For those of us in corporate IT, if we want to achieve our ITaaS aspirations, we need to become more professional in how we deliver services. In the past, we’ve had the luxury of being able to impose services on our captive clients and with little competitive imperative for us to “be the best we could be.” We delivered client experiences that would have resulted in market share loss had we been a commercial service provider.
With the cloud, everything has changed. Public cloud services are competing for our clients’ business and, in some cases, winning by providing better value than our clients perceive we’re capable of delivering. We now clearly understand that we must transform ourselves to operate more like a business and offer levels of quality, cost and service that differentiate our offerings from alternatives our business clients might have. A core component of running our IT operation more like a business and becoming a more professional service provider is adopting a set of processes and enabling technologies supporting IT Service Management (ITSM).
ITSM is an industry standard term (much like ERP [Enterprise Resource Management] and CRM [Customer Relationship Management]) that defines a process framework describing an effective and efficient way of conducting IT’s business. Technologies that enable effective IT Service Management are referred to as ITSM Systems. As is the case with ERP and CRM systems, effective ITSM implementations rely on process and behavior change. The technology alone will do very little.
And herein is the challenge. Delivering ITaaS, or running IT more like a business requires making substantial changes to IT processes and our culture and behaviors. As someone who is sponsoring our ITaaS transformation and the implementation of a new ITSM at EMC, I can tell you that it’s not at all easy.
The virtualization of EMC’s global computing infrastructure has commanded long-term dedication to re-engineer the way we manage our internal systems and processes — our IT Transformation. As part of the journey, one of the most important system re-design has been our enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform. A few years ago, our old ERP had reached critical mass. It was aged, far too customized and increasingly became a hurdle to EMC operating at a speed demanded within a global enterprise. Knowing something had to change, EMC entered into a partnership with SAP to revolutionize our ERP platform.
In the summer of 2012, that mission — code named PROPEL — came to fruition. Through unprecedented collaboration between EMC’s business units and IT, 500 employees, consultants, systems integrators and partners completed a remarkably quick 27-month implementation of the new ERP system. The new system provided EMC with the transformative platform required to meet our everyday business needs. When the project team rang the bell on PROPEL, it instantly incorporated more than 8,000 global users which fundamentally changed the way EMC operates, providing new methods of collaboration, faster financial reporter, application integration and more.
By KK Krishnakumar, Vice President and Chief IT Architect
For your IT operation to make the most of your organization’s ever-expanding Big Data in today’s information-driven universe, you need to set it free.
I don’t mean free in the sense of relinquishing control of your data and letting it go where it may, but in the sense of opening it up for collaboration with the business in pursuing meaningful analytics and then adding value from the results back into the data.
In fact, data liberation is central to a three-phase Big Data vision and strategy EMC is using to make the most of what our data is telling us.
The first phase is data consolidation—getting your data into a centralized repository with appropriate provisions for a federated model. For this, your data must be logically centralized but not necessarily physically centralized. This should be applied to both structured and unstructured data and accommodate both real-time and batch updates.
But data consolidation alone won’t let you get the most out of what it can tell you. For this, you need to liberate your Big Data by allowing the business to start using it as much as possible. In the past, IT organizations were accused of holding the data hostage. And we did in the sense that we, as custodians (but not necessarily owners) of the enterprise data, tended to keep business groups from working with the data directly for fear they would adversely impact its integrity and security.
By Stephen Doherty, Principal IT Project Manager
There are big IT projects at every company and in everyone’s career. I was fortunate enough to be a part of the largest IT infrastructure project in EMC’s history. Simple, open a datacenter, migrate all of the applications, close a data center.
One of our Massachusetts data centers had served EMC and Data General well for decades. However, we were constrained by power, cooling and space. It was also far too close to our other data center to protect EMC from a regional disaster like Hurricane Sandy. EMC selected Durham, North Carolina to build out a new 20,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art data center.
First mover advantage
We’ve written a lot about our Durham Cloud Data Center in the past. We purchased the Durham site in October 2009 and planned to close the near-capacity Massachusetts data center by December 31, 2012. If the migration took longer, we estimated that it would cost EMC millions of dollars in 2013 to extend the lease and staff, power, cool and insure the facility. Three years, no problem—except the Durham facility was a warehouse, not a data center. The facility remodel wouldn’t be ready until October 2010, giving us eight quarters to migrate more than 2,500 servers and 500 applications and a ninth quarter to decommission the Westborough facility.
By Jon Peirce – Senior Vice President, EMC IT
The transformation of IT organizations from a traditional service model to an IT as a Service (ITaaS) provider is a multi-faceted, comprehensive endeavor requiring a universal commitment from the enterprise, and tests the persistence and patience of all of us leading the charge.
In the case of EMC IT’s transformation, it is a story that began nearly five years ago, when we recognized that we would not optimize the beautiful infrastructure we built if we continued to operate with the same antiquated processes and governance we had used in the past. When looking at ourselves objectively, we had to admit that the truth hurt.
• We never had enough capacity to meet requests, and were constantly in the position of having to “manage demand down” to meet the available supply.
• Disconnects between the funding made available for IT services and the consumption of IT services was creating unproductive friction between IT and our clients.
• Increasingly, Business Groups looked to the public cloud because it’s faster and they could avoid the IT bureaucracy, even if it came at an increased cost.
• The increasing speed of EMC’s business was putting huge pressure on us to become faster and more adaptive.
• We found ourselves “sweeping up the mess” too often.
When EMC discusses its Journey to the Cloud, we do so knowing that we’ve planned, tested and validated the various technologies and solutions we used first-hand inside our own walls. This is driving force behind EMC IT Proven.
