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 analyse 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 this past month and they are all saying, ‘I get it, but now what do I do?’” says Howard Elias, President and Chief Operating Officer, EMC Global Enterprise Services.
“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.”
For Elias, 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,” he explains. “One answer is to transform to an IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) model.”
In EMC’s experience, Elias sats ITaaS can reduce ‘keep-the-lights-on’ costs 20-25 percent – money that can be redirected to IT innovations that capitalise on the business opportunities made possible in the digital world.
But according to Elias, the next question customers ask is… “How do I get started on becoming this ‘provider of IT services’?”
Blazing Two Paths to IT-as-a-Service
Elias says EMC’s Global Services consulting team is seeing two distinct paths to ITaaS emerging.
“Some companies take a measured, step-by-step approach,” he explains. “They may start with converged infrastructure or a hybrid cloud, then migrate and optimise 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, Elias says EMC developed the IT Transformation Workshop (ITTW) where a company’s business and technology leaders are brought together to strategise and prioritise 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,” he adds.
“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.’”
With more than 15,000 cloud and ITaaS transformations under EMC’s belt, Elias documents 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,” he claims. “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 organisation.”
To sum it up, Elias admits the world is changing and the impact on businesses and IT in particular is both daunting and exciting, with EMC embarking on a crucial role within the industry.