on-premises Cloud Platform in place for VM & Container services.
  • Enable optimized, automated flow, cutting provision time for developers.
  • Transform disparate internal teams into one integrating an Infrastructure-as-Code and DevOps foundation and pipeline first discipline.

Critical to the success of this and many of our other customers is recognizing the central role that CD pipelines and treating infrastructure configuration as code can play in infrastructure automation.

Summary

We’d love to hear about the challenges you face on your DevOps / IAC transformation journey, see more information on our Dell EMC DevOps and IaC Consulting services.

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[Webinar] PaaS/CaaS/SaaS/IaaS – What’s Right for My Applications? https://infocus.dellemc.com/chip_kalfaian/webinar-paas-caas-saas-iaas-whats-right-for-my-applications/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/chip_kalfaian/webinar-paas-caas-saas-iaas-whats-right-for-my-applications/#respond Wed, 13 Feb 2019 10:00:28 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=37599 Would you like to understand how Application Portfolio Optimization services deliver a 195% ROI? Join our upcoming webinar to learn the Dollars and Sense of Optimizing Your Portfolio.Monday, March 4th, 2019 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM GMT Join Dean Davison, Principal Consultant, Forrester Consulting how companies have been able to […]

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Would you like to understand how Application Portfolio Optimization services deliver a 195% ROI? Join our upcoming webinar to learn the Dollars and Sense of Optimizing Your Portfolio.Monday, March 4th, 2019
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM GMT


Join Dean Davison, Principal Consultant, Forrester Consulting how companies have been able to reduce time to launch new products, grow revenue, and generate 195% ROI from optimizing their application portfolio by:

• Assessing application inter-dependencies
• Profiling to determine the right platform
• Migrating, modernizing, and replatforming to the most cost-effective platform
• Retiring apps and redirecting spend for new development

We will share with you the process for evaluating and optimizing your application portfolio and the financial and business impact of doing so.

Dell EMC’s Chip Kalfaian, Global Discipline Lead for Application Portfolio Optimization, provides additional details about the application-centric, patented methodology for the profiling, modernization, migration and retirement dispositions used to optimize your IT environments.

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Why Integration Matters for Creating Productivity Hubs with Exceptional Worker Experiences https://infocus.dellemc.com/anbu_anbarasu/why-integration-matters-for-creating-productivity-hubs-with-exceptional-worker-experiences/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/anbu_anbarasu/why-integration-matters-for-creating-productivity-hubs-with-exceptional-worker-experiences/#respond Tue, 12 Feb 2019 10:00:48 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=37442 The trends in productivity tools, improved connectivity, changing work culture and worker expectations have led many organizations to rethink their technology investments. Most enterprises, even those in highly regulated industries (financial and life sciences sectors), have reduced their data center footprint. They’ve moved workloads to the cloud, virtualized desktops, adopted SaaS-based solutions, increased BYOD support and provided […]

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The trends in productivity tools,
improved connectivity, changing work culture and worker expectations have led many organizations to rethink their technology investments. Most enterprises, even those in highly regulated industries (financial and life sciences sectors), have reduced their data center footprint. They’ve moved workloads to the cloud, virtualized desktops, adopted SaaS-based solutions, increased BYOD support and provided flexibility for their workforce to work from anywhere. So, what’s missing? A connected worker experience across enterprise applications – one that’s worker obsessed and totally focused on workforce productivity and sentiment.

Bring Enterprise Applications Together Into a Cohesive Worker Experience

Enterprise applications aren’t going away, they’re at the heart of the business and will remain so. That doesn’t mean they should operate in silos. Organizations have a variety of business applications and IT solutions that all too often fall short on worker experience.  Examples of these apps and solutions include:

Typical enterprise apps used by business workers:

  • Payroll apps such as ADP or Paychex
  • HR services powered by Workday, Kronos or Oracle ERP Cloud
  • CRM by Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics
  • Travel & Expense via SAP Concur
  • ITSM is delivered through ServiceNow or BMC Remedy
  • Collaboration/productivity apps by Microsoft O365, Slack or Google G-Suite

Enterprise platforms used by IT departments:

  • Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure hosting servers and custom apps
  • VMware or Hyper-V for virtualization and cloud infrastructure
  • VMware AirWatch or Citrix XenMobile for device management and mobile apps
  • Pivotal Cloud Foundry, Docker, Kubernetes, and others for modernizing legacy apps using microservices architectures

Once enterprise workloads have been containerized, deployed in the cloud and workers are able to use any device and work from anywhere, is this the end game? Of course not, the journey never ends. Adopting purpose-built SaaS solutions have led to newer challenges around business process automation, workflow and integration. It’s resulted in multiple interfaces, security requirements and disconnected worker experiences.

Many corporate intranets and portals either provide a collection of links to other applications or embed content from external sources – neither of which provide an engaging worker experience. Why is that so? The problem is that links take the workers to other locations rather than allowing them to have a cohesive experience within a single portal. Given that content often lives in multiple repositories managed by different vendors, searching or even browsing seamlessly to access the right information is a challenge. It becomes a spaghetti space that is frustrating and time consuming for the workforce. The solution is a unified Digital Workplace that collates information from multiple enterprise applications and provides the ability to perform actions without having to switch context.  This is the difference between a productive, engaging experience and one that simply frustrates the workforce.

