Has Dell Got The Winning Ticket To The DT Sweepstakes?

A significantly larger and much deeper-in-debt Dell has packed up the inaugural Dell EMC World event — 8,000 attendees — and will hold DEW2 next May in Sin City (or as I call it, Lost Wages). With the just-completed acquisition of EMC, the new enterprise business, Dell EMC, is the largest enterprise storage and server vendor, but while storage capacity and server unit shipments continue to soar, prices and margins continue to erode. In addition to the IT industry’s largest debt load, Dell added significant resources in enterprise storage (EMC), virtualization (VMware), cloud (Virtustream, Pivotal and ECS), networking (SDN/NSX), all-in-one appliances (VCE) and security (RSA). The company also has investments in 150 companies for future technologies. It moved into top spot in server shipments for the most recent quarter, while EMC tied for first place with HPE ($1.6 billion each) in enterprise storage, with Dell in third place. In total, Dell claims leadership in 20 Gartner Magic Quadrants, but where is the growth and profitability going to come from? At DEW 1.0, the company called out digital transformation (DT or DX) as its future, while beefing up its present with a variety of cloud, appliance, analytics, security and flash announcements. “I say we’re going to be the trusted provider of essential infrastructure for the next industrial revolution,” said Michael Dell in his keynote. We’re facing “the sunrise of a new era… digital dawn” and the opportunities are huge, he added. Or as GE’s CIO put it in a video at the show: “You go to bed an industrial company and wake up as a software and analytics company.” Technology is undergoing sweeping changes as a result of cloud, analytics, software-defined everything, Internet of Things, mobile and social, and these technologies/applications are helping to drive the digital transformation impacting every aspect of our lives. Dell is now the biggest enterprise IT vendor offering the broadest portfolio of hardware, software and services, while its two closest competitors fall further behind. IBM continues to struggle with growth while HPE continues to struggle with its smaller-is-more-agile-and-therefore-more-relevant philosophy. “At Dell EMC World you’re getting a look at the next great technology company,” said Dell. David Goulden, President and Chief Commercial Officer, Dell EMC, believes the company has first-mover status in both the datacenter consolidation currently driving the enterprise IT market, and in the emerging digital transformation. He also believes Dell is best-positioned because of its size and breadth. “We don’t see many customers say I want more partners.” They want fewer, more capable IT partners, not a bunch of point product vendors. He calls Dell EMC and its DT focus “a game changer.” Other...

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Dell 3.0 Takes Center Stage at DEW

Austin, Texas:  The critical question arising from the inaugural Dell EMC World event — at least for me, an IBM, HP/E and Dell/EMC/VMware investor — is what makes Dell’s prospects any brighter than those of its two main competitors, IBM and HPE, and the trio of enterprise vendors offering more limited portfolios — Cisco, Oracle and Lenovo? IBM has seen its sales shrink for the last 17 quarters, HPE is just shrinking, and the other contenders can only offer partial solutions — predominantly networking and datacenter servers, DBMS software and appliances, and devices, respectively. From its humble roots in Michael Dell’s college dorm room, the company has scaled the PC heights, added servers, storage, software, networking, security and services and, with the completion of the EMC acquisition, is now grappling with the IT industry’s largest acquisition and largest debt load. It has also added significant resources in enterprise storage (disk, flash and software-defined), virtualization (VMware), cloud (Virtustream, Pivotal and ECS), networking (SDN/NSX), all-in-one appliances (VCE) and security (RSA). Of course there is a lot of overlap too, and while the combined companies may point out the differences, many others will be concerned about the similarities. We’ve already seen signs of tighter focus — i.e. the sales of the enterprise content division, services and software units, and the (lower-than-expected) SecureWorks IPO — and the first workforce reductions, 2,000-3,000 jobs are expected to be cut, out of 140,000. On the good (?) news front, Dell moved into top spot in server shipments for the most recent quarter, while HPE held on to top spot in revenues; shipments grew 2% year-over-year, while revenues edged 0.8% lower. Even better, EMC was named a leader in integrated systems, and the acquisition should strengthen that position, although Gartner cautions that uncertainty will plague the new Dell-EMC-VMware combination that brings ‘multiple overlapping and competing integrated system strategies under one roof.’ The results were equally ambivalent for enterprise storage, where revenue was flat while shipped capacities shot up 12.9%; EMC tied for first place with HPE ($1.6 billion each) while Dell came in third place with a revenue increase of 14%, up to $1 billion. Prior to the acquisition EMC was pushing a software-defined everything strategy, and it’s unlikely that focus will change under new ownership. The current evolution of IT is offering customers a couple of choices in pursuit of shrinking data centers, lower CAPEX and OPEX and the ability to leverage the cloud: some form of do it yourself versus an all-in-one solution, and hardware versus software lock-in (and that at the end of the day, there’s no getting away from software lock-in), Manuvir Das,...

