Dell EMC World 2017 kicked of at the luxurious Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas today, with the company firmly staking its claim to lead the way in today’s digital business revolution.
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the words ‘digital transformation’ today (it’s been a lot) as, eight months on from last year’s merger, Dell EMC has left no room for doubt regarding its strategic ambitions.
Dell’s chief marketing officer Jeremy Burton set the tone this morning when he spoke about how IT “is about to undergo its biggest transformation over the next few years”, a theme which remained front and centre throughout the day.
The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Realise’, i.e. how the vast Dell Technologies’ portfolio of businesses can help customers see their digital transformation strategies come to fruition.
To do this, Dell EMC is basing its strategy around four pillars: Digital transformation, the trend we all know and love which transforms the business as a whole; IT transformation, which transforms IT specifically; Workforce transformation, which relates to how employees work; and Security transformation, necessary to protect a vastly-changing infrastructure.
Of course, digital transformation can mean a lot of different things to different people after becoming the dominant buzz-phrase in technology over the last two years of so, but Dell EMC is attempting to clarify its strategy through a three-step plan.
Modernise the data centre, automate service delivery and transform IT operations. These three areas form the basis of Dell EMC’s strategy, product lineup and its positioning in the market.
“We really believe this digital transformation is real,” said Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies. “From travelling around the world and meeting with customers of different sizes, it’s really interesting how this is taking form with customers in unexpected industries and they’re all trying to figure it out.”
“Technology is not really an IT function anymore. No matter what size company you are, you can’t really do anything very well without technology. So businesses of all sizes have to figure out how to leverage these tools.”
David Goulden, President of Dell EMC, echoed these thoughts in his keynote speech, highlighting how “there is a digital transformation occurring across all industries” and the pressures facing CIOs as they have been forced to become “masters of both IT and digital transformation”.
These comments will of course come as little surprise to you, our knowledgeable and well-read Silicon readers who have probably been hearing about the impact of digital transformation for the best part of two years.
So, Dell EMC isn’t breaking any new ground with its messaging, but the ambition is what sets it apart.
The company wants to cover the whole digital transformation journey to become “the essential infrastructure company” and, with the resources at its disposal, it’s certainly well placed to do exactly that.
Cloud computing is of course key to any digital transformation strategy and Michael Dell spent a lot of time during his keynote speech and subsequent press Q&A emphasising that multi-cloud will prevail in the end.
“We believe it’s going to be a multi-cloud world”, he said. “We all consume IT in a variety of forms. Public cloud, private cloud, hybrid, software as a service, managed services and it’ll all come down to optimising workloads and securing and managing that efficiently.
“All customers in one form or another are using a range of workloads. For some, that’s a great workload for public cloud, some are great for software as a service, some are great for managed services, some are great for on-premise. But we’re seeing more and more customers say that, for a variety of reasons whether its cost, security, or flexibility, for the predictable part of the workload the on-premise system is quite important.”
Dell described a “boomerang effect” where businesses have embraced a public cloud strategy only to find that it ends up costing them more than staying on-premise, due to their particular needs of their workloads.
He didn’t go as far as to dismiss the merits of public cloud, but emphasised that it’s not right for all workloads and, as such, promised that Dell EMC will be making its on-premise systems “extremely competitive”.
So, a clear statement of intent from the company and one that Michael Dell and Co. will be hoping their customers respond to.
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