Adopting purpose-built SaaS solutions have resulted in multiple interfaces, security requirements and disconnected worker experiences.

iPaaS Becomes the Enabler for Delivering More Productive Worker Experiences

Traditional EAI platforms such as WebSphere, Tibco, BizTalk etc., focused on integration and process automation at the data level and the emphasis wasn’t on the worker experience. The emphasis was on batch processing, message queuing and transforming data between sending and receiving parties or systems. However, these integrations were often complex and expensive deployments requiring specialized skillsets and infrastructure. Depending on the systems, often additional adapters and/or scripting were required for full-scale integration.

The changing landscape of integration in the cloud-first world is no longer about batch processing, ETL jobs, EDI or XML formats. Modern enterprise systems support REST APIs and JSON for data interchange. Major vendors have realized the change – IBM Integration Bus, Microsoft Integration Services and Azure Logic Apps aim to address the integration needs in the cloud. However, the complexities of deployment and challenges around worker experience still exists.

While holistic transaction-focused middleware might still make sense for certain scenarios, the new breed of integration-platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) solutions offer lightweight, plug and play, low code/no code integration that is quick to deploy and easy to manage. Many provide graphical interfaces for orchestrating process automation that empowers knowledge workers with business acumen to create and manage workflows and automation. Dell Boomi has been the leader in the iPaaS space and other players such as Informatica, MuleSoft, SnapLogic etc., offer varying degrees of flexibility and niche feature sets. There’s a lot of consolidation happening in this area with major cloud solution providers such as Salesforce acquiring MuleSoft and Google taking over Apigee to bolster their iPaaS offering.

iPaaS solutions effectively tackle the cloud-to-cloud and on-premises integrations and enable drag-n-drop process automation. However, there is still a void in terms of a seamless, integrated worker experience. A combination of dashboard/portal framework, search engine and cloud-based collaboration tools – working in conjunction with an iPaaS solution forms the foundation to a comprehensive digital workplace and addresses the worker experience issue.

Digital Workplace Platforms Bring Together Enterprise Applications and Solutions for a Cohesive Personalized Experience

Platforms such as ServiceNow provide a flexible layout, navigation scheme, built-in search engine and widgets-based rendering of external content. SharePoint and Office 365 provide all the above stated capabilities, along with additional collaboration, document management, social features, AI/ML based suggestions and native integration with the Office Suite. These platforms, combined with personas and robust worker profiles as key enablers, can be leveraged to integrate with other enterprise systems either via point-to-point integration or through an iPaaS platform to deliver an integrated digital workplace solution.

Productivity Hubs in the Real-world

Slack is another notable example that has combined the collaboration and communication needs into a single chat-based interface. Slack has pioneered the use of bot frameworks to enable integration and submitting actions to other applications without having to leave the Slack channels. For example, it allows workers to schedule a WebEx meeting, book flights or submit expenses in Concur, track projects issues in Jira etc., all within the Slack interface. There’s a bot for everything and the catalog keeps growing.

For organizations already invested in Microsoft technologies, Microsoft Teams offer similar advantages as Slack by providing a consistent worker experience by natively integrating with Exchange, SharePoint Online, OneDrive, Yammer, Office etc. Workers can leverage persistent chat to connect with colleagues, schedule meetings, share screens and collaborate on documents – all within a modern interface. With PowerApps and Flow integration and new features such as support for application pages, rendering SharePoint web parts etc., Teams is truly becoming the productivity hub of choice. Bots and apps frameworks also enable integration with virtual assistants such as Alexa or Cortana for voice-based command execution and will likely support IoT integrations soon.

While bots are great for point-to-point integrations and for performing micro actions within Slack or Teams, advanced workflow automation involving transactions on multiple enterprise applications and decision tree algorithms, can be implemented by leveraging an iPaaS solution such as Dell Boomi. To the right is a conceptual architecture for a digital workplace implementation leveraging industry leading enterprise solutions.

Help the Workforce Realize Their Full Potential

Dell EMC Consulting is a thought leader in Digital Workplace.  We’ve helped organizations transform their worker experiences with modern intranets and collaboration tools by integrating with enterprise applications to deliver consumer grade, personalized hubs and experiences.

We start by engaging with workers and IT stakeholders to:

  • Understand needs and current pain points
  • Identify key personas, journeys and required capabilities
  • Assess the current IT landscape and existing investments
  • Conduct workshops with sponsors and stakeholders to establish a vision
  • Present the technical approach and roadmap to realize the vision
  • Prioritize use cases and formalize program workstreams
  • Design and implement projects to modernize applications and integrate enterprise systems
  • Collaborate with corporate communications on adoption and change management for driving adoption of modern digital workplaces

Looking to modernize your workers’ experiences? Comment below to start the conversation, or contact Dell EMC Sales to learn how our Consulting Services can help.

