Relevance and differentiation remain challenging for Irish organisations

Aisling Keegan, Dell EMC Ireland
Aisling Keegan, Dell EMC Ireland

Dell EMC’s Keegan says embracing the need for change is key

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10 October 2017 | 0

With a view across private and public sector organisations, Aisling Keegan, vice president and general manager for Ireland, Dell EMC, said Irish organisations are facing the same challenges as elsewhere in the world. As well as the usual constraints of budget and the like, organisations here are endeavouring to deliver better business outcomes than they have been previously able to do, and maintain competitiveness in the current marketplace and develop it for the future.

Keegan said that many organisations are trying to figure out how to differentiate themselves in the market, while remaining relevant. Relevance and differentiation are the spurs, or catalysts, she said, behind the agenda of transforming digitally and creating better business outcomes.

“Security is certainly a topic I discuss in every conversation with a CIO”

Amid these pressures, she said, is the necessity to embrace change, evolve and be different—iteratively.

“And it boils down to people and processes. If you don’t bring the culture and people with you, it won’t work,” said Keegan.

Customer engagements
Keegan cites research that says that 85% of a purchasing decision is made before a customer even engages with the business partner or vendor. And purchasing decisions internally are not isolated to the CIO, or IT function, they are made across all functions, she argues. So how organisations today conduct business is very different to how it was 10 years ago. As result of that, Keegan says, you’ve got to bring the organisation, the people, with you.

A lot of organisations, from both public and private sector, she says, have reported that one of the biggest inhibitors for digital transformation is people.

From a technology standpoint, Keegan adds, security could be seen as the biggest inhibitor—and enabler—of digital transformation.

“Our value proposition is a hybrid cloud strategy, depending on the type of organisation you are, but for a lot of organisations we speak to there’s a reticence to accelerate that journey, even if it is one of differentiation, because of the perceived security risks associated with moving to a public cloud the other applications that are going to be necessary to develop and deploy in their organisation if they are to remain competitive,” said Keegan.

“Security is certainly a topic I discuss in every conversation with a CIO.”

Despite perceived risks, Keegan said that the imperative for change cannot be ignored. There is a saying now, she says: “disrupt or die”.

“The role that we play is communicating to those organisations that are resistant to embracing the necessity to change, and making sure that we highlight the fact that the reluctance to change has consequences.”

Transformation maturity
Keegan cited a global survey across all sectors, of 4,000 senior decision makers on a digital transformation maturity index. Gauging where organisations were on the digital maturity curve, only 5% said they were leaders in digital transformation. Around one in five (21%) said they were underway, but early on the continuum.

“We have this incredible amount of change in the world, driven by data and consumer and customer demand, by the explosion of smart devices and mobility and the new demographic of millennials. With all of these changes, you’ve got organisations at the same time, digital native organisations, that are creating new software as their unique proposition and competing with traditional industries,” said Keegan.

Some older, more established organisations have the challenge of managing monolithic applications and the infrastructure that support them, and the necessity to have these born on the Web, cloud native applications to deliver a better, real-time, on-demand customer experience service—and being able to service demand with this mix of capabilities running concurrently in their environment, she said.

Keegan said that the flexibility of new infrastructures, as well as the ability to integrate technologies, means that this scenario need not be unmanageable.

“Software is the opportunity here, but it is also the challenge,” said Keegan.

 

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