DTF 2018 - Patricia Florissi, Dell VP and Global CTO, Explains The Four Pillars of Transformation

As part of the media activities at Dell Technologies Forum which made a stop in Kuala Lumpur last week, DSA had an exclusive interview with Patricia Florissi, Vice President and Global CTO, Sales, Dell EMC. As a technology thought leader and distinguished engineer for Dell EMC, Patricia helps define Dell’s mid and long-term technology strategy, and assists the company to foster stronger alliances in order to deliver stronger value to customers and partners.

Similar to our coverage of Dell Technologies World in Vegas earlier this year, Dell’s focus of late has been on the four critical pillars of transformation, namely Digital, IT, Workplace and Security Transformation. Patricia explained that while these are abstract concepts that today’s businesses are engaged in, the idea of the forum is to talk in much further detail about the four transformations and give real-world examples for Dell’s customers of where and how those transformations are actually happening.

As such, the morning keynote addresses were divided into two themes, “Innovate for the Future”, hosted by Patricia herself, and “Innovate Today”, by Amit Midha, President, APJ Commercial, Dell EMC. “Innovate for the Future is to actually show that the company is really focused on understanding the market trends, the emerging technologies that are fuelling and accelerating the transformations. [Innovate Today signifies that] at the same time, we are working very closely with our customers to make each of those transformations real today,” said Patricia.

Here at DSA, we’ve been covering digital transformation for quite a number of years now. It has been an important topic of discussion for many businesses in ASEAN as well as vendors, including Dell. So we asked Patricia why Dell decided to split the focus to the four transformations for the better part of 2018 and according to her, digital transformation is but one aspect of what’s happening with customers. In order to make digital transformation real, Dell aims to provide a better classification or categorisation of the activities involved.

She then described what each pillar of transformation actually entails and why they’re equally important, which we will summarise, as follows:

  • Digital Transformation is about how you transform the business, make the business of the future real, change the business model, the user experience, the products you’re going to create, etc.
  • IT Transformation is about how you are actually going to modernise your infrastructure so that you can reduce operating costs, generate revenue and capital gain that you can then apply to the digital transformation. In other words, it is the ability to modernise your IT to be better prepared to execute on your digital transformation strategy.
  • Workforce Transformation is about empowering your workforce with the capabilities and exhilarating experience, through the most advanced technologies - the same level of technology they’re exposed to in their daily lives - to transform the way that they work
  • Last but not least, Security Transformation is the enabler of all the other three transformations.

(You can hear the full conversation, with more in depth examples of each transformation provided by Patricia, by clicking HERE).

However, Patricia said where companies start to transform depends on their social, economic and political situation more than anything else. It all depends on the industry they’re in. “So if you are in finance, you may pay a lot of attention to the security transformation to start with because you want to ensure none of the information leaks. And then you go and talk about digital transformation, on how you bring more and more analytics into the business.” She continued, “If you are in another industry, like media, entertainment or logistics, you start with the digital and workforce transformations because you don’t want people tracking assets, especially expensive ones, by using paperwork. If you are in media and entertainment, you may want to give designers all the tools that they may need to create the next blockbuster.”

Patricia admitted that currently there aren’t any clear indexes that exist to measure whether a company has reached maturity in its transformation. But in her view, the top indicators, by far, are the level of analytics-driven decisions that the company is making as well as the agility in which the business operates.

“Analytics is going to be used not only to understand your customers a little better, but to measure all elements of your business in terms of safety and security, and in terms of predicting where utilisation of your assets are based. So the level of analytics that you have embedded in your organisation is paramount. [As for agility,] the companies that can respond the fastest to the market needs are best positioned in the market,” Patricia clarified.

Dell is helping companies by understanding their transformation journeys and giving them the best solutions for each one of those transformations. Patricia said, “From a technology perspective, Dell has two major advantages or differentiators. Number one is a broad portfolio. From that perspective, we can help you all the way for all your technology needs and we are the leader, or one of the leaders, in all of the categories that we play at.”

And the second aspect is that Dell is trying to simplify technology for their customers. Giving the implementation of AI or deep learning implementation as an example, companies no longer need to become experts on GPUs, scale-out storage or networking to make it happen. Dell can give customers pre-packaged solutions to come up to speed, and they can choose solutions from any of Dell’s seven strategically aligned businesses, to accelerate their transformation.

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