At EMC, as with many companies across the globe today, we are pursuing our path to digital transformation—enabled by our internal IT Transformation. For EMC IT, digital transformation points us towards a vision of personalized products and services, real-time information and analytics smartly helping ‘pilot’ the business, and contemporary customer experiences enabled on smart devices. In other words, we are transforming EMC into a software defined enterprise (SDE). The question is what does “software defined enterprise” (SDE) really mean for IT and how do we get there. By way of an answer, our Office of Architecture and Innovation team recently came up with a game plan—appropriately called EMC IT Architecture of the Future.
We have created a comprehensive blueprint detailing the foundational architecture principles which are critical to achieving our software defined enterprise goals. While the priorities highlighted in the plan are not new, this is the first time IT has brought them together in a single vision defining how each fits to deliver SDE. The intent is to help clearly communicate IT’s role in making the notion of SDE a reality.
The game has changed. As CIOs and IT professionals, we were comfortable with controlling the environment; talking in ERP terms and timelines; and in using a liquidation/unit cost financial model to manage our operations. However, the landscape has changed and our business users expect and need IT’s help in driving agility, intelligence, innovation and value. To remain relevant, CIOs and IT organizations must reenergize IT.
On October 6th, EMC celebrated the tremendous strides the company is making to dramatically enhance our Total Customer Experience (TCE) globally. Like other EMC customers, my team and I wholeheartedly embraced cloud and big data analytics, as well as mobile and social technologies to innovate and propel us forward. That said,building on my blog earlier this year, I believe that digitization is the key to improving TCE and transforming how businesses run for the future. (more…)
Sometimes the insights you are looking for to resolve a problem turn out to be right in your own backyard. When EMC IT embarked on a bold mission to transform its IT operating model almost two years ago, it made perfect sense for EMC IT to turn to an inside resource—our top EMC consultants in the IT Transformation Work Group within EMC Global Services—for help.
After all, the Global Services IT Transformation Practice had years of experience helping clients transform their IT operations to better serve their business clients. Global Services could apply what we knew to move the EMC IT effort forward In turn, our IT Transformation service leaders could benefit from being involved in one of the industry’s largest IT transformations, through which we could hone and refine our consulting approach and practices on a scale we have never done before.
Nineteen months later, EMC’s IT transformation is on track, and our group has gained a long list of new best practices and insights to leverage with other clients going forward.
We used to deliver projects in ERP terms with complex, multi-year investments leaving the business little choice regardless of how long it would take or what it would cost. However, today’s information generation wants convenience and near instant gratification, so if we are not agile or fast enough, they will get their infrastructure, apps or cloud services elsewhere.
To get ahead of this at EMC, we have transformed IT to be more business aligned to dramatically improve innovation, performance and reliability. That said, it is not for the faint of heart, so let me share a few lessons we’ve learned along the way
As an IT veteran, I have observed and helped drive tremendous change, not just in the technologies we use but how we use them. Among the more dramatic shifts has been the definition of being a mobile worker.
When I was a mainframe programmer in the late 80’s, being “highly mobile” meant I could log in at any mainframe terminal in the office, do my programming, submit my jobs to the queue and do my (internal only) email. Later, I had two desks in two different buildings and mobility became driving between them multiple times each day. Virtual Private Network (VPN) technologies allowed me to be on call and dial in (literally via a phone-line) from home rather than having to get to the office.
The Internet made mobile work more bearable, but it still required a laptop or desktop. By plugging my blackberry into my PC as a modem, I could work on the train to my office in Boston.
What really transformed mobility (or the trend of more employees working out of the office using mobile devices) for me was the iPhone (followed by the iPad and Android devices.) Not only was I in touch as frequently as I wanted to be via email capabilities, but the enormous ecosystem of apps allowed me to be productive in the ways that fit me best. I was – and am – able to define how I work and where I work. “Work” has stopped being the place I went to and instead became what I did.
More than ever, businesses see their futures tied to their ability to harness the explosive growth in data. You may even be familiar with the Business Data Lake concept—a central repository of vast information which can be used across an enterprise to drive all business intelligence, advanced analytics and even, eventually, intelligent applications.
We, at EMC IT, are in the process of creating a Business Data Lake, and I will be sharing insights about our efforts in this blog. To start, let’s trace the vision that’s leading EMC IT and other businesses to the shores of this new data landmark.
We use supplier analytics, ongoing process improvement and constant communication—the fourth and final pillar of our overall approach.
Using dashboards and reporting tools, analytics lets us measure our vendor interactions and evaluate them to maximize performance. Think of this approach as tracking the heartbeat of EMC IT’s vendor relationships—a kind of ongoing checkup to make sure this important system is working as it should. This includes tracking deals to ensure all the right terms and conditions are in place, confirming that what IT spends on them is what was expected, and making sure that each vendor is doing what they are expected to do. (more…)
IT Proven allows you to leverage EMC IT’s first-hand knowledge and best practices to accelerate your own IT transformation journeys, transforming operations and delivering IT as a Service through the power of cloud computing. IT Proven highlights how EMC IT transformed into an agile, innovative, and competitive service provider.
Transforming an IT organization is a complex, multi-faceted journey that requires new ways of thinking, analysis and structure. With the industry changing at a break-neck pace, the need has never been greater to assume an IT as a Service (ITaaS) model and become a true service provider to the business. To help organizations with their transformations, EMC IT Proven engages customers so they may leverage EMC IT’s first-hand experience to accelerate their own IT transformation journeys.
That is why EMC IT experts will be hosting five LIVE Virtual CrowdChat events during EMC World this year which can be attended virtually from anywhere in the world! (more…)
Flash storage is getting decidedly more flashy these days. The once exclusive and expensive, high-performance storage technology is staking out an increasingly mainstream storage footprint across the current data environment.
Typically, flash has been the Formula 1 of storage technology, used to meet workloads requiring high-intensity IO with low-latency needs for applications like high-performance computing, database acceleration and data mining support. While it is still used to meet these demands, we find that due to both technology and business model changes, we are able to use flash in a variety of general purpose storage situations, and, in fact, that’s how we are putting it to use in EMC IT.
There are several factors that have made flash a more viable option for a wider array of storage needs:
As SVP of IT, Jon Peirce is responsible for driving EMC IT’s transformation into an IT-as-a-Service provider/ broker and strategic business partner through technology, operating model, process and organizational innovation and evolution. Additionally, he oversees operations for several of EMC’s revenue generating cloud services and leads EMC’s Centers of Excellence in the Americas. In his prior role in IT from 2006-2013, Jon was responsible for Global IT Infrastructure and Support Services and led an aggressive standardization, consolidation, virtualization, tiering and optimization program across EMC’s IT infrastructure that delivered in excess of $220M in cost savings along with improved agility, resiliency, scalability, sustainability and security.
We have shared many insights on EMC IT’s multi-year journey to transform from a traditional IT operation to an IT-as-a-Service model—from steps which determine a new organization structure to strategies on changing the mindset of employees to focus on serving our clients. With some significant transformation successes under our belt and many more in the works, it seems like an opportune time to look back a bit on how far we’ve come and reflect on what we’ve learned in the process.
What follow are the Top 10 Lessons EMC ITlearned in its IT transformation process. Regardless of whether your IT organization is just beginning this crucial transformation or is in the throes of the climb, we hope these lessons will help you move forward. #1: IT Transformation is not a project. It’s a journey. IT transformation is a complex challenge, for which a prescriptive approach to change management is inappropriate. A more iterative and agile approach is necessary.
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