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Change, if embraced correctly, can open a world of opportunities: Dell EMC

In an exclusive interaction with Dataquest, Amandeep Singh Dang, Country Manager, Dell Networking, Dell EMC India talks about networking innovation in the industry.

Q. What technology challenges (specific to networking) organizations face in the journey towards digital transformation?

2017 is the year when digitization goes mainstream. While enterprises look at digitization as the glue that binds business with functional IT; consumers see it as a way to simplify how they interact with people, machines; or between machines.

Digital Transformation fundamentally brings back networking technologies to the forefront. How networking technology challenges unfold depends on what business the organization is – B2B, B2C or B2B2C. From a B2B standpoint, all digital transformation initiatives are engineered towards workload agility. It is the ability of your IT tools, process and functions to quickly adapt, enable and execute changed business priorities. In this scheme of things, legacy networks with proprietary offerings and inflexibility come across as the biggest hurdle. Digitally transformed businesses need agile IT. Agile IT runs on application-aware, software-defined infrastructure and that’s what we take pride in delivering as Dell EMC. B2C and B2B2C businesses, on the other hand, focus on using digital levers to service consumers better, faster and with efficacy.

To top it all, technology trends such as Internet of Everything – what many have called the next industrial revolution – are fundamentally altering the way we live, work and relate to one another, and will transform the way every business across industries.

Dell EMC is well positioned to address the transformative effect of digitization overall. Our new age infrastructures as built using open networking fabric components that are engineered for agile software-defined controls, workload-aware, and speed to business execution.

Q. What are the technological trends that will be relevant in the era of digital era?

Use of technology as a disruptive engine will continue to grab headlines across sectors. Demonetization and the infused demand to go cashless (or less cash) is transforming the way traditional banking has been structured. App based taxis are solving age-old demand-supply-availability agility issues of transportation; while e-commerce is leveraging the best of changed consumer behaviors to set new playing fields in the B2C marketplace.

All this disruption is rendered via agile IT that runs on equally potent infrastructure including new-age networking fabric. At Dell EMC, we believe the following trends will stay relevant in this digital era:

– Software-defined infrastructure will go mainstream. The usage models may vary from “build-on-your-own” to “buy-off-the-shelf” depending on enterprise readiness and planned extent of digitization.

– Infrastructure assets will be intensely virtualized whether in private, public cloud or hybrid clouds for that matter. That’s a de facto trend that is emerging to bring about agility to the physical infrastructure layer.

– The rate of change of IT affirms an open standard-based infrastructure. Trends will set for commoditization-of-IT to consumerization-of-IT depending on what business the enterprise is into.

According to a survey conducted by Dell EMC, BDMs’ and ITDMs’ understanding of current IT, trends are much closer than they are generally perceived to be. The study reveals a greater sophistication and alignment in the understanding of IT trends between the two groups. The results of the survey reveals ITDMs (62%) and BDMs (51%) agree that cloud computing is the most important technology trend for their companies. 88% of ITDMs and 80% of BDMs say their organization is considering adopting a software-defined data center (SDDC), are in the process of transitioning, or have already completed the transition to one. By a 2:1 margin, both ITDMs and BDMs say they will use more open data center technologies in the future. 86% of ITDMs and 85% of BDMs agree that a computer-centric approach is the best to gain a flexible, scalable and open data center.

Q. What is Dell EMC’s view on industry’s networking innovation in the coming years?

At Dell EMC, we are absolutely convinced that enterprises at large need to take advantage of software-defined networks. That’s the only disaggregated technology approach to align the entire infrastructure stack including the networking element to deliver agile and business aligned IT. We reckon software-defined systems are best delivered using open networking elements. The networking industry needs to relook at the horizontally aligned market ecosystem with standards based yet choice in hardware, operating systems, and orchestration stacks that best suit business IT demands.

We have seen networks evolve from mere connectivity enablers to communication fabrics; an intense opportunity for completely software defined data centers. While this demand unfolds in front of us as a massive transformation opportunity, we are witnessing the consumer side becoming increasingly wireless-connected with wired connectivity taking prominence in non-compute connectivity elements – building automation systems, IP surveillance systems, IP Machine controls, etc.

At Dell EMC’s networking division, we are ready to embrace an era with IoT on the front-end; and, softwaredefined- infrastructure in the backend.

Q. What are your views on Digital India?

It is a very enticing concept because consumers in India (consumer intense economy- 40% of GDP) are much consumerized and we are at a very unique position when it comes to the entire world economy. The consumer has the power as they are digitalized.

Digital India has a phenomenal opportunity both for consumer and government, institutions and the players like us because that will build a platform where a lot of governance will take advantage of digital assets which are there in the country. India is still a young economy where the medium layer is the people (25-50 years). They adopt the technology very easily.

Digital India is a phenomenal opportunity overall as it puts everything on a common platform, providing opportunity for entrepreneurship. Digitization breaks the barrier and puts everyone on a common platform because digitization and internet gives you a platform where you go and reach anywhere in service and overall.

When we talk of Digital India, we talk about the basic connectivity which is given to masses. Once you connect the masses to a common platform you have the ability to provide more and more service to them. But the basic problem is the infrastructure. If this problem is addressed then there would be immense opportunities for the entrepreneurs, consumers and Government of India.

Q. How can companies cost better than others to become a digital business?

Digitization is a market leveler at this point of time. It gives the ability to a new age start-up to emerge and challenge the status-quo while traditional players get the necessary tools to stay relevant and agile given the changed business environment and competitive play.

When traditional organizations transform themselves to be digital businesses, it opens up a plethora of opportunity which can enable those organizations to be leaders in their respective industries. However, with the business landscape moving so quickly, the risk of missing the next quantum leap in human progress and falling into obscurity are real. As per a report by Vanson Bourne & Dell Technologies exploring the implications of digital disruption around the world, while progress is being made by organizations to digitally transform themselves, evidence suggests that majority of them have a long with to go to completely transform themselves. Organizations, at every stage, will need to couple the latest and greatest in technology with a shift in mindset, an investment in their staff, and a bold approach which includes rethinking business models. Put another way, digital transformation requires a commitment to transform not only people and processes but also the very technology upon which a business is built, from the edge to the core to the cloud. Businesses of every kind still have a chance to leap ahead. Change, if embraced correctly, can open a world of opportunity.

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