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Infrastructure Strategy for
Digital Transformation:
A Dell roadmap
Khirodra Mishra
Executive summary
The possibilities in the realm of digital business are limitless.
The internet, smartphones and, more recently, wearables are
just a few examples of technology assisting and enhancing
a user’s interactions in everyday life. Advancements in digital
technologies have empowered organizations with three
unprecedented abilities: massive scale, unparalleled speed
and heterogeneity. As a result, barriers to enter markets are
constantly being disrupted, leading to organizations losing
their competitive edge and, in some cases, risking their
survival. Thus, it is essential that companies of all shapes and
sizes understand the implication of digital transformation on
their business models and plan their future appropriately. This
paper discusses five impact areas of IT infrastructure that
organizations should carefully evaluate and plan for in their
digital transformation.
Empower organizations to avoid digital disruption
If one was asked what Kodak, Nokia and Blockbuster have
in common, chances are the responses may refer to these
organizations as pioneers and long-time leaders in their
respective industries. However, they all also failed to notice
the wave of upcoming digital technologies that led them to
be marginalized.
In the era of digital business, the barrier between the physical
and virtual blurs at a rapid pace as they intertwine to provide
a seamless experience. It’s an era where payments are made
by a touch on a wristwatch, groceries are ordered by a
refrigerator, and soon humans will be transported by self-
driving cars operated through servers that are located miles
away from them.
2	 Khirodra Mishra | Dell Inc., [2015]
This shift in the industry landscape is
driven by the invention, evolution and
convergence of many groundbreaking
digital technologies such as cloud,
mobility, predictive analytics, social
media, connected devices (popularly
known as the Internet of Things), 3D
printers and intelligent systems. These
advancements disrupt business models
across all industries as they empower
organizations with three
unprecedented abilities:
•	 Massive scale: With advancements in
digital technologies, every business
can be a global organization.
Enterprises can serve multiple
segments that transcend geographical
boundaries on a scale that was once
unimaginable. Today, organizations
have an extraordinary ability to
capture, store and process huge
volumes of data. For example,
Amazon sold 426 items per second on
Cyber Monday 2013 — more than 1.5
million products per hour1
. That’s an
unimaginable number of transactions
for a traditional brick-and-mortar retail
shop to process and deliver.
•	 Unparalleled speed: Organizations
can quickly enter newer markets with
minor to no modifications to their
digital business platforms — and give
sleepless nights to their competitors.
Take Uber, a digital native organization
that, in just five years since its launch,
has operations in 58 countries and
more than 300 cities.2
This translates
into expanding to a new city every
six days.
•	 Heterogeneity: Digitalization
has enabled industries that are
at a crossroads to discover
new opportunities. As a result,
organizations are now able to
satisfy the needs of different market
segments — often not considered
in their native industries. That is why,
today, a sports apparel company like
Nike is venturing into the preventive
health management sphere. Similarly,
a legacy postal and logistics
organization like UPS is able to
make a foray into financial
management solutions.
The disruption triggered by digital
business is real, fluid and nonstop.
Empowered with the massive potential
of speed, scale and heterogeneity,
companies can deliver value to
customers in ways previously
unimagined. However, industries will
continue to witness the digital disruption
with more market leaders and pioneers.
IT infrastructure strategies for a
digital world
Most businesses today were conceived
in a very different world when compared
to the current digital era — with no
pervasive connectivity, mobility, social
platforms or the cloud. In a sense, the
majority of organizations are working in
operational models that were designed
for a physical world, not a digital one.
It is no surprise that, according to a
Forrester report, a mere 15 percent
of business executives believe their
company has the capability to execute a
digital business strategy.3
While digital business is about re-
imagining the consumer experience
and an organization’s strategic direction,
IT infrastructure also needs precise
planning. This paper examines the
following impact areas, which are
fundamental to designing a sound IT
infrastructure strategy.
