Digital transformation is no longer a nice-to-have: organisations that have not at least begun their digitalisation journey run a very real risk of becoming irrelevant.

This is the word from Dell EMC channel manager Brad Pulford, who told delegates to the Dell EMC Partner Summit that digital transformation is a vast topic, and many companies are grappling with questions around where to start, what can be achieved and how to measure value.

Mohammed Amin, senior vice-president: Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Dell EMC, says CEOs and CIOs see the transformation coming, and many are confused about what to do.

They know they have to launch new products and services based on technology, but they need technology companies to help them understand where they need to go, and how to get there.

The new world involves unlocking the value of data using emerging technologies, he points out.

“Emerging technologies are underpinning change leading up to 2030,” says Amin. These include artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML); robotics, virtual reality and augmented reality (AR/VR); cloud computing and Internet of Things (IoT).

“CEOs don’t know what their companies will look like in the next few years,” he says.

A massive 45% of CEOs fear their company many becoming obsolete in the next three to five years; and 78% feel threatened by digital startups.

Despite this, 72% of CEOs admit to not innovating across their organisations, and 64% of them are not yet acting on intelligence in realtime.

“We need to do as much as we can with technology,” Amin says. “We may not get it right 100% of the time, but we need to move in the right direction.”

This is leading to the emergence of the strategic CIO, the person within an organisation that leverages emerging technology to take the business forward.

These CIOs are committed to growing the business, and look to technology and strategic partners to help them do it.

They no longer focus purely in infrastructure, but place a bigger priority on product improvement and technology.

Today, it’s the applications that drive business value, Amin points out. This has been driven by cloud computing, which has seen the rise of consumer-driven apps that enterprises have to adapt to.

“So there are now millions of apps that we have to deal with,” he says. “And this means we have to do infrastructure in a new way if we are going to be able to manage data growth.”

The infrastructure that enables cloud needs to be able to support a multi-cloud environment.

All of these applications and infrastructure are ultimately there to support users, Amin points out, and the whole environment needs to have security embedded throughout.

In fact, companies have to consider four levels of transformation, Amin points out: digital transformation, IT transformation, workforce transformation and security transformation.

Amin believes that Dell EMC – supported by the ecosystem of companies within the Dell Technologies family – is well positioned to address the digital revolution.

“We create technologies that drive human progress,” Amin says. “And I don’t believe there is another company that offers what we do.

“We’re customer-obsessed,” he adds “At Dell EMC, we are 100% focused on exceptional customer and partner experiences.”

This focus on customers means that Dell EMC is able to drive innovation and technology that serves customers’ needs.

Amin points out that Dell Technologies is a family of businesses that provides the essential infrastructure for organisations to build their digital future and transform IT.

The operating companies are Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, SecureWorks, Virtustream and VMware.

Dell Technologies has posted revenues in excess of &80-billion. It served 99% of the Fortune 500 companies with a team of 140 000 people including 30 000 full-time services and support team members in 180 countries.

The company has spent $12,7-billion in R&D over the last three years, filing 21 000 patents and patent applications. It has committed to a $4,5-billion annual R&D investment going forward.

“I believe that hardware is going to become a commodity,” Amin says. “Digital transformation is the fourth industrial revolution – and this is a revolution no-one was expecting.

“The changes we are going to see in the next 10 years will out strip the transformation we have seen in the last thousand years.”

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