“Yes” to IT Transformation. Now what?

The pace of technology change (and, thus life change) keeps accelerating with every new mobile app, social engagement, cloud vendor, and smart sensor. Analysts predict 30 billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2020, creating massive amounts of data waiting for someone or some thing to analyze this deluge and create the next big innovation that will fuel another wave of change. And so the cycle goes.

I visited with about a dozen customers in Europe this past month and they are all saying, “I get it, but now what do I do?”

They know their customers – internal and external – are expecting greater agility and responsiveness from the IT team, and that there’s a world of opportunity for “new IT” to enable their companies to be more relevant in our ever-changing world. They accept it, but with a big lump in their throats, because they have already made huge investments in legacy technology. They need to reconcile the old with the new investments – in a cost–effective, secure way.  One answer is to transform to an IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) model. In EMC’s experience, ITaaS can reduce “keep-the-lights-on” costs 20-25% – money that can be redirected to IT innovations that capitalize on the business opportunities made possible in the digital world. The next question our customers ask is “how do I get started on becoming this ‘provider of IT services’?”

Blazing Two Paths to IT-as-a-Service

EMC’s Global Services consulting team is seeing two distinct paths to ITaaS emerging. Some companies take a measured, step-by-step approach. They may start with converged infrastructure or a hybrid cloud, then migrate and optimize applications. Others, ones that are typically led by the CIO or board of directors, take an all-in, more comprehensive approach, attacking infrastructure, applications and operating model changes with a complete transformation project.

To help determine which path to take, we developed the IT Transformation Workshop (ITTW) where a company’s business and technology leaders are brought together to strategize and prioritize their cloud journey. Our consulting services experts have conducted more than 150 of these half-day workshops globally, with 90 new requests in Q1 2015 alone.

The ITTW builds out a vision of the digital future: how to improve the efficiency and agility of existing IT with hybrid cloud and converged infrastructure (as well as effective ways to migrate workloads to the new model). But while infrastructure and application transformation is necessary, it’s insufficient to derive full value from the “new IT.”

People & Process are Key Differentiators

With more than 15,000 cloud and ITaaS transformations under our belt, I can tell you without reservation that the most successful customers know technology and application transformation is foundational but never enough. They purposefully transform their people, processes and operating model to get maximum benefit. Phrases like “culture,” “change management,” and “core values” are part of the dialogue that’s needed to truly transform an IT operation.

This is the approach we took in transforming our own IT function recently. We addressed all three elements of IT transformation pictured below. In fact, a key part of our Operating Model Transformation was breaking down our technology-centric silos to build a services-centric IT organization. You can read more here about our IT transformation and how to build a next-gen IT operating model in your business.

Howards Blog

To sum it up, the world is changing and the impact on businesses and IT in particular is both daunting and exciting. EMC has a proven methodology and market-leading technologies to help customers seize opportunities. I hope my perspective is helpful and if you have any other advice for IT teams looking to transform to the new digital world, I’d love to hear about your experience.

About the Author: Howard Elias

Howard Elias is president of Services and Digital at Dell Technologies, overseeing global support, deployment, consulting, education and managed services, the IT organization and Virtustream. He also co-leads Dell Technologies Select, an elite sales team focused on serving some of Dell Technologies’ largest customers. Howard is responsible for setting and driving strategy to enable and accelerate the mission-critical business transformations of customers and Dell’s own global operations. Previously, he held various leadership positions at EMC, including president and chief operating officer of Global Enterprise Services. In 2016, he was tapped to be EMC’s lead for the Dell and EMC integration, overseeing the value creation and combination of the largest technology merger in history. Howard joined EMC in 2003 from Hewlett-Packard where he was senior vice president of Business Management and Operations for the Enterprise Systems Group. Prior to Hewlett-Packard, he held executive positions at Compaq, Digital, AST Research and Tandy Corporation. Howard was a co-founder and served on the board of managers for the Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) Company. He currently serves as chairman of TEGNA Inc., a media and digital business company, and is a member of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable. He attended Wayne State University and Lawrence Technological University.