Over the last few years, EMC IT organization has transformed tremendously – embracing cloud computing, building a new cloud data center, and replacing its dated ERP system. This has resulted in:
- $157 million in capital expense avoidance
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- $66 million in operational expense savings
Today, EMC IT is focused on leveraging its cloud foundation and numerous EMC, RSA, VMware and VCE technologies to develop and broker services with a rich user experience, while driving agility and time-to-value for the business and its go-to-market opportunities.
For a peek into EMC’s own IT Transformation, IT as a Service, Big Data and to providing our users with consumer-grade experiences, read the 2012 EMC Corporation IT Performance Report now available as a PDF and iBook.
After you’ve read the Report, be sure to return to this site for the latest chapters our IT transformation story which we will share via blogs, white papers, and other reports throughout the year. And, most importantly, don’t hesitate to comment, ask questions or share what you read here with your colleagues.
Thank you for visiting EMC’s IT Blog.
By Doug Graham, Senior Director, Global Security Office – Risk Management
The 2013 RSA Conference provides a terrific venue for industry leaders to share and communicate, but one topic, I couldn’t help but notice a dramatic rise in interest: Risk Management. Over the past three RSA Conferences, I have seen our Risk Management seminar increase from a peer-to-peer session of 25 people two years ago to more than 800 people at this year’s session — and with good reason.
The idea of risk management resonates deeply within the industry, including the need and practice of risk management and the desire to bond security, data analytics and the business. A well-rounded discussion was generated from the audience that focused on a number of pivotal ideas of risk management: What does risk management mean to an organization? How does an organization measure success? How can an organization work more collaboratively to push back against threats?
Risk Management and the Business
As we in security continue to study and execute the science behind risk management, we understand more and more that it cannot be managed in a bubble. Risk management, to be truly effective, must move into the business. Ultimately, the security organization cannot accept the notion of an impenetrable or perfect system as a matter of doing business. By evangelizing risk management into the business, we create a new sense or priorities and responsibilities in which non-security and non-IT business users assume risk management as their own.
When this occurs, perspective is gained on how other units respond to risk, even down to financial management and financial risk. In that regard, risk management no longer lives in a vacuum and advocates begin to pop up throughout the organization. These advocates will expand the network of risk management and operate in a way that bolsters an organization’s security posture. That was an important message from this year’s RSA Conference.
By Sanjay Mirchandani — Executive Vice President and Former CIO
While bittersweet, career changes are exhilarating. After nearly five years as EMC’s CIO, I’ve handed the reins over to our newest executive Vic Bhagat and EMC’s award-winning IT team, who proudly and painstakingly built our industry-leading cloud and Big Data foundation.
I may have given up the title and business cards, but I believe that once you are a CIO, you are always a CIO. As I roll up my sleeves to support the Pivotal Initiative led by Paul Maritz; foster the company’s international growth opportunities; and lend a hand with a variety of EMC’s customer activities, I will be relying on many battle-tested lessons from my tenure as CIO. Here are a few of the most important ones:
First, agility is the new currency of the business as it further drives efficiency, strives to innovate and speeds its time to value. Rather than tactically deploying strong technologies at the whim and/or budget of the business (yes, that can happen!), IT must jointly develop value-driven solutions. Whether I am in IT or a customer within the business, this drive towards agility requires tight, joint IT/business partnerships; an active and involved executive sponsor; and a strong, vetted and validated business case. The basics don’t change, they just get more pronounced.
Want to Read More? Visit the EMC Executive Reflections Blog for the full post.
By Neil Thibodeau — Senior Director, IT Business Management
**This is the first part of a three-part series about labor sourcing in the ITaaS business model**
You might wonder what moving our labor to a consumption-based model has to do with IT as a Service (ITaaS). The fact is a significant amount of our IT spend is made up of labor and these costs are then passed on to our business units in the form of invoices. Sourcing and contract strategies are essential to establishing our ability to effectively roll those costs into services and then back to the business units in the ITaaS business model.
Let me start by describing EMC IT’s effort to restructure its sourcing strategy. We wanted to move beyond “name-based” or “capacity-based” supply side sourcing, and move towards “unit based” supply side sourcing. In other words, rather than setting aside a specific IT employee or contractor to deliver services to a specific business group, we wanted to designate labor resources based on specific service requirements that can be leveraged for multiple business group needs. The idea was to pool like skills that would allow us to scale and be more efficient. Oh yeah, and we needed to do it cheaper while meeting and improving existing service levels.
When EMC IT committed to ITaaS, a key (and critical) objective was to improve the business relationship between IT and EMC business teams, by being able to communicate in terms of outcomes and not focus on regularly having to answer the labor allocation question, “what was John working on?” Our decision to further develop the ITaaS business model was also motivated by an underlying belief that there are always opportunities to improve efficiency.
By Paulo Prazeres, Senior Director of IT Finance
Sometimes simple is just better, even when complex financial and IT strategies are at stake. So it wasn’t totally surprising that EMC IT’s simple approach to creating financial transparency for its transformation to IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) struck a positive note with financial leaders at two recent conferences where I gave presentations last month.
The first was a Finance Management Board meeting of The Research Board Inc. in late January, where I got to discuss EMC’s financial transparency program with some 15 IT finance leaders from other Fortune 500 companies. The following week, I gave a presentation on “The End of Flat-Tax Funded IT” to CFOs and other financial leaders from a cross-section of industries at the Corporate Performance Management Conference.
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Attendees at both were extremely interested in oursimplicity-first approach to making the shift from a traditional lump-sum IT service budget to a financial transparency system that shares with users the true costs of IT services they consume. Leaders whose organizations are in the throes of transformation to ITaaS wanted to hear more about how we created five broad “buckets” of services from which to allocate costs and establish a chargeback system to our IT users.
Want to Read More? Visit the EMC Executive Reflections Blog for the full post.