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Key Elements of a Digital Workplace Architecture (Infographic) https://infocus.dellemc.com/anbu_anbarasu/key-elements-of-a-digital-workplace-architecture-infographic/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/anbu_anbarasu/key-elements-of-a-digital-workplace-architecture-infographic/#respond Tue, 12 Feb 2019 10:00:12 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=37510 Enterprise applications aren’t going away, they’re at the heart of the business and will remain so. That doesn’t mean they should operate in silos. Organizations have a variety of business applications and IT solutions that all too often fall short on worker experience.  Many corporate intranets and portals either provide a collection of links to […]

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Enterprise applications aren’t going away, they’re at the heart of the business and will remain so. That doesn’t mean they should operate in silos. Organizations have a variety of business applications and IT solutions that all too often fall short on worker experience.  Many corporate intranets and portals either provide a collection of links to other applications or embed content from external sources – neither of which provide an engaging worker experience.

Why is that so?

The problem is that links take the workers to other locations rather than allowing them to have a cohesive experience within a single portal. Given that content often lives in multiple repositories managed by different vendors, searching or even browsing seamlessly to access the right information is a challenge. It becomes a spaghetti space that is frustrating and time consuming for the workforce. The solution is a unified Digital Workplace that collates information from multiple enterprise applications and provides the ability to perform actions without having to switch context. This is the difference between a productive, engaging experience and one that simply frustrates the workforce.

So what does a modern digital workplace look like?


Looking to empower your workforce with consumer-grade, personalized experiences?

Do you know why Integration Matters for Creating Productivity Hubs with Exceptional Worker Experiences?

Comment below to start the conversation, or contact Dell EMC Sales to learn how our Consulting Services can help.

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Powering New Insights with a High Performing Data Lake https://infocus.dellemc.com/sudesh_sapra/powering-new-insights-with-a-high-performing-data-lake/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/sudesh_sapra/powering-new-insights-with-a-high-performing-data-lake/#comments Mon, 11 Feb 2019 16:00:56 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=37472 To discover new insights with analytics, organizations are looking to find correlations in data across different, combined data sets. For those insights to be discovered, they need to be able to provide access to the data across multiple workgroups and stakeholders concurrently. Most organizations use a data lake to store their data in its raw, […]

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To discover new insights with analytics, organizations are looking to find correlations in data across different, combined data sets. For those insights to be discovered, they need to be able to provide access to the data across multiple workgroups and stakeholders concurrently.

Most organizations use a data lake to store their data in its raw, native format. However, building data lakes and managing data storage can be challenging. The areas I most often see organizations struggle with across all types of environments running Hadoop are:

Set Up and Configuration

  • Hadoop services failing due to lack of proper configuration
  • Maintenance of multiple Hadoop environments is challenging and requires more resources

Security and Compliance

  • Lack of consistency and strong security controls in securing Hadoop and the data lake
  • Inability to integrate the data lake with LDAP or Active Directory

Storage and Compute

  • Low cluster utilization efficiency with varied workloads
  • Difficulty in scaling when the increase in data volumes is faster than anticipated
  • Server sprawl and challenges migrating multi-petabyte namespaces from direct attached storage (DAS) to network attached storage (NAS)
  • Lack of Hadoop Tiered Storage meaning cold and hot data are together causing performance issues

Multi-tenancy

  • Difficulty with the Hadoop Cluster supporting the different requirements of the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) workflows
  • Challenges in moving data between environments (e.g., dev to prod and prod to dev) for data scientists to use production data in a secure environment

Hadoop on Isilon

Dell EMC’s Isilon Scale Out Network Attached Storage (NAS) makes the process of building data lakes much easier and offers many features that help organizations reduce maintenance and storage costs by keeping all of their data, including structured, semi-structured and unstructured data, in one place and file system.

Organizations can then extend the data lake to the cloud and to enterprise edge locations to consolidate and manage data more effectively, easily gain cloud-scale storage capacity, reduce overall storage costs, increase data protection and security, and simplify management of unstructured data.

Data Engineering Makes the Magic Happen

Hadoop is a consumer of Isilon, the data lake where all the data resides. To fully enable the capabilities of Isilon using Hadoop, and integrate the clusters securely and consistently, you need knowledgeable data engineers to set up and configure the environment. To illustrate the point, let’s look back at the common challenge areas and how you can mitigate them with proper data engineering and Hadoop on Isilon.

For more information on Multi-tenancy, refer to this whitepaper.

Implementation Process

In order to reap the benefits of Hadoop on Isilon, prior to implementation, data engineers need to secure your critical enterprise data, protect your valuable data, and simplify your storage capacity and performance management.

From there, the process of installing a Hadoop distribution and integrating it with an Isilon cluster varies by distribution, requirements, objectives, network topology, security policies, and many other factors. There is also a specific process to follow as illustrated in the diagram below.  For example, a supported distribution of Hadoop is installed and configured with Isilon before Hadoop is configured for authentication and both Hadoop and Isilon are authenticated with Kerberos.

For more information on setting up and managing Hadoop on Isilon, refer to this white paper.

Engaging a Trusted Partner

The good news is you and your teams don’t need to be experts in data engineering or navigate the implementation and configuration process on your own. Dell EMC Consulting Services can help you optimize your data lake and storage and maximize your investment, whether you’re just getting started with Hadoop on Isilon or have an existing environment that isn’t performing optimally. Our services are delivered by a global team of deeply skilled data engineers and include implementations, migrations, third party software integrations, ETL offloads, health checks and Hadoop performance optimizations as outlined in the graphic below.