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Dell Joins Cisco in Hyping DT Security
Jul27

Dell Joins Cisco in Hyping DT Security

Right after Cisco’s call for a threat-centric approach to securing the digital transformation (DT), Dell has released a survey finding that while everybody (97%; the other 3% were recovering from ‘Luddite Life’ celebrations) is investing in digital technologies, 85% say security teams can better enable DT initiatives if they are included early in the project, and 96% say ‘securing digital technologies poses challenges including lack of resources, risk of a security breach, finding the right balance between security and employee productivity, and loss of control.’ Dell’s survey of 631 US, European and Australian IT decision-makers with responsibility for security found an interesting disconnect: while 89% of respondents recognize digital transformation is happening in their industry, only 50% believe it’s happening in their organization. Yet 72% express active projects in mobile, with 68% involved in cloud projects and 37% in IoT, the usual suspects in formal digital transformation projects. This disconnect is because DT is not like other transformation initiatives, said Jackson Shaw, Senior Director, Product Management, Dell Security. Digital transformation tends to be a top-down strategic initiative, that starts initially at the board or C-level, he told IT Trends & Analysis. “DT as a process originates really high in the organization and the line of business really sees it as their slice of heavenly pie,” agreed Bill Evans, Senior Director, Identity and Access Management, Dell Security. One of the challenges that we see, where it happens organically from the bottom, that’s where security gets left out, he added. Strategic or not, DT can be derailed by security, said Shaw. While security often is seen as a barrier to digital transformation and brought into the process too late to make a meaningful impact, security teams can serve as enablers in helping the business adopt digital technologies when included early in the planning process, according to Dell. Security is at the heart of digital transformation, agreed Cisco’s Ben Munroe, Senior Manager, Product Marketing. Of necessity — and having absolutely nothing to do with the company’s core business — he maintained that “Security must start with the network.” A key reason why security is too often looking in at DT from the outside has to do with the traditional view of security as the Department of No, said Evans. “We see security as enabler… it has to step up and become an enabler, the Department of Yes.” “Digital transformation is bigger than just IT and security,” said Shaw. “It’s used by organizations to transform themselves, to become more customer centric.” DT can pay huge dividends, according to a survey commissioned by CA: 45% reported increased customer retention rates; while 44% also recognized...

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HPE Publishes Cybersecurity Business Primer

