Digital Transformation – Ruthless Revolution

By Alan Walsh Vice President, Global Support Center November 15, 2016

So, my question of the week – have you read the Digital Transformation Index? If not you’re missing a great opportunity to learn about our customers’ transformational journey.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting customers (at their business and at the Dell Technologies EBC) and industry peers in recent weeks, and the conversations have reached a real inflection point. We regularly posted and blogged on Digital Transformation over the last 18 months, but reality has now hit home for many of our customers. The concerns are real – as Dell CMO Jeremy Burton put it, “the fourth Industrial revolution has proved as ruthless as its predecessors so far”.

To get further context on the above infographic – there were some very interesting insights during my customer meetings:

  • They don’t hire Storage Admins any more – they hire developers
  • Their IT infrastructure budgets don’t include new data center investment, unless it’s to consolidate
  • New app development most likely won’t require on premise hardware

The other interesting insight is that part of customers’ Digital Transformation strategy is taking on a dual challenge:

  • Run the Business
  • Change the Business

This Endeavor Management study presents it as a “do-no-harm” approach while the business evolves into a digital, cloud-based service. The study states, ”Business leaders realize that a best-in-class digital business can launch new applications in days, rather than months”. Our customers’ problem right now is getting to that stage. Many startups are born in this manner and do not suffer the historical biases that come with storage networks and infrastructure.

This is one of the key reasons that digital disruption is now so prevalent. Marketing strategies need to be instant. They can be developed in the comfort of your own home in a matter of hours and sent to millions of connected people. Traditional industries are seeing large scale disruption, and are focused on getting in front of it.


digital transformation Within our customer base we see the bell curve above taking shape at an accelerating pace. From personal experience, the medical vertical has been a quick adopter of this digital transformation, with obvious return for the customer (patient).

Dell Technologies is laser-focused on embracing one area of opportunity within this change of pace. Quite simply, our customers are not innovating at the scale they used to. Reduced budgets and increased pressure lead many customers to turn to their technology partners to innovate on their behalf, and then become a consumer of that innovation. In turn it means that the technology partners are front and center to provide the best of breed, industry-leading technologies so our customers can continue to lead, evolve and become digital. It’s a unique position and one our teams relish.

The real work is only beginning. We have reached an inflection point where our customers now “get it” and are keen to go digital. Most know what they want to be but the challenge remains getting there – Run the business / Change the business.  There are many barriers to the ongoing changes. Namely, old systems and infrastructure which are actually enabling start-ups and their ability to disrupt. Our opportunity is evident, and our technologies allow us to help customers run and change their business. Being a trusted advisor has never been more important.

About Alan Walsh

Vice President, Global Support Center

Alan has been with EMC (now Dell EMC) since 1995, primarily in Services. Those years give him a unique perspective on the Dell EMC Services portfolio as well as global customers. Alan spent much of his career interacting directly with executive customers in all situations and geographies, and is currently responsible globally for Global Support Center.

Prior to this, Alan had global business leadership roles responsible for Remote Delivery for the EMC Data Protection and Availability portfolio, Unified Storage Division (1000+ team), and proactive customer engagement related to EMC’s Elite Program and Account Management Services. In these roles Alan also worked directly with both EMC and customer executives as needed on business problems and growing customer relationships.

Alan honed his technical, leadership and change management skills within EMC’s Support and Manufacturing organizations, and has applied his deep experience of EMC’s technology to grow the skill sets of both internal and partner service teams.

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