Hadoop on Isilon, supported by data engineering services, offers a compelling business proposition for organizations looking to better manage their data to drive new insights and support advanced analytics techniques, such as artificial intelligence. If you are interested in learning more about our Hadoop on Isilon services or other Big Data and Analytics Consulting services, please contact your Dell EMC representative.

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How 5G Relates to SDN and NFV Technologies – Part I: Introduction and History https://infocus.dellemc.com/javier_guillermo/how-5g-relates-to-sdn-and-nfv-technologies-part-i-introduction-and-history/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/javier_guillermo/how-5g-relates-to-sdn-and-nfv-technologies-part-i-introduction-and-history/#respond Tue, 05 Feb 2019 10:00:32 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=37419 Will 2019 be the year when 5G takes off? We are just a few weeks away from the Mobile World Congress (MWC), where I have absolutely no doubt that 5G will be everywhere, including at the Dell EMC and VMware booth. But what is 5G exactly? And what does 5G have to do with the […]

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Will 2019 be the year when 5G takes off?

We are just a few weeks away from the Mobile World Congress (MWC), where I have absolutely no doubt that 5G will be everywhere, including at the Dell EMC and VMware booth. But what is 5G exactly? And what does 5G have to do with the NFV and SDN technologies we covered in previous blog posts?

There is a lot of confusion surrounding 5G. For example, if you use AT&T and, like me, live in Dallas, Houston, Oklahoma, Indianapolis, New Orleans or Charlotte, your phone might display something like this:

So does this mean that 5G is up and running in U.S.? Well, yes and no.

5G Availability

There is a live 5G network in the cities I mentioned but you need to use a 5G hotspot to access it, even if you have the latest iPhone Xs, Samsung Galaxy or latest LG. None of these devices have a modem or antennas that will work on a 5G network.

So is having “5G” on your phone display misleading?

Not altogether.

It is true that they have been upgrading cell towers with TLE-advanced features across the nation over the last year, including things like LTE (Long Term Evolution), advanced features like 256 QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation), 4X4 Multiple-input and Multiple-output (MIMO), 3-way Carrier Aggregation, etc. A more accurate display on our phones, therefore, would read “4G-LTE for Long Term Evolution,” not “5G” (those marketing folks, again! 😃).

To be fair, other companies like T-Mobile did something similar back in the day with 3G-4G, but it misled some customers. Verizon already has 5G working on several test cities (e.g., Sacramento, L.A. and Houston) and like AT&T, the only way to really access it is through a hot spot or with prototype cellphones since we don’t have 5G compatible phones yet.

Why Do I Think this Will Be the Year of 5G?

All major U.S. operators are working against the clock to have 5G coverage in most metropolitan areas by year’s end. In addition, we’ll see the launch of the first commercial cellphones in the 3Q-4Q 2019, which I am sure we will preview at the MWC 19 in Barcelona. We are also reaching a point where both NFV and SDN technologies are reaching maturity and we can even see a consolidation of the number of SDN controllers as well as NFVI components, while the number of available VNFs are exploding.

We will see in part two of this blog series how 5G and NFV go together like peanut butter and jelly, when I’ll explain the concept of network slicing, a network technology that enables network operators to provide networks on an “as-service-basis,” allowing a single physical network to be portioned into multiple virtual networks and multiple types of customer services.

A Brief History of Mobile Cellular Communications

Okay, Javier, all of that is great, but can you get into more details on what exactly 5G is and the differences compared with 4G?

5G is the fifth generation of cellular mobile communications. The first generation (1G) of analog telecommunications standards were first launched in Japan’s NTT in 1979 and later introduced in the 1980s around the world (MNT system). Some of us may remember the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x introduced in 1984 (see below and its comparison of technologies).

The second generation (2G) started in 1991 and exploded worldwide at the end of 1990. Four years later, manufacturers formed the GSM Association. Third generation (3G) was the first mobile focused on data, not just voice and texts, and started at the beginning of 2001. The fourth generation (4G) started in 2007 and became popular worldwide after 2010.

First and Second Phases of 5G

So back to the present and 5G. The first phase of real 5G started in May 2018 with the Release-15 of whitepaper specifications by the ITU (International Telecommunication Union). ITU is made of 193 countries and has more than 800 board members, which gives rise to the reason why it takes a bit of time for them to collectively agree on a standard. The positive? It eliminates the issues we had in the past with GSM/TDMA – the dual competing technologies.

The second phase of 5G and latest global standard is Release-16 due to be completed by April 2020 as a candidate for the IMT-2020 technology. This second standard will increase speed and bandwidth exponentially, compared to the previous generation, demanding speeds of up to 20 Gb/s and frequencies of at least 15 Ghz or higher. The Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) is going to submit 5G New Radio (NR) as standard that will include the possibility to use lower frequencies (600 Mhz to 6Ghz versus the 15 Ghz explained before). Lower frequencies can enable telecom companies to reuse existing frequencies licenses without having to buy additional ones, reuse some of the old hardware, and get better coverage. However this 5G NR software on 4G hardware is only between 20-50% faster than traditional 4G. Regardless, if this new software is loaded on new Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) hardware, the speed bump can go up to 150% on lower frequencies and up to 12-20 times on the higher than 6Ghz frequencies.

