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Are IT organizations spending too much to keep the lights on?

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DQI Bureau
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Phil Davis is vice president of the enterprise solutions group for Dell's Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) Commercial Business Organization. Phil's ability to articulate technology trends is impressive. In an exclusive interaction with Dataquest, Phil brings to bear his current observations on enterprise IT in India and APAC.

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Most enterprise vendors say that there is an IT transformation; companies are rethinking their basic model of computing. What do you think are the drivers?

There is a lot of uncertainty in the macro-economic environment which is putting more pressure on IT as there is a desire to get more for less investment. The other big driver is that a lot of IT organizations are spending too much of their budget to keep the lights on. They need to know if any new innovation in their IT infrastructure is going to give them any return on their investment. The third factor is with the hype around cloud, a lot of small businesses are looking to adopt cloud.

But if you consider larger organizations, they want to know how they can get the benefit of cloud while keeping it within their own infrastructure. Public cloud services is changing the expectations of how flexible and cost-effective IT should be. And this in turn puts pressure on IT to develop an infrastructure that is much more agile. Converged Infrastructure is the building block which is key to enabling that.

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What kind of priorities do organizations have about converged infrastructure?

Particularly in India, customers are focused on returns, and so the first question they ask is does it make sense financially. If not, then they won't do it. We generally see two paths developing to converged infrastructure-one is how do we make the overall internal infrastructure operate as part of the public cloud. They are looking at a homogenous pool of resources that they can dynamically reprovision based on need. Then there are those who make decisions based on a particular need and decide if they want to go for individual components or an integrated stack that could serve that workload.

Customers are now looking at a pre-configured, pre-integrated, pre-provisioned environment and Dell can provide that.

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What are the key trends you see in enterprise IT?

 

In general we see four big trends-transform, connect, inform, and protect. Transformation to the data center is a big trend and will be around for years. The second big trend which is ‘Connect,' talks about the whole move towards mobile. The goal with going mobile is to enable workers to be more productive anywhere. People are trying to figure out how to manage the whole mobile workforce as it entails security and manageability concern for the IT department and the whole journey towards mobility is also a huge trend currently. Moving on to ‘Inform,' I think that in India as well as APJ organizations are now looking at not only how to reduce storage costs but also on how they can use the information to make better business decisions. The last trend is ‘Protect,' which talks about the security concerns and threats and how best to protect the organizations data. So these are the four big trends we are seeing in India as well as the region.

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With Dell going private, do you see it as positive or negative?

It is definitely an exciting chapter. We will continue to concentrate on our customers, that will always be our primary focus. At a high level Dell has transformed a lot and we are looking to accelerate that transformation and privatization can help us to this end.

Do you see any gap in Dell's portfolio that needs to be filled?

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If you look back we had a couple of gaps in our portfolio which is why we had acquisitions to fill these gaps. We are pretty solid on server and storage now thanks to EqualLogic and Compellent. Then there was a gap in services which we filled with the acquisition of Perot Systems. The other big gap we had was with software but we fulfilled that with the acquisition of Quest.

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