End-user devices
According to Gartner, in 2015, there
will be 4.9 billion connected devices
in use — primarily driven by consumer
applications.4
Traditionally, an enterprise
would be in control of these devices.
However, by 2020, there will be more
than 20 billion devices such as smart
watches, self-driving cars, televisions
and baby strollers connected through
sensors, radio frequency identification
and near field communication
technologies. Many of these
devices will be owned by individuals,
not by enterprises, yet managed by
enterprise IT.
This dramatic increase in the number of
end-user devices will raise the stress on
an organization’s IT infrastructure. As
a result, it becomes essential to have a
robust IT framework in place to manage
all these user devices consistently,
enabling them for peak performance.
By 2020, there will
be more than 20
billion devices such
as smart watches,
self-driving cards,
televisions and baby
strollers connected
through sensors,
radio frequency
identification
and near field
communication
technologies.
3	 Khirodra Mishra | Dell Inc., [2015]
Enterprise storage
Digitalization will have a paramount
impact on an organization’s storage
requirements. For example, Virgin
Atlantic has a group of connected
Boeing 787 aircrafts and connected
cargo devices, which produce more
than half a terabyte of data per
flight.5
Many other industries are in a
similar situation. Consequently, data
capture, storage capacity and retrieval
requirements would all need to
grow exponentially.
Enterprise computing
With digital business blurring the line
between the physical and digital worlds,
consumer-centric mobile applications
complemented by powerful wearables
will take center stage. This makes
enterprise computing an important
factor to closely evaluate.
Take Google Maps, a service that may
appear quite seamless but actually
assimilates and computes data from
a large number of connected devices.
Similarly, UPS uses sensors on its fleet of
delivery vehicles to monitor speed, miles
per gallon, number of stops and engine
health. The sensors capture more than
200 data points for over 80,000 vehicles
every day.6
Tomorrow’s digital enterprise —
comprised of a large number of
interconnected devices and well
supported through the IT ecosystems
outside the enterprise’s control — will
need to reevaluate their computing
capabilities. There will be a huge
demand for complex, real-time
processing that is able to perform
comprehensive algorithms to easily
account for both structured and
unstructured data.
Networking
Also imperative to the success of a
seamless, digital business is increased
networking capability. An organization
cannot afford to be unavailable for
even a split second as the digital world
is bolstered through several internal,
external and independent devices that
constantly exchange and utilize data.
Soon, utilities such as electricity will be
facilitated through a mesh of smart grid
systems and smart meters. Each home,
commercial complex and government
building will be connected to a network
that will be required to support the
capture, analysis and exchange of data.
And a momentary disruption could lead
to a potential loss of millions.
Thus, service levels and user experience
become essential for organizations
to maintain at a business level and
not merely at a technology level. A
disruption of the digital network for a
few seconds could lead to large losses.
Digital business services will need to
invest in a strong, secured network
capable of transmitting, receiving and
processing vast quantities of data in
real time.
It is no surprise
that, according to a
Forrester report, a
mere 15 percent of
business executives
believe their company
has the capability
to execute a digital
business strategy.
Product and service availability varies by country.  To learn more, customers and Dell Channel Partners should contact their sales
representative for more information.  Specifications are correct at date of publication but are subject to availability or change without
notice at any time.  Dell and its affiliates cannot be responsible for errors or omissions in typography or photography.  Dell’s Terms
and Conditions of Sales and Service apply and are available on request.  Dell and the Dell logo are trademarks of Dell Inc.  Other
trademarks and trade names may be used in this document to refer to either the entities claiming the marks and names or their
products.  Dell disclaims proprietary interest in the marks and names of others.  © 2015 Dell Inc.  All rights reserved. July 2015 |
D619_Infrastructure_Strategy_for_Digital_Transformation.indd | Rev. 1.0
Scan or click
this code to
learn how
Dell Services
can help your
organization.