A Final Comment on Frequencies

When I explained that lower frequencies increase coverage I was speaking to having better penetration, and by that I mean getting the signal from a tower to your cellphone though a wall, building, etc… It’s rare you’ll have an open and unstructured line of sight with a tower if you live in an urban area, and it’s one of the biggest challenges of 5G. The second biggest challenge is the operator’s need to balance performance and CAPEX costs to achieve profitability and sustainability as the cost per GB of data keeps decreasing.

Stay tuned for How 5G Relates to SDN and NFV Technologies – Part II: Architecture.

Sources

nokia.com

visualcapitalists.com

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Microsoft Azure Stack at the Tactical Edge https://infocus.dellemc.com/matt-_liebowitz/microsoft-azure-stack-at-the-tactical-edge/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/matt-_liebowitz/microsoft-azure-stack-at-the-tactical-edge/#respond Mon, 04 Feb 2019 13:00:10 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=37492 By now you’ve probably heard of Microsoft’s Azure Stack solution. The promise of Azure Stack is huge – the ability to take Azure services and run them on-premises using the same toolsets, developer frameworks, and administration that your organization is already familiar with from the Azure public cloud.  Azure Stack provides organizations with a consistent […]

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By now you’ve probably heard of Microsoft’s Azure Stack solution. The promise of Azure Stack is huge – the ability to take Azure services and run them on-premises using the same toolsets, developer frameworks, and administration that your organization is already familiar with from the Azure public cloud.  Azure Stack provides organizations with a consistent hybrid cloud and the ability to develop once and provision either on-premises or in the public Azure cloud quickly and easily. The Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack takes that one step further by wrapping Azure Stack in an engineered hardware solution leveraging Dell servers and hyperconverged storage, the VxRack AS.

One of the key use cases for Azure Stack is the ability to run cloud workloads and utilize Azure services at the network edge. That keeps data processing close to the source to speed performance of critical applications and provides the foundation for next generation IoT technologies. For most organizations the edge is within their data centers.

What about other organizations for which the edge is, shall we say, beyond the four walls of their data center? What if your edge is a harsh environment, on a battlefield, or even a moving target where the edge changes frequently? We’ve got an Azure Stack for that, too!

Microsoft Azure Stack to the Tactical Edge

Today, Dell EMC is introducing the Dell EMC Tactical Microsoft Azure Stack, the first and only solution to bring the power of Azure Stack to the tactical edge. The solution, initially available in the US, is functionality identical to Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack but is built to be deployed in scenarios where it would be challenging to run a typical solution. As part of a partnership with Tracewell Systems, it includes Dell EMC servers and networking encased in ruggedized “pods” that are meant to be deployed in harsh conditions. That includes large vehicles, ships that sail on or under the sea, and aircraft that travel all over the world.  It is also sized such that it can be transported from place to place by just two people, making it easy to transport your cloud solution quickly to wherever it’s needed. You can’t exactly do that with a full rack of servers!  The solution is expected to be available later in Q1.

Tactical Microsoft Azure Stack Use Cases

There is already a lot of demand for Azure Stack among government and military customers and I fully expect they’ll find a lot of value in the Tactical Azure Stack solutions.

The military in particular has unique challenges of operations in often difficult environments where Tactical Azure Stack is better suited to run. Like the Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack, Tactical Azure Stack can be run in a fully disconnected mode without requiring connectivity back to public Azure, making it easy to deploy in submarines and other locations without readily available Internet access or in secure locations where having an Internet connected cloud is not desirable.  Bringing data processing and critical systems to the tactical edge, close to the applications and people that need it, is a huge advantage of this solution.

Beyond military and government, our Consulting team works with customers across other industries where having a portable Azure Stack can be invaluable. Customers like those in the mining or energy industries can see the benefits of deploying Tactical Azure Stack close to their operations without needing a full data center in often challenging locations.  Any organization that needs a fully hybrid cloud solution in a form factor that is easily portable,  and can stand up to harsh conditions can benefit from deploying Tactical Azure Stack.

Our Dell EMC Consulting team has a lot of experience already deploying Azure Stack for government and other secure organizations around the world. We will be applying that experience to the unique requirements of customers that need an Azure Stack solution in a rugged, secure form factor. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with our customers to help achieve their business and operational outcomes and Dell EMC Tactical Microsoft Azure Stack is another tool in the toolbox to help them achieve those goals.

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Unified Endpoint Management: One Tool to Rule Them All? https://infocus.dellemc.com/colin_sainsbury/unified-endpoint-management-one-tool-to-rule-them-all/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/colin_sainsbury/unified-endpoint-management-one-tool-to-rule-them-all/#respond Mon, 04 Feb 2019 10:00:52 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=37451 Just recently a lot of the buzz in the end user computing world has been around moving to unified endpoint management. As with many concepts in IT, unified endpoint management, or UEM for short, is defined more by marketing departments than any rigid scientific or legal method. It is the latest step in a journey […]

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Just recently a lot of the buzz in the end user computing world has been around moving to unified endpoint management. As with many concepts in IT, unified endpoint management, or UEM for short, is defined more by marketing departments than any rigid scientific or legal method. It is the latest step in a journey that endpoint device management has been on for a while, namely the convergence of client management tools (CMT), mobile device management (MDM) and enterprise mobility management (EMM) toolsets.

