Perfect Storm Shatters The Glass House

Back in the dinosaur days before PCs, mainframe computers resided in air-conditioned, glass enclosures with attendants in lab coats. Such a facility — often called a “glass house” by the organizations big enough to afford them — gave IT a sacred aura that lived on long after mainframes gave way to racks of servers in data centers. But in recent years, a perfect storm of digital, workforce and IT transformations has risen to shatter the glass-house aura for good. And Dell EMC is helping customers catch the big wave that this perfect storm is creating.

Digital Transformation: Faster, Better, Cheaper

While many may argue about size being a competitive advantage in today’s business world, speed and agility can run circles around that. For enterprises that are in the middle of their digital transformations or are just beginning, it may be time to consider upgrading any IT infrastructure older than five years to get the speed and agility that applications and users need.

Why now? Technology has simply advanced so much since then, especially recently. Blazing speeds of new multi-core CPUs, 40GB networking and all-flash storage are all enabling faster outputs, whether CAD renderings, data analysis, or augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applications.

And price-performance has never been better. Lower-cost components such as flash storage, coupled with more space-efficient, hyper-converged system designs, help lower TCO while boosting ROI. The result of these advancements is that organizations of all sizes can and should take advantage of technology to drive their digital transformations — or risk getting left behind.

Workforce Transformation: More Productive, More Collaborative, More Capable

Speed and agility are nothing if a company’s employees are stuck in neutral. But today’s workforce is undergoing a transformation not seen since the advent of the PC 30 years ago. Workers are no longer bound to offices, much less desks. Mobile devices, whether powerful laptop workstations or richly featured tablets, let them work anywhere. Even high-performance computing via the cloud is accessible from a local café.

Advanced technology also increases collaboration not only inside organizations but also with outside partners — another big benefit of workforce transformation. People can work as virtual teams in flatter, less hierarchal organizations that are supported by cloud-based tools to enhance teamwork and group outputs. Role-based access privileges can help individuals be part of many virtual teams, dynamically scaling expertise as needed.

Workers can become more capable, too, with their physical and intellectual limits extended by technology innovations. AR and VR technologies, for example, are no longer curiosities or for gamers only. They are quickly finding their way into industrial CAD/CAE applications as well as healthcare. Even chemical engineers can use headsets to see simulations of molecular interactions.

Advanced analytics and machine learning can also be transformative, especially when done with real-time data. They can help workers gain deeper insights into operations data, so they can make better informed decisions much faster. This kind of responsiveness, across an entire organization, translates to a much more agile enterprise that can proactively capitalize on opportunities sooner.

Of course, increased individual and team productivity is one big outcome of workforce transformation. Another is that they can also be more creative in their approaches to addressing business problems and opportunities. That’s because they can try innovative solutions via simulations that help reduce risks of failure and, if that occurs, quickly rebound and apply the lessons learned.

IT Transformation: More Flexible, More Efficient, More Strategic 

IT has never had more options in its business models. Cloud-based models can reduce or eliminate capital investments, and consumption-based, pay-as-you go pricing models provide greater flexibility in aligning costs with usage. Here are four options:

Also driving IT’s transformation are new, more efficient management tools that help ease admin burdens and enable greater productivity. For example, the new Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation servers offer one-click BIOS tuning. This makes for quick-and-easy deployment of many processing-intensive workloads, so admins can tailor storage configurations to their application needs — especially critical in software-defined storage (SDS) environments.

The biggest benefit of an enterprise IT transformation? Today’s IT staffs can focus on more strategic projects. After all, does anyone really want to spend their working years on a help desk doing password resets? By becoming more strategic, IT professionals aren’t just supporting the business, they’re helping drive it. And that’s a good place to be.

To find out what other forward-looking IT professionals are thinking, check out the 16-page Dell EMC-sponsored study, “The State of IT Transformation.”

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About the Author: Sam Miller

Sam Z Miller serves as Vice President, Inside Sales for Dell’s North America Commercial business consisting of small and medium business commercial, public education and government customers. In this role, Sam is responsible for leading sales teams, driving a winning internal and customer culture, and operationalizing Dell’s strategy to enable growth. With 15 years of experience at Dell, Sam has a deep expertise of working closely and strategically with customers, partners and team members. His passion for his people and customers success is the foundation of the culture of his organization. With a focus on talent and experience of building world-class teams, Sam is well equipped to lead Inside Sales. In his previous role, he was Executive Director, Inside Sales for Dell’s Preferred Accounts Division and Emerging Business Division for four years. Other roles within Dell include Regional Sales Director, NAC SMB Acquisition and US Medium Business Sales for 6 years, various sales leadership roles, Account Executive within GCC and almost every inside sales role. Inspirational Leadership and talent development is a key priority for Sam and he is committed to building an inclusive and diverse multi-channel organization that puts the customer first.