Your Transformation Is Just Beginning

By Bask Iyer, CIO at Dell and VMware

There is no denying it. Transforming IT will enable us to drive the performance and efficiency needed to keep companies ahead of the competition and to reinvest our cost savings in innovation. We have advanced our own journey at Dell, which you can read about in ESG’s recently-published report Dell EMC: Digital Business Success Through IT Transformation. However, as CIO, I also know we’re just beginning and need to look even closer at our people, processes and technology.

Putting the ‘T’ Back in IT

To digitally transform Dell’s business for the future, we must first transform ourselves. While it’s never gone away entirely, for a variety of reasons, we had de-emphasised our focus on our in-house arsenal of technologists. But, that is changing. At Dell, we are putting the “T” back in IT by insourcing talent and increasing the ratio of hands-on developers and people who dream code. This balances our ability to deploy the best outsourced or SaaS application with writing the code needed to differentiate and enhance user experience, especially in mobile. In time, we may come to depend on SaaS and IaaS. Without in-house technical talent, we are likely to be at the mercy of vendors, which is never ideal at renewal time.

Like every other IT organisation on the planet, we also spent years ‘keeping the lights on’ and meeting various organisational and operational priorities. As a result, we were seen as slow and expensive; innovation suffered; shadow IT proliferated, and our business partners looked outside for help. To change this, we are automating mundane, low value processes; removing bureaucracy; embracing lean and agile everywhere; and adopting the Pivotal way to breathe more innovation into our application development. While we are a large enterprise, we now think and act like a startup and are using our size and scale to our advantage.

CIO in the IT Candy Shop

Now, let’s talk technology. I’m Dell and VMware’s CIO, so I’m a kid in a candy shop. Like most IT shops, we realised that a lot of enterprise workloads are not economical or efficient to run at scale on public clouds. To extend our strong private cloud and platform, we are embracing a hybrid cloud strategy using VMware and Pivotal Cloud Foundry to provide the flexibility we need to move easily between clouds. Additionally, our users expect us to offer the same technological ease at work that they have in their personal lives. Whether they are in the office or on the road, we need to provide them with convenient, productivity-enhancing applications. As a result, we are using AirWatch and Workspace ONE to simplify our client and mobile experience.

And we are not stopping there. We are starting to use artificial intelligence to better analyse the vast amount of data to eliminate the various manual and costly IT operations tasks to significantly enhance our service and support. With this insight, we have more clarity about incidents and user sentiment to rapidly route tickets and provide higher quality service to our users. Better yet, these capabilities enable us to proactively recognise patterns, perform what-if scenarios and troubleshoot issues to enhance our infrastructure and applications before there is a problem.

This Is the Time to Be in IT

Transforming can be daunting, but there has never been a better time to be in IT. We are surrounded by brilliant tech savvy people and each and every day there are even more amazing technological advances to help us drive our IT Transformation and prepare us to digitally transform for the future. If anything, as a CIO, the challenge isn’t how we proceed, it is determining what we tackle first.

So, how is your IT Transformation journey going?

Visit us to learn more.

About the Author: Bask Iyer

Bask Iyer is the Chief Information Officer, responsible for driving Dell and VMware’s digital transformation to accelerate outcomes; deliver world-class experiences; and share the team’s best practices using technologies, services and solutions from both companies. He is based at VMware’s offices in Palo Alto, California. Iyer, who has served as VMware’s CIO since 2015, expanded his CIO responsibilities in December 2016 to also lead the Dell IT organization, and oversees the critical technology systems supporting the worldwide business operations for Dell and VMware. A respected industry veteran, Iyer brings more than 25 years of experience in executing and driving change in traditional Fortune 100 manufacturing companies and Silicon Valley-based technology firms. Prior to joining VMware, Iyer served as senior vice president and chief information officer at Juniper Networks, where he was responsible for the company’s technology and business operations, including critical services around business transformation, global business services, IT and real estate, and workplace services. He also served as chief information officer at Honeywell and at GlaxoSmithKline Beecham for consumer healthcare research and development, where he was also the company’s e-commerce leader. Iyer holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Annamalai University in India and a master’s degree in computer science from Florida Institute of Technology.