Security
Security is one of the most critical
of these five areas in a digital IT
infrastructure. When compromised, it
can result in huge losses. For example,
Target, a leading retail chain, reported
in August 2014 that it suffered a loss of
$148 million because of the December
2013 data breach that compromised
customer information, such as credit
card numbers.7
Sony Corporation pegs
their loss at $15 million for their
2014 hack.8
Digitalization gives organizations and
their direct stakeholders, including
employees and consumers, direct
access to their specific data, providing
complete control on how the
technology and information are used.
But this leaves the entire ecosystem
more vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Organizations need to design a security
system that effectively identifies,
classifies and removes threats, as well as
maintain data integrity at any stage.
Conclusion
Organizations must realize that digital
business is a reality. Enterprises of all
sizes and shapes are already carefully
evaluating digital technologies and
how they would impact their value
chain. Further, companies will witness
competition from unforeseen corners,
which could disrupt their competitive
position. According to Gartner, 25
percent of businesses will lose
competitive ranking by 2017 because
of digital business incompetence.9
Thus, it is paramount that organizations
should plan for a robust, future-ready
IT infrastructure. To succeed, they need
to implement the right partner model,
which allows business units to benefit
from an entire range of expertise
and services.
For more information about
any of our services, please visit
Dell.com/services or contact a
Dell representative.
1
Record-Setting Holiday Season for Amazon Prime. December 26, 2013. http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1886961
2
Five Years And 311 Cities Later. June 1, 2015. http://newsroom.uber.com/2015/06/five-years-and-311-cities-later
3
Forrester: Businesses having trouble getting with the digital times. May 6, 2014.
http://www.infoworld.com/article/2608153/it-strategy/forrester--businesses-having-trouble-getting-with-the-digital-times.html
4
Gartner Says 4.9 Billion Connected “Things” Will Be in Use in 2015. November 11, 2014. http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2905717
5
Boeing 787s to create half a terabyte of data per flights, says Virgin Atlantic. March 6, 2013.
http://www.computerworlduk.com/news/data/boeing-787s-create-half-terabyte-of-data-per-flight-says-virgin-atlantic-3433595/
6
Big Data = Big Wins for the Environment: http://www.sustainability.ups.com/media/UPS-Big-Data-Infographic.pdf
7
Target Puts Data Breach Costs at $148 Million, and Forecasts Profit Drop. August 5, 2014.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/06/business/target-puts-data-breach-costs-at-148-million.html?_r=0
8
Sony Says Studio Hack Cost $15M, Trims Loss Forecast. February 4, 2015.
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/02/04/world/asia/ap-as-japan-sony-outlook.html
9
Gartner Says Digital Business Incompetence Will Cause 25 Percent of Businesses to Lose Competitive Ranking by 2017. September 30, 2013.
http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2598515

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Infrastructure-Strategy-for-Digital-Transformation-v3

  • 1. Infrastructure Strategy for Digital Transformation: A Dell roadmap Khirodra Mishra Executive summary The possibilities in the realm of digital business are limitless. The internet, smartphones and, more recently, wearables are just a few examples of technology assisting and enhancing a user’s interactions in everyday life. Advancements in digital technologies have empowered organizations with three unprecedented abilities: massive scale, unparalleled speed and heterogeneity. As a result, barriers to enter markets are constantly being disrupted, leading to organizations losing their competitive edge and, in some cases, risking their survival. Thus, it is essential that companies of all shapes and sizes understand the implication of digital transformation on their business models and plan their future appropriately. This paper discusses five impact areas of IT infrastructure that organizations should carefully evaluate and plan for in their digital transformation. Empower organizations to avoid digital disruption If one was asked what Kodak, Nokia and Blockbuster have in common, chances are the responses may refer to these organizations as pioneers and long-time leaders in their respective industries. However, they all also failed to notice the wave of upcoming digital technologies that led them to be marginalized. In the era of digital business, the barrier between the physical and virtual blurs at a rapid pace as they intertwine to provide a seamless experience. It’s an era where payments are made by a touch on a wristwatch, groceries are ordered by a refrigerator, and soon humans will be