While largely shorthanded and underfunded, cybersecurity professionals defend against the escalating threat environment on a daily basis, but apparently there is a significant knowledge gap when it comes to business leaders, according to Chandra Rangan, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. This gap became apparent in ongoing discussions with business leaders, he told IT Trends & Analysis, as did a second cybersecurity truism: the attacker — i.e. organized crime, corporate espionage, hacktivism, cyber warfare/terrorism, and those just looking for pure monetary gain — only has to be right only once. The potential victim has to be right every time. “There’s a lot of truth to that… but business leaders ask is this a bottomless pit…?” To help address this, HPE has released “The Business of Hacking,”, a cybersecurity primer for business leaders that analyzes ‘the motivations behind the attacks adversaries choose to pursue, and the ‘value chain’ illegal organizations have established to expand their reach and maximize profits.’ The report also offers a gameplan on how to mitigate risk through disruption of these adversary groups. The bad guys — adversaries — fall into multiple categories, but the biggest threat appears to be coming from criminal organizations, said Rangan. “Hackers are not criminals… but criminals are becoming hackers.” There are certain kinds of attack you can protect against and other kinds that you can’t. “But for the most part, businesses are being hacked by criminal organizations.” Although HPE says a broad response is required — from regulators and law enforcement, in addition to enterprise security leaders — the adversaries are frequently creating a formalized operating model and ‘value chain’ that is very similar to legitimate businesses in structure, and delivers greater ROI for the cybercriminal organization throughout the attack lifecycle. This evolution is much more understandable by business professionals, said Rangan. “This businesses can understand.” And it offers an opportunity to “take away the easy, low-hanging fruit” that criminals tend to prefer, he added. According to HPE, the critical elements to the attackers’ value chain models typically include: -Human Resources Management – includes recruiting, vetting and paying the supporting ‘staff’ needed to deliver on specific attack requirements; the skills-based training and education of attackers also falls within this category; -Operations – the ‘management team’ that ensures the smooth flow of information and funds throughout the attack lifecycle; this group will actively seek to reduce costs and maximize ROI at every step; -Technical Development – the front-line ‘workers’ providing the technical expertise required to perform any given attack, including research, vulnerability exploitation, automation, and more; -Marketing and Sales – these teams ensure that the attack group’s reputation in the underground marketplace is strong and...

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2015: The Year Of Collateral Damage
Feb24

2015: The Year Of Collateral Damage

With only a few days to go until cybersecurity’s minions gather in San Francisco for RSA Conference 2016 (February 29-March 4), Hewlett Packard Enterprise has released a report characterizing 2015 as the Year of Collateral Damage (presumably no connection to Arnold’s 2002 movie). Organizations need to rethink how and where they can be attacked as it is no longer a case of “if” but “when”, cautions HPE in their latest security survey, Cyber Risk Report 2016. That conclusion is not new, but neither are some of the issues still plaguing organizations, said Chandra Rangan, VP of Marketing, HPE Security Products, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Just under a third (29%) of all exploit samples discovered in 2015 continued to use a 2010 Stuxnet infection vector that has been patched. Twice. The industry didn’t learn anything about patching in 2015: the number one exploited vulnerability is over five years old, was the most exploited in 2014, and has been patched by the vendor… twice. The patching problem was the second of three highlights of the study that were not surprising, but interesting, Rangan told IT Trends & Analysis. “First, the shift to attack applications, and specifically Android… [it] has overtaken Java as the second-biggest platform.” Most of the applications HPE scanned (75%) had a vulnerability. The third finding was monetization. It’s from a smaller base but very rapidly tracking, he said. “From our perspective, these kinds of findings… we are surprised that the data and the apps that the data sit in our being more and more exposed.” As a result, one of the bigger conversations the company is having with its customers is about hardening apps. We are getting very mixed signals, when it comes to cybersecurity. At the same time more money, resources and attention are being lavished on security, problems are continuing to escalate. While spending on cybersecurity is expected to exceed $37 billion in 2016, less than half (45%) of organizations are confident in their security posture. Other indicators that the situation remains bleak include: -the average annualized cost of cybercrime has soared 82% over the last 6 years, to $15 million per US organization; -the average time to resolve a cyber attack was 46 days, with an average cost to participating organizations of more than $1.9 million during this 46-day period, up 22% from last year; -between 2014 and 2015, the number of organizations that said their security infrastructure was up-to-date dropped by 10%; -92% of Internet devices are running known vulnerabilities; -31% of all devices analyzed are no longer supported or maintained by the vendor; -55% of all attacks were carried out by either malicious insiders...

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