Want to Stay Fit and Relevant in the Digital Age? Go Cloud Native.

Frederic Dussart By Frederic Dussart Senior Vice President & General Manager, Dell Technologies Consulting Lead, APJC & EMEA November 20, 2017

Contemplating the year 2030, just a dozen or so years from now, can be head-spinning. “Realizing 2030: The Next Era of Human-Machine Partnership” makes for interesting reading on how rapidly evolving and converging technologies may impact individuals and organizations.

One striking image evoked by the paper is that of humans acting like “digital resource conductors.” In my mind’s eye I see each of us with our conductor’s baton, directing holograms of useful services in 3D virtual reality to “orchestrate, manage, and automate many day-to-day activities.”

Los Angeles-based DAQRI is using AR devices to display information and work instructions over a worker’s environment, enabling them to complete a task safely and efficiently.

I like this image because I prefer a future in which humans are the “actors” rather than the “acted upon.” And I believe that by thinking and acting wisely, we can do more than position ourselves for the future, we can help to create the kind of future we want.

Fit and Relevant in the Digital Age

Recently, a large customer in APJ complained that everybody understands the threats of digital transformation—intensifying competition, disruptive technology and business models, relentless, rapid change—what’s not understood is how to “stay fit and relevant in the digital age.”

As the Realizing 2030 paper reports, a Dell Digital Transformation Index study conducted with 4,000 senior decision makers from across the world found 45 percent concerned about becoming obsolete in 3-5 years. Nearly half said they don’t know what their industry will look like in just three years’ time, and 73 percent believe they need to be more ‘digital’ to succeed in the future.

“How to stay fit and relevant in the digital age” seems a very good way of putting the challenge these leaders were describing. The phrase came back to me later, when meeting with the applications development team at a large telecommunications company in APJ. The team was laser-focused on creating a differentiating “cloud native application environment of the future.” They were applying cloud native architecture and the 12-factor app methodology for modernizing applications—and adopting a micro services architecture leveraging Pivotal Cloud Foundry and Spring and other micro service technologies on AWS for agile new cloud native application development.

Go Native

Reflecting later on how the telecom applications development team was moving ahead to create their digital future, it seemed to me that some very good advice for “staying fit and relevant in the digital age” would be to: “Go native.”

Traditionally, “go native” means to adopt the customs and way of life of the country or region where one happens to be. What I’m suggesting is that, in recognition of where we stand today, we “go digital native” and “go cloud native.”

Digital Native

No matter what industry you are in, the digital native generation (and their descendants) make up a rapidly growing proportion of your customers.

Oculus VR with Dell Precision Workstation
Students use Virtual Reality for an immersive and educational

Which means that even those of us born too soon should work to understand and begin to think like the generation that grew up in the digital world.

One thing we know about digital natives is that they are already very comfortable ‘conducting’ their lives online. Indeed, within the next three years, it’s estimated that 50 percent of the products and services that all businesses sell will be digitally enhanced.

Another thing we know about digital natives is that they are very, very quick to change their brand loyalty and buying behavior. To win and retain digital natives, you need to deliver value, speed, convenience, and innovation—not just once, but frequently and consistently.

Cloud Native

That’s why, my second piece of advice is to “go cloud native”—and as quickly as possible.

Without a cloud native application environment and agile development, you simply can’t innovate and deliver fast enough—and cost-effectively enough—to stay fit and relevant in today’s digital marketplace.

Simply put, digital innovation is the new value creation—and cloud is the way that value is delivered. For example, a leading luxury auto firm we work with here in EMEA no longer refers to themselves as an “auto manufacturer,” but as an “automotive technology company.” Other customers are similarly working to transform and re-position themselves in the marketplace as “digital technology companies.”

As Realizing 2030 puts it: “Increasing innovation in cloud-native apps and their propensity to be built and deployed in quick cadence to offer greater agility, resilience, and portability across clouds will drive further uptake. Start-ups are starting to use cloud-native approaches to disrupt traditional industries; and by 2030, cloud technologies will be embedded.”

Figure 1: Chitale Dairy launched the ‘cow to cloud’ initiative to improve the health
and well-being of cows on dairy farms in India.

For a beautiful example, take a look at how Chitale Dairy improves the economic well-being of dairy farmers in India with their ‘cow to cloud’ initiative!

I predict that within three years, 75 percent of IT spend will be driven by cloud native applications. To be able to deliver the world-class experience that digital customers demand will take the right cloud infrastructure capabilities, the right open native cloud software platform environment and the right agile and DevOps processes.

What steps are you taking to remain fit and relevant in the digital age?

Frederic Dussart

About Frederic Dussart

Senior Vice President & General Manager, Dell Technologies Consulting Lead, APJC & EMEA

Frédéric Dussart is a Senior Vice President and & General Manager for Dell Technologies Consulting Services, a provider of strategic guidance and technology expertise that organizations need to transform their IT across technology, people and processes. In his role, Frederic is responsible for helping APJ and EMEA customers derive more value and positive business impact from their infrastructure investments through Dell Technologies comprehensive portfolio of Consulting Services offering.

Before moving into EMC Global Services, Frédéric held other senior roles at EMC, including Senior Vice President of EMEA South region (from 2007) and Regional Country Manager for France (from 2003). In these roles, he was responsible for driving the region’s growth and leadership through delivering and supporting the full range of EMC’s products, services and solutions.

Originally Frédéric joined EMC in April 2003 from Hewlett-Packard (HP) where he spent almost 18 years in various positions. His last position for HP was Vice President and General Manager of the Personal Systems Group.

Frédéric graduated in 1985 with Advanced Studies in Civil Engineering. More recently, in 2005 he completed the Columbia Senior Executive Program at Columbia University, New York.

With a wife and three children he is a dedicated family man who is just as happy playing golf or scuba diving off the south coast of France as he is strategizing and leading in the boardroom.

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