Dell: The Business Of IT, And ITs Future

AUSTIN, TEXAS: Surpassing the events that led up to Dell World 2014, the company’s coming-out party as a privately held venture, would be difficult to imagine, but the announcements that intends to buy EMC/VMware/RSA/Pivotal/whatever, and the sales agreement with CDW a week before Dell World 2015, make this week’s event an even more compelling proposition for the entire IT industry. If the acquisition goes through next summer, then Dell will become the second largest IT vendor, following only , and way ahead of the soon-to-be-two .

There will be a number of product and service announcements made this week, but while Dell was trying to drive a stake through HP’s heart, or at least HPE’s last week, it was also releasing the results of its Global Technology Adoption Index 2015. According to the study, companies investing in cloud, mobility, security and Big Data are growing up to 53% faster than laggards.

“Organizations that are in a growth mode are taking advantages of technologies”, said Bryan Jones, VP of Marketing for North America and Global 500, Dell. Security remains a significant challenge, he told IT Trends & Analysis, as well as cost, but there has been improvement between last year’s inaugural study and 2015. Last years, organizations had a plan around security and this year they’re doing something about it, he said.

There has been a major shift in adoption, and  “having a comprehensive security strategy has gone up dramatically over last year.” Jones said security adoption has climbed a 100% year-over-year.

The study also reported that revenue, rather than risk, is driving security initiatives with 75% of organizations. Jones said last year risk was the biggest driver. Now you have companies moving to that next stage, how do I take that and turn it to a competitive advantage and take the next step.

This year’s also found that organizations are saying the cost of storing data and getting value out of it is a challenge. Jones said one of the things the research is used for is to inform Dell’s acquisition strategy, as well as package its solutions. “Everyone sees a benefit to it but some of them haven’t been able to crack the code from a cost perspective.”

Another topic he found really interesting was the mobility adoption. Mobility makes a lot of sense but we’re challenged in a couple of areas, i.e. security, breaches, and BYOD. “It’s obvious to me that we as an industry still have a lot to do about bring your own device.”

Mobility can be a game changer for a number of companies, but security remains a really common concern. “Folks are seeing a business benefit of going to mobility… but still need help in going that last mile.”

Another finding provided insight into cloud adoption, with perceived benefits including speed and employee satisfaction. “The speed has always been there but the employee satisfaction… was a bit of an aha moment.”

Then there’s the bit of a backlash over public versus private cloud. “That promise that it was going to be less expensive isn’t being realized.”

Organizations want to know what is the total cost of ownership in public cloud? “Public cloud has a place but it’s not the silver bullet panacea we were led to believe”.

The final takeaway is the continuing recognition of a trend that has been going on for years. “When you look at cloud, security and big data… higher percentage of push to adopt… is coming more from the business side than the IT side.” It’s a business, not an IT initiative, said Jones, and “business roles are much more likely to be driving these decisions”.

So what does all this mean to Dell, its customers and prospects, and the industry at large? While the acquisition will provide a huge boost to Dell’s enterprise aspirations, the company hasn’t been standing still, hoping to be recognized as a legitimate contender in the enterprise IT arena. “I love having control of our destiny and being able to make the investments,” said founder and CEO Michael Dell in a recent interview. “We’re operating with a whole different pace in terms of our aggression and gaining share.” He added that his company recorded nearly a 1% market-share gain across all business last quarter.

In June the company announced that Gartner had recognized Dell across multiple enterprise product lines:

-a leader in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Modular Servers;

-a visionary in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Center Networking; and,

-a positive overall rating in its Vendor Rating report.

“We believe this recognition from an esteemed firm like Gartner is confirmation that Dell understands the data centers of the future,” said Paul Perez, CTO of Dell Enterprise Solutions Group, in a prepared statement.

Another analyst firm, Technology Business Research, was also positive about Dell’s accomplishments since going private. ‘After Dell’s privatization and a solid year of operation under Dell’s belt, its executives reported solid progress, a clear corporate vision and incremental plans to accelerate the firm’s strategy.’

Commenting after Dell announced the creation of its Datacenter Scalable Solutions (DSS) business in August [PRODUCT NEWS DUE OUT THIS WEEK], the tier below the 8-year-old Data Center Solutions (DCS) BU targeted at the dozen or so hyperscale-sized customers, TBR Practice Manager/Principal Analyst Christian Perry noted that it would ‘help Dell embed itself in long-term engagements across stable organizations that require high-volume IT infrastructure and benefits afforded by deep vendor supply chain connections.’

There are other companies going after the subhyperscale market, including HP, but Perry said the advantage lies with Dell, which has deep supply chain and engineering expertise already accustomed to servicing this and adjacent markets. With multiple implementations across a range of verticals, ‘Dell is poised for success in a market demanding cohesive, agile and — most importantly — proven solutions.’
DISCLAIMER: Dell paid for airfare and accommodations, and it now looks like they will be rightsizing my stock portfolio —  EMC and — as Michael continues to grow his IT kingdom (and massive debt load).

Author: Steve Wexler

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