The challenge is that the definition of UEM is governed by the participants of the conversation. The definition from Wikipedia (derived from Gartner) is probably the best that I have seen:

“Unified Endpoint Management is a class of software tools that provide a single management interface for mobile, PC and other devices. It is an evolution of, and replacement for, mobile device management (MDM) and enterprise mobility management (EMM) and client management tools.”

The Gartner paper is behind their paywall but VMware has made the entire Magic Quadrant paper available for download for free.

VMware Workspace ONE | Source Gartner, June 2018

The Unified Endpoint Management definition above shows the convergence of the toolsets used for mobile devices (typically MacOS, iOS and Android) with those used for Windows. This is a reflection both of the growing importance of the first category of devices within the workplace and the move by Microsoft to include the Open Mobile Alliance – Device Management protocol within Windows 10.

Furthermore, the UEM toolsets are typically cloud-hosted, although some have on-premises variants for those more cloud-averse organisations. This cloud hosting delivers two key benefits:

  1. There is no infrastructure to design and maintain. The software vendor provides you with a tenant and keeps adding patches and new features to it.
  2. These days, devices work outside of the corporate network more often than inside. A cloud-hosted solution means that devices can be managed wherever they are operated without relying on the users connecting to the mothership via VPN.

Organisations have typically been running multiple tools to address these device communities, but this adds complexity to what is already a complex environment. The goal of UEM is to create one tool to rule all the device communities.

The question that needs to be answered is:

Has Unified Endpoint Management reached its Digital Photography moment yet?

This may seem like an obscure question, but reading this blog by Steven Sinofsky caused me to take stock of my mindset regarding UEM. He used the example of the transition from silver halide film to digital photography. In the blog he described the technical buzz saw that devotees of the incumbent technology use to dismantle the challenger technology based on very specific and clearly defined limitations. He argued that over time, the challenger technology closed that gap. In addition, whole new workflows were invented that changed the face of photography.

I have been guilty of wielding that technical buzz saw regarding the mainstream UEM toolsets, targeting what I perceive are their shortcomings:

  • Inability to deliver a bare-metal build
  • Deployment of Win32 applications
  • Transfer of work from deployment engineers to non-IT staff

However, having read Steven’s post I revisited my thinking, looking at things from the other side of the argument.

Inability to Deliver a Bare-metal Build

UEM tools recognise that every device is shipped from its vendor with a perfectly good operating system including drivers for the subcomponents. We do not need to deploy one before we use the device, we simply need to configure the current one to meet our needs. This is the thinking behind Microsoft’s Autopilot process.

You may be thinking that Windows devices are often shipped with trial versions of software as part of the factory installed image and that you do not want that adding to the support complexity. Therefore, Dell Configuration Services recommends our “Generic Image” option, without any trial software, in conjunction with Microsoft Autopilot registration. This provides control over the version of Windows 10 installed and ensures a known clean base to begin UEM control from.

Those with one hand still on the buzz saw will point out that most vendor support processes will replace a failed hard drive with a new “clean” drive without an Operating System. However, as Sinofsky says, “Most problems are solved by not doing it the old way”.

Three mitigations come to mind:

  1. The move to thinner, lighter devices has driven the proliferation of solid state storage solutions which are less likely to fail.
  2. Organisations can change their internal support processes to include a pool of devices to swap with any failed devices, thereby maintaining user productivity. The failed device is repaired and returned to the swap pool.
  3. Once critical mass is achieved, vendor-support processes may move from a repair to a swap out policy.

Addressing this inability to deliver a bare-metal build is unlikely to be resolved by the software and is therefore one area where a mindset change may be the best route.

Deployment of Win32 Applications

This highlights how the march of technical development erodes the arguments presented by the devotees of the incumbent technology. The mainstream tools at the heart of UEM are typically mobile device management tools which were designed to deliver applications to mobile operating systems (Android and iOS).

The design specification would therefore have provided for delivering relatively small applications (a few hundred megabytes) which are simple in nature and without the need for dependency checking. Delivering Win32 applications to Windows 10 devices requires a more sophisticated capability. This capability is evolving, with the two vendors that Gartner sees as the leaders (Microsoft and VMware) in a race to bring this capability to market.

VMware

VMware was first to market with the ability to deliver Win32 apps. Their capability can deploy msi, exe and zip files and differentiates between applications and their dependencies. Additionally, VMware has released their AirLift connector which connects Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) to your Workspace ONE tenant and enables you to export the applications from ConfigMgr and import them into Workspace ONE without the need for repackaging.

This approach makes it easy to transfer the content and assignment metadata into Workspace ONE and will help customers who wish to move away from ConfigMgr in the long term. Based on my customer experience, ConfigMgr is the most widely deployed toolset, however, we are increasingly seeing customers with Ivanti LANDesk and IBM BigFix who would like to have a similar capability to help them move. It is to be hoped that the Workspace ONE engineering team can create a similar capability to assist them.

