Recently I wrote of how the next Industrial Revolution is upon us – it’s a revolution that will impact every company in every industry. It’s a revolution that potentially threatens the existence of most household names we know today, but one that’s also rich with opportunity. For incumbents to play a part they must transform – their business, their approach to IT, their workforce, their security posture – everything. How are businesses reacting to this revolution? We thought it was a question that should be answered. So we commissioned a team of researchers to survey 4,000 business leaders find out.Today we’re releasing the results of that research – our Digital Transformation Index sponsored by Dell Technologies. What do the results tell us?First, the revolution is already here, and the pressure is on established companies to act. Fifty-two percent of respondents have already experienced significant disruption to their industries as a result of digital technologies. Seventy-eight percent of respondents consider digital start-ups as a threat, either now or in the future – which in my view suggest that the barriers to entry that used to protect established companies are significantly lower – and perhaps even non-existent in some instances. Strikingly, 48 percent of respondents said they don’t know what their industry will look like in 3 years’ time – a stark contrast to the past when established companies were stewards for their industry and the products and services they delivered to customers.What did the research suggest about how respondents are reacting to the pressure to transform?Researchers found that while many organizations have begun to respond, progress is patchy. Researchers plotted the progress of all 4,000 respondents against a digital business benchmark. It shows that there are five types of businesses traveling on the path towards their digital future.Businesses in the top group – the Leaders – are delivering new customer experiences by writing software to make their products smart or take their services online. They proactively drive change and seek to take control of their digital destiny, delivering on the attributes of a digital business as a result. This group represents just 5 percent of respondents. Companies in the Digital Adopters group – representing 14 percent of respondents – are still doing a stand-up job. They’ve got a pretty mature plan and they’ve implemented a number of programs driving their digital futures. The largest chunk of respondents, 34 percent, find themselves in the Digital Evaluators group and are gradually embracing innovation (‘gradually’ being the operative word). Thirty-two percent are classified as Digital Followers; companies that are still at the very early stages of their journey. They’ve got a lot of catching-up to do. Firms in the Laggard group resist change – their very survival hangs in the balance. They represent 15 percent of respondents. Clearly, the majority of businesses still have a long way to go in the digital journeys.What are respondents planning to do to accelerate their transformation?I’ve always maintained that for many companies IT transformation is at the heart of a digital transformation – the research confirms this: 73 percent are in agreement that a centralized technology strategy needs to be a priority for their business and 66 percent are planning to invest in IT infrastructure and digital skills leadership. It’s also been my view that every company, in every industry is going to become a software company, or establish software DNA at their core. So it comes as no surprise to me that almost three in four (72 percent) of respondents are now expanding their software development capabilities in order to advance their digital business transformation.Suffice it to say, the majority of businesses are only beginning their digital transformation. If you’re a part of this majority, is it too little, too late? No, of course not. While the revolution is here, it’s nowhere close to complete. The opportunity is and will continue to be massive. But the time to act is now. One good way to get going is to simply explore the results of the research and see how you stack up against 4,000 of your peers: check out the full results here. </p><p>
The Dell EMC Forum is a multi-format event experience designed for IT decision makers and executives seeking insights to cloud solutions and opportunities to engage with peers.“Realize your Digital Future”, this year’s Dell EMC Forum theme is all about helping IT become the business. Featuring executive keynotes and breakout tracks that cover Digital Transformation, Best of Breed Infrastructure, Converged Systems, Cloud Strategy and Workforce Transformation, the Dell EMC Forum offers something for everyone.Upcoming events in North America include: New York City, Chicago, Toronto, Boston, Montreal, Dallas, Vancouver, Seattle, Houston and St Louis. Register for the free event at www.dellemc.com/forumAaron Chaisson (@AaronChaison), VP Global Portfolio Messaging, was the Keynote Speaker for Minneapolis, MN. I caught up with Aaron in the field level suite of US Bank Stadium right after his keynote; that interview, and the full Keynote address is in this week’s Dell EMC The Source Podcast.Don’t miss “Dell EMC The Source” app in the App Store. Be sure to subscribe to Dell EMC The Source Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or Google Play and visit the official blog at thesourceblog.emc.comDell EMC: The Source Podcast is hosted by Sam Marraccini
