Modernizing While Running the Business – Yes, It’s Possible
- August 10, 2022
CIOs have been tasked with the herculean feat of modernizing business operations while keeping the lights on. The COVID-19 pandemic brought this strikingly to light, as IT leaders beefed up collaboration capabilities to keep employees connected while introducing new digital services to satisfy customers.
How do you balance the work of running the business while transforming IT? Two Dell Digital execs recently shared how the company has managed this challenge: embracing a cloud operating model and organizing into product teams to carefully manage people, processes and technology.
This has enabled us to do something as precious as it is rare: Keep the lights on and modernize at the same time, a topic discussed at length in a recent interview with Silicon Angle at Dell Technologies World.
You can’t expect great outcomes from technologies that are 20 or more years old, so you need to update your technology stack with a cloud operating model, Dell Digital CTO Jaynene Hapanowicz said during a recent interview at Dell Technologies World.
How that looks in your organization is up to you. However, at a high level, you’ll automate capabilities where it makes sense—digital security sweeps, patching and automatic failovers—and provide self-service capabilities to empower staff.
This could require a rethink of IT—even an overhaul—under the hood. Dell Digital addressed this with a complete overhaul of its developer experience. In addition to a private cloud, Dell Digital operates a fully automated DevOps pipeline and service catalog.
This affords developers unprecedented efficiencies, including the ability to spend upwards of 75% of their time writing functional code, rather than getting bogged down by administrative tasks.
As you embark on this model of providing cloud-like experiences, strengthen relationships with business partners and build great teams for the future.
Also critical: Don’t leave the business uncovered. Technical debt creates numerous vulnerabilities. For instance, as you build new applications and focus on innovation, don’t forget to refactor applications and shutter outdated systems that could leave your business susceptible to cybersecurity risks.
To complement the cloud model, consider instituting a product model that helps you align people, processes and technology, said Dell Digital’s Betsy Davis, senior vice president of seller, marketing and data experiences, who spoke alongside Hapanowicz during the session.
The perfect product model will help your team execute nimbly on short-term deliverables with an eye on the long game.
To that end, organizations should lean into a product model that prizes short, iterative feature production completed by small, dedicated teams rather than long, rigorously documented development cycles.
Dell Digital uses a product operating model to support its migration to agile development, enabling IT to build digital services more quickly. In recent years, it has organized more than 10,000 team members worldwide around specific solutions and services with a laser focus on addressing end user needs.
Importantly, this process requires IT working together with the business, with both teams collaborating to achieve outcomes. If change is required, course correction happens quickly.
Moreover, building software in quick sprints helps IT achieve frequent wins, which is a great motivator, as it elevates them in the eyes of the business.
Modernizing the business requires a delicate dance of putting people, processes and technology in the best positions for success and aligning them all along cloud and product models.
CIOs can leave the right legacy by ensuring that the business remains nimble, capable of regular modernization and resilient for years to come.
Technology trends are forever changing, and businesses must change with them. What surprised and delighted a customer in 2020 won’t mean much in 2022, let alone 2025.
The stakes have never been higher for CIOs, whose decisions will impact their businesses today and in years to come. Ask yourself, where are you on this modernization journey?
Keep up with our Dell Digital strategies and more at Dell Technologies: Our Digital Transformation.