The IT industry is in the midst of tremendous change. To meet the evolving requirements of our customers, we have to provide an entire spectrum of IT solutions, from reference architectures to engineered and hyper-converged systems. The focus and conversation also has shifted from a pure IT orientation to the ability to support companies in achieving their business outcomes.While the term “operational simplicity” has been around for many years, it is finally coming into its own in relation to how IT can be more efficient and effective. Today’s IT infrastructure has to be more flexible, scalable, and adaptable. An IDC study found that organizations leveraging converged infrastructure were able to develop 4.6x more apps and get products to market 4.4x faster.Using converged infrastructure means IT staffs need less effort to manage their servers, storage and networking workloads. They can also save time in having to manage patching and software updates, not to mention experience less downtime.Here are a few other suggestions for achieving more operational simplicity:It’s all about the appsWe have fully entered the age of the app, and it is time that IT recognized apps are what drives the business toward greater profitability and growth. IT plays a key role here. How quickly apps are deployed can make or break a new product or service launch.The amount of time it takes to maintain apps can be critical. We should be agile enough to introduce new versions without getting bogged down trying to figure out requirements. IT also needs to be more responsive to end user requests to create new apps, making it easier to add apps to the overall corporate portfolio.Provision on-demand workloads efficientlyEfficient provisioning is possible through automated management tools. While virtualized systems are helpful, they lose their benefit if virtual instances have to be manually brought up and torn down. Look toward orchestration and automation services that can do this automatically, and understand the variations in specific workload demands. It shouldn’t be a chore to bring up new virtual machines or to clone existing servers.Enable infrastructure to scale up and down easilyPart of understanding automated provisioning is knowing the consequences of how specific infrastructure actually operates at scale. A good exercise in understanding business agility is to pretest critical infrastructure to make sure it can scale when needed. Retail businesses do this to handle the extra load at holiday time when people stay home and shop online.Become a listenerIn leveraging converged infrastructure to automate provisioning, it’s important that we keep end user needs in mind. The more we listen to our end users, the better chance we’ll have of understanding their perspective and designing systems that are meaningful and deliver what they need.Automate common IT tasks to free up staff timeDoes your staff spend time tending to backups, upgrading software versions, and tracking down connectivity issues? Chances are we all have some of these issues, but the goal should be to apply automation to eliminate as much drudgery as possible.Each of these is a great start toward operational simplicity. It is hard work to become simpler, but it ultimately pays off when our IT teams enable greater success across the enterprise.
Making stronger headway with digital skills Fourth-industrial revolution technologies—and perhaps even more important, the skills to make the most of them—can fast track 70 percent of SDGs. That’s why we’ve focused on access to technology, STEM education and digital literacy for more than a decade. Bringing critical skills and economic opportunity to underserved students will continue to be a priority as we work to address socioeconomic disparity and transform one billion lives by 2030. And scaling the impact nonprofits can have through technology will be key to that. In recent research, more than 82 percent of nonprofit leaders rated IT readiness among their top three challenges. Capabilities like cloud, donor data security and automated IT services are critical to serving constituents and communities. It’s why we set out to transform 1,000 nonprofits by 2030 as part of our goals.Building a better tomorrow is hard work and there is always more to do and more to measure. As IDC recently noted, “This is the most significant step in driving real progress and a reality check for the tech sector on what it really takes to move a large technology company toward parity, racial equality, dramatically lower environmental impact, and broad support for local communities, all with an ethical mindset.” Metrics, target-setting and reporting are key if we are going to drive real progress and adjust along the way.The Sustainable Development Goals are daunting. And it will take the whole world pitching in to achieve them. As for Dell Technologies, our Progress Made Real goals are our contribution to the world’s to-do list. It won’t be easy to achieve everything on our list, but one thing’s for sure—it will be worth it. Michael Dell recently joined the World Economic Forum’s Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, the only CEO-led climate action initiative focused on reducing supply chain emissions and prioritizing sustainable practices in product design and manufacturing. This week, the United Nations (UN) gathers for its 75th General Assembly and Climate Week to examine the progress made against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals were adopted in 2015 by the UN member states and are, in effect, a blueprint for how we’ll build the world we want to live in by 2030. Or as our and the UN Foundation’s former entrepreneur-in-residence Elizabeth Gore refers to the SDGs—“the world’s to-do list.”With the events of 2020, this to-do list has never been more important and perhaps more challenging to achieve. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently addressed these critical needs and the sense of urgency for collective action to recover better together and create more equitable societies everywhere.We have a role to playWe know as a global technology solutions provider, we are uniquely positioned to drive change on a global scale. Which is why we aligned 11 of our Progress Made Real social impact goals with the 17 UN SDGs – contributing to goals like Quality Education, Sustainable Cities and Communities and Reduced Inequalities. And we are laser focused on accelerating progress toward these ambitious goals. Here are just a few ways we’re going faster to drive measurable progress.Advocating for progress on climateWhen it comes to climate change, there is strength in numbers. Strategic partnerships are key as we work to influence policies and industry standards that will have big, sustainable impact over time.We are working with the Business Roundtable’s Energy and Environment Committee and the Climate Working Group to update a policy position to materially reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. And our own team members are getting involved through a partnership with CDP North America. This year, we are sponsoring a series of hackathons to turn climate data into actionable plans to achieve climate goals. Our first competition was with Dell team members on World Environment Day. More than 600 team members joined to tackle complex sustainability challenges like helping cities large and small reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. Finally, we will continue to use our resources and relationships to support the response to climate-related disasters around the world where our teams and customers live and work.