There is an additional benefit to following the Airlift enabled route. Once the applications have been moved into Workspace ONE, Dell Configuration Services offers Factory Provisioning services. I have described this in more detail in a previous post entitled, Windows 10 Migration: Best Practices for Making a User’s First Impression Great. In summary, this enables our customers to provide us with bundles of applications, including Win32 apps, for loading in our factory, thereby streamlining the deployment of their new devices using Workspace ONE.

Microsoft

Microsoft announced at Ignite (September) 2018 that their capability would shortly be made available as part of a public preview.  At the time of writing, this facility is still in public preview and being rolled out to Intune tenants. Applications need to be converted from their current format to the new .intunewin format. This process is enabled using an upload prep tool but seems to involve significant manual data entry.

Microsoft may well feel that they have this area covered by ConfigMgr which has been the mainstay of application deployment for many customers for years. Indeed, part of their strategy is to use Intune to automatically deploy the ConfigMgr client. This gets around the limitation that a user with standard permissions would not be able to deploy the ConfigMgr client themselves.

This approach then means that the device is now in a state of dual or co-management where control is achieved using two tools. The working premise is that these tools work in concert and provide a low risk approach to transitioning from ConfigMgr to Intune one workload at a time.

Over time, applications are moving from locally deployed to software as a service or web-based. As this happens, we reduce the reliance on Win32 applications and this problem diminishes.

Transfer of Work from Deployment Engineers to Non-IT Staff

This is the key challenge for me when trying to adopt the change mindset. For years we have been delivering fully built systems to our users to minimise their downtime. In part, I suspect that this was because we were catering for less technically trained users that we have today. It was also to cater for the fact that to meet security guidelines, users were given low privilege accounts which meant that they were prevented from completing the activities even if they were willing to do them.

The introduction of solutions such as Microsoft Autopilot mean that they no longer need high privilege accounts to do key tasks. However, devices are delivered to them with few if any applications included. As described in the Windows 10 Migration post, the deployment of applications to the device can take a while. In the past this was done on the build bench and so was hidden from the users as it was in what I call Engineer Time.

If application deployment is done after device receipt by the user, it is now in User Time. This has two implications:

  • The device is not ready for use immediately, potentially preventing a user from working
  • Simply transferring the work from the IT team to the users does not make it more cost effective

Let’s break each of those items apart and examine them.

Device Not Ready for Use Immediately

New Devices

Most devices deployed using an Autopilot method today will be replacement devices, where an existing user is getting a new device. Traditionally, they have been asked to handover the old device on receipt of the new one. Using the applications pre-provisioning methods described above may be sufficient to ensure that the device is fully ready at handover. If there is some further time required, briefly delaying the return of the old device, will allow them to work on it whilst their new device finalises. This effectively negates the impact of the delay, as the user can login to their new device and allow processes to complete before relinquishing the legacy device.

Dell is investing heavily in technology and processes which will enable it to move more and more of this pre-provisioning work upstream into our factories. We are engaged with both Microsoft and VMware to look at ways to improve the day one experience of your colleagues by automating as many of the task involved in deployment as possible.

Existing Devices

Where an existing device is being upgraded to Windows 10 from an earlier operating system, there are two approaches that will be used: In-place upgrade or wipe and load. An in-place upgrade simply updates the operating system and migrates the data and applications as is. There is no impact here.

Wipe and load upgrades require a bare-metal build process and therefore require a toolset such as ConfigMgr. It is now possible to create a task sequence to perform a wipe and reload process which then sets the device to use Autopilot when the device is handed back to the user, but if the device not being ready for the user is a consideration then this would not be the route to take. If performing a bare metal build, it is more likely that the device will be handed back by an engineer fully ready for the user.

Transferring the Work from IT to the Users

New technology often results in the adoption of new or changed working practices. Before computers became standard issue, firms employed banks of typists to turn a manager’s thoughts or dictated words into formal output. No doubt somebody pointed out that asking a manager to type their own documents was less cost effective than asking a typist to do so. However, time moved on and the user empowerment that came from avoiding the need to dictate the content, saw the widespread adoption of the new way of working.

We are on the cusp of a similar change in end user device deployment. My conversations with IT departments are increasingly focused on user empowerment rather than the IT team owning the tasks. Clearly, there are employees within the organisation who earn significantly more than the deployment engineers, but do they prefer being able to get the task done rather than organising a time to meet with an engineer?

There is no definitive answer here, some will want the job done for them whilst others just want to get the job done even if it means doing it themselves. In a way that sums up where we are with unified endpoint management as well.

Dell’s viewpoint is that the best experience comes not from moving work from deployment engineers to users but by increasingly automating the tasks we remove the need for human intervention entirely. The analogy we often use is the comparison between visiting your bank to withdraw cash. You can visit the human teller who will give you the full in person service or you can visit the automated teller (ATM) which for most of us is convenient and a better experience.

Summary

For some organisations, typically those with a highly mobile workforce, the scales are going to be tipped in favour of one of the UEM approaches. For those whom the pace of workforce transformation is a little slower, they may still be happier with the traditional methods for now but over time they will still find themselves drawn to UEM in the end.

The point is that there is an opportunity to try something new and see whether it has reached the tipping point for you. Are we at the point where the opportunities offered by the new tools and processes enable you to do things of higher value than the things that they currently cannot?

The UEM tools available today are not the whole story. They need to be combined with pre-provisioning and factory services to ensure that work is not simply transferred from one team to another but replaced by automation. This is where the Dell Technologies value comes in. Working with both Microsoft and VMware we are pioneering ways to automate the provisioning processes and drive the most value out of the shift to UEM.

As the focus shifts towards user experience in the ongoing battle to retain key staff, it is likely that organisations will look to deliver more user empowerment through a better understanding of their user environment. Dell EMC has developed a series of tools and techniques described in the free eBook, 4 Tools and Techniques to Create Change and Empower the Workforce with Personalized Experiences, to help you meet the needs of an ever more demanding workforce. Key to this approach is the development of user personas and a detailed knowledge of the user profile. All of this data feeds the UEM tools to make for a better initial experience.

If you are ready to ditch the silver halide film and join the digital workforce transformation, please feel free to contact your Dell EMC Sales Representative to discuss how we can help you.

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Key Elements of a Successful Digital Workplace Strategy https://infocus.dellemc.com/cathy_galecki/key-elements-of-a-successful-digital-workplace-strategy/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/cathy_galecki/key-elements-of-a-successful-digital-workplace-strategy/#respond Tue, 22 Jan 2019 10:00:47 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=37231 Digital Workplace plays an important role in workforce transformation. People want to work for organizations that are digitally savvy and create productive environments. Yet many organizations have trouble meeting worker expectations. IT can barely keep up with the changes. Maybe a new acquisition is happening, maybe it’s just time to revamp the tools your workers are using. Perhaps […]

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Digital Workplace plays an important role in workforce transformation. People want to work for organizations that are digitally savvy and create productive environments. Yet many organizations have trouble meeting worker expectations. IT can barely keep up with the changes. Maybe a new acquisition is happening, maybe it’s just time to revamp the tools your workers are using. Perhaps hiring smart, savvy younger workers is the goal. Whatever the challenge, many organizations are looking at the tools they provide workers with renewed interest. And one of those is the next generation Intranet, a communications and collaboration platform that improves productivity and binds everyone together.

An Effective Digital Workplace: A Powerful Force

But experience has shown that Intranets and early Digital Workplaces are messy. These large unwieldy systems often grow organically and contain a lot of outdated information. Search doesn’t work. Processes are hybrid band-aids that lower productivity. Yet, when done right, a Digital Workplace is an incredibly powerful force that unifies and connects people across the Enterprise. The right tools support collaboration where people work at their own pace naturally and effortlessly. An effective search greatly reduces the amount of time it takes to find people and content. A good Digital Workplace breaks down some of the organizational silo’s and encourages participation and innovation to solve problems and create value.

Yes, a Digital Workplace is worth the journey and a good Digital Strategy will get you there. How you go about it will determine the success of the project. What are the options? To save time, you can get a group of people from different business areas with a stake in the outcome and bring them together to brainstorm goals and use cases. Don’t forget the end users, one or two workshops to give them a say, document it and you’re done. This will get you a lot of insight and documents, but it doesn’t lead to a cohesive strategy that communicates the vision and lays out the plan. A strategy creates direction and a sense of purpose. Without it the work will still get done but people will have a hard time figuring out priorities and how their piece fits in with the bigger picture.

A Realistic Roadmap

At Dell EMC Consulting, we’ve done many Digital Workplace strategies over the years for some of the largest, global organizations. We’ve seen the power of a successful strategy, one that is tied to a clear set of goals and values, with stories and outcomes aligned to worker needs. A strategy level sets expectations with a realistic roadmap to get it done. And, each outcome can be measured and adapted for change. This is what we’ve learned and recommend – to ensure success, create an effective Digital Workplace strategy that connects the details and results in an achievable plan.

Here’s a simple example using a Communications goal. One challenge many large enterprises face is how to enable more dialogue between leaders and staff. This is especially important when talking about latest results and strategy. Organizations need honest, open communications to be more responsive and initiate change. This goal is often discussed on Digital Workplace projects.

The example below shows this goal, the supporting elements and how they connect in the strategy.

The Digital Workplace Strategy ensures goals are implemented and met. Product owners of different technologies will know what to budget and when it’s needed. Communications professionals can alert business owners on the upcoming improvements and how they’ll engage. Everyone involved with the project knows what’s needed and why. Most important, budgets and timelines can be set based on tangible outcomes that everyone agrees on.

Summary

The best thing about a Digital Workplace Strategy is that it can be started right away. Many organizations have an Intranet in place and are thinking about upgrading their suite of tools. They have an idea of the goals and outcomes they want to achieve but implementing technology takes time. A Digital Workplace Strategy begins with critical user research that can be started while IT decisions are being made. Workforce transformation is an on-going journey that provides tremendous value, and a well-planned Digital Workplace is a major part of that story.

Learn more about our perspective on Digital Workplace by downloading our eBook Empower the workforce with consumer-grade, personalized experiences:

Related Blogs:

Trends Impacting Digital Workplace Strategies
Office 365 Security and Compliance Tools for Collaboration Apps – Are You Covered?
4 Tools and Techniques to Create Change and Empower the Workforce with Personalized Experiences (eBook)

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