When Shlomo Bistry of Bank Leumi thinks about the future, he “feels like a passenger on the train. The way is very clear.” The Israeli bank is 115 years old, but it’s moving with speed and purpose. Bank Leumi is transforming its IT infrastructure from a traditional environment to the cloud, redefining itself with mobility and customer-centricity in mind.Traditional brick-and-mortar banks are at a crossroads in their business models. Customers demand ease of access, and prefer to bank when and where they choose, rather than make time to visit their local branches. Thanks to transformative technologies, Bank Leumi customers experience an entire banking ecosystem in the palm of their hands, whether they’re stretched out on a sofa or at the top of a mountain. However, while Bank Leumi serves as a strong example of IT maturity, their story is still a rare one.In fact, as Dell EMC’s and Intel’s research with Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) shows in its most recent IT Transformation Maturity study, only 6 percent of the market features fully transformed organizations (just a 1 percent improvement from last year). That is an eye-opening number given the pressures on business to keep up with advances in digital technologies, and competitive disruptors squeezing legacy institutions’ historical market share.The Maturity study, based on research with 4,000 IT decision-makers across 16 countries, reveals that the majority of businesses fall into the bottom two groups of ”legacy” and “emerging”, as opposed to the more advanced states of ”evolving” and ”transformed”. The majority — 81 percent — of respondents are worried that if they don’t embrace IT Transformation, their companies will fail to compete within a transforming marketplace. That number has grown 10 percent in the past year.The findings show too many businesses are stuck in a technology lag. ESG states “increased urgency is warranted.” That’s one way of saying business leaders are hearing alarm bells that their businesses must transform, or risk their futures as technology further evolves in the next era of human-machine partnerships.Reaping the rewards, many times overThe ESG IT Transformation Maturity study also links IT Transformation to business agility, innovation, and value using key metrics that would get attention in any boardroom.By missing that link, too many businesses are also missing out on a powerful combination of business benefits, including the potential to reinvigorate and redefine their futures.Innovation is driving human progress and society. However, if only a minority seize the transformational torch, the innovation gap will widen and opportunities will be lost.Rio Grande Pacific (RGP), a Texas-based holding company for regional freight railroads, is another example of a legacy business model grabbing hold of its transformed future. RGP CIO Jason Brown recently explained how a centuries-old industry is adapting, by tying its future to technology and creating the RIOT (Railway Internet of Things) domain.ESG found that companies like RGP, that have modernized data center technologies, automated their IT processes, and aligned their business and IT protocols (that is, achieved IT maturity) are 18 times faster to market and 16 times more innovative. In RGP’s case, it increased speed of services tenfold.When we talk about IT transformation, we are also talking about improving the financial health of the business. IT Transformation is not another IT project. It’s a journey that requires buy-in, and collaboration, from both IT and business leaders. The benefits of transformation free up resources to reinvest back into the business. In the end, it is about creating an agile, dynamic business, more highly-skilled, better-equipped team members, and simplified IT processes that can deliver optimal outcomes for their consuming business partners.It’s no coincidence that transformed businesses are twice as likely to exceed their revenue targets in the past year compared to legacy organizations. Just last month, IDC and Dell EMC revealed that study participants (transformed organizations) will realize revenue gains worth $206 million per organization per year, and 20 percent total revenue growth over five years, through IT Transformation.All in all, the study uncovers the clear benefits of IT Transformation – at a scale that goes beyond the everyday – as Bank Leumi and RGP are finding out firsthand. IT Transformation accelerates the speed of many legacy IT operations from weeks to days to hours to minutes.The IT gatewayAt the end of the day, the goal is to advance business competitiveness. Strengthened by the connective tissue of people, process, and technology, IT Transformation is critical to maintaining market relevancy in an increasingly disrupted marketplace.The Maturity study also shows that a transforming business is 2.5x more likely to compete in the market over the next few years. Where is your business today? Where do you sit on the transformational curve?Take advantage of our complimentary online IT Transformation self-assessment, to benchmark your efforts thus far, and understand your strengths and weaknesses compared to your peers.
