Whether you call it digital transformation, IT modernisation or infrastructure / application upgrading, the digital revolution will continue to change the way we work and manage our IT estates in 2020.

However, while many organisations are transforming rapidly and embracing change, some teams are going into a “deep IT state” where they are becoming somewhat resistant to change says Sean Horne, Chief Customer Officer at Dell Technologies.

Watch the video or continuing reading for more.

“There is a deep IT state where people inside the organisation know that change is happening, but they are not comfortable with it.”

Sean explains the progress conflict: “Crucially, the IT revolution affects a lot of people in the middle classes – those earning good salaries. They are having to revolutionise themselves and transform themselves in a way that could result in them not having their jobs at the end. Within that model there is resistance. There is a deep IT state where people inside the organisation know that change is happening, but they are not comfortable with it.”

The impact of that can be that on the surface teams appear like they are transforming, but underneath they may be making sure that a human element is required to support the technology or business transformation. A sort of self-protection.

The power of operational excellence

Sean believes however, that shifting the operational models within an organisation presents the biggest opportunity for efficiencies and change and does not make the role of the human redundant. While application modernisation, infrastructure and operations are all closely linked, operational excellence is a theme that a lot of Dell customers are moving towards.

“[It is] an operational story and not a technology story. I think that is the missing link in this transformation, modernisation revolution that is going on. That changes the way you buy IT.”

He explains: “People are trying to save money by moving applications into different places like cloud or they are trying to buy cheaper infrastructure. But the reality of the situation is that the place you are going to save more money is in the operational side of the business.

“Whether you’re asking: How do I deliver a service? how do I make it efficient? How do I make sure my reliability, availability, scalability and security are part of the infrastructure I have? How do I ensure that scales both up and out in response to whatever the business is doing? All those questions are an operational story and not a technology story. I think that is the missing link in this transformation, modernisation revolution that is going on. That changes the way you buy IT.”

Driving efficiencies with an outcomes-based approach

As a result, Dell Technologies is shifting focus to buying outcomes-based solutions. They recently announced the new autonomous storage platform PowerOne, which is all about delivering an”out of the box” outcome. Sean reveals Dell’s primary focus for 2020 is to continue to drive the efficiency model: doing more with less, reducing complication, accelerating the transformational agenda while ensuring agility.

Sean Horne, Dell Technologies

Sean Horne presents: Why anything? Why now? Why Dell Technologies? Speaking at XPO North 2019

Why partners and collaboration are crucial to customer success

“Companies are realising that it is the collaboration that drives the growth. If you want to grow your business, so long as the water is rising we all rise with it.”

From a customer point of view, Sean says he encourages Dell customers to have a great relationship with a partner in order to help them navigate and “harmonise” the complex landscape of multiple services, programmes and vendors.

“Partners have a key role to play and companies like Trustmarque are really key at that: helping customers establish their transformational strategy in the first place, whether that’s application  modernisation mapping, data audits and putting a programme together with a critical path agenda– partners are key in all this.”

In terms of moving further into mixed vendor environments, Sean thinks that the ability to run VMware in AWS, Azure and google is still the most exciting collaboration of the moment and one that will go from strength-to-strength in 2020.

He commented: “Now you have the reverse coming out where you can take your databases out of AWS and actually run it in an on-premises environment using VMware. That bi-directional ability to manage data is what customers have been asking for. People are now thinking about how they can run AWS in Azure or vice versa so I think this collaboration model is going to move forward.

“Companies are realising that it is the collaboration that drives the growth. If you want to grow your business, so long as the water is rising we all rise with it.”

Watch the interview

About Sean Horne

Sean Horne has almost 19 years’ experience with EMC and Dell Technologies. He ran Distribution (Ideal Hardware) & Partners; led the enterprise Dell OEM business; has been a Salesman, District Manager and Area Manager; ran the storage business in the UKI; and has been the CTO for UKI.

Sean led the Dell Technologies Executive Briefing Program in EMEA. He heard from hundreds of customers about the frustration that transformation can bring, but has also seen the brilliance and creativity that changes business and drives human progress.

Sean Horne, Dell Technologies

Trustmarque: a Dell Technologies Titanium Partner

Trustmarque is proud to be a Titanium Partner of Dell Technologies. We are one of their most accredited UK partners, with a specialism delivering unstructured data solutions via Dell EMC Isilon Network Attached Storage and next generation Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS). In 2019, we became the first and only UK partner approved to deploy Dell EMC ECS  in the UK. Read the announcement here.

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By Katherine Murphy, content enthusiast