Dell EMC Glasgow launched our STEMAspire Program on the 1st November 2017, working with 26 students from City of Glasgow College, University West of Scotland and Glasgow University.The purpose of this 12-month initiative is to connect female STEM students to role-models within Dell EMC. Our objective is to encourage and empower these students to graduate and to have successful and rewarding careers in the Technology sector.“The genesis of the program rose from a discussion last year between myself, a member of Dell’s Talent Acquisition team, and University College Cork (UCC) student Louise Fox at a networking event,” said STEM Aspire founder Jacquie Casey. “The alarming rate of females dropping out of computer science studies within third level colleges was a point of concern for us both.”As our colleague Laura-Kate McElligott noted here on Direct2Dell earlier this year “The fact is that unless we as females take the risk and make the choice to work in the STEM field, then society will never change.”Students meet with their mentors monthly and participated in group quarterly events building on their skills, getting each student ready for their career journey.Throughout the mentoring program Vardah Malik (Mentee) and Pam Lister (Mentor) will be blogging bi-weekly on their learnings & experience, inviting participation from industry & the wider student community, sharing experiences and hopefully some practical advice.Malik’s first post is below. Please help support Dell EMC & our STEM students as we embark on this journey together.“I currently study IT at City of College Glasgow. I wanted to be part of the STEM Aspire program with Dell because I believe it gives me a great opportunity, as a woman to prove myself in the world of technology.The support and guidance the STEM Aspire program has given me is truly life-changing. My Mentor, Pam Lister, works hand in hand with me on my career aspirations and supports my study goals. I have been fortunate to be introduced to a network of supporters in Dell, who are willing to invest in my development in the IT Industry.Being the social media representative for STEM Aspire has encouraged my confidence to be the best representative I can be and to inspire other women to be part of this life-changing program in the future.I am really excited and fortunate to be a part of this amazing program as well as to gain more knowledge and confidence by being around all these amazing people in Dell.” — Vardah Malik
Gen-Z, an open-systems interconnect designed to provide memory semantic access to data and devices via direct-attached, switched or fabric topologies, is quickly becoming the industry standard. In October 2016, twelve industry leaders came together to lead the charge in creating and commercializing this new data access technology. The Gen-Z Consortium consists of like-minded members dedicated to developing an open ecosystem that will benefit the entire industry.In less than two years, the Gen-Z Consortium has already achieved numerous accomplishments, including:Published the Gen-Z specification, the product of 50+ companies seeing the value in the vision and working to put it into practice.Converged on a high-speed connector and had it adopted by other standards bodiesAdopted pluggable modules that will allow easy expansion and configuration of high-speed resources Created demos to show how Gen-Z can be used to create a fully composable solution Created design and validation IPStarted design of dedicated Gen-Z chipsStarted the design of composable systems using the Gen-Z fabric.By working together, the Gen-Z Consortium can examine the future needs of the IT industry and create positive forward change for all. Now that the fields are plowed and planted it’s time to consider when and how Gen-Z will impact you.First off, why do you need Gen-Z?The message hasn’t changed since the Consortium launched: it’s all about the data! If you consider today’s CPU centric architecture (figure 1) you notice that data continues to get copied every time a new actor wanted to transform the data. For instance, the CPU copies data from storage to its memory (or uses RDMA to do the copy), then the data is copied again when a GPU or FPGA wants to work on the data, and it is copied back to the CPU memory once this work is complete. That’s a lot of time and energy spent on copying and moving data that does nothing to get to the answers and insights wanted by the business.Now consider figure 2. Here you see a pool of memory that is shared by all of the resources, providing every compute engine equal rights to the data. This allows the application the opportunity to use the best technology for the task at hand without requiring the data copies. This reduces the overall time required to get the answers your business needs, deal with a cyber-security threat, or execute a financial transaction.Let’s consider the CPU for a moment. Processor vendors continue to add cores to their designs at a good clip but they haven’t been able to add memory bandwidth at the same rate and now the memory bandwidth per core is half what it was in 2012. The reason for this dramatic drop is the number of pins required to add a new memory channel (it takes a new memory channel to add more bandwidth at a given frequency). For DDR4, the CPU vendor needs to add 154 signal pins for each new channel and balanced designs require adding 2 channels at a time, a large burden for devices that are already near 4000 pins.Looking at figure 3 you can see that Gen-Z can add more memory bandwidth for fewer pins and these pins can be shared with the PCIe pins so it does not increase the pincount at all. This gives the customer the opportunity to optimize the affective memory bandwidth to meet the needs of the application(s) they are using. Figure 3 shows that four DDR4 channels give you a bandwidth from 68 – 100 GB/s using 616 signal pins. In future designs, the CPU can add an addition 50 – 896 GB/s by sharing 2 PCIe root ports with Gen-Z. Clearly, a lot more bandwidth for the hungry cores that will be added.The Gen-Z fabric has the performance required to fully compose a systems from pools of resources. Looking again at Figure 2, you can imagine a rack that has a number of CPUs in a chassis, a box of GPUs, a container full of memory, a variety of FGPAs, and storage elements in it. Using management software, you can allocate some of these resources to build a true bare metal server that can be deployed in minutes. This flexibility also allows you to add and remove resources as requirements shift thus reducing the problem many IT departments have with trapped resources (resources stuck in a server that aren’t available to other applications without a large redeployment effort).The question I get most often after talking about Gen-Z is, “When will this be available?” Dell EMC and the members of the Gen-Z consortium are actively working on offerings and you can expect to see them in 2020. Join us at the Gen-Z booth during either Flash Memory Summit in August 6–9 or Super Compute in November 11–16 to see demos of the technology and learn more about all of the features and benefits this fabric might offer to your company.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean officials are taking steps to limit travel and gatherings during next week’s Lunar New Year’s holidays as they fight a steady rise in coronavirus transmissions. More thermal cameras will be added, train operators will be allowed to sell only window seats and passenger vessels are being restricted to half capacity. Travelers must wear masks at all times, and eating at highway rest areas will be prohibited. A Health Ministry official announced the plans on Wednesday while repeating a plea for people to stay home. Lunar New Year is celebrated around Asia and a popular time for people to visit their relatives. China also has tried to discourage travel during the holiday to avoid the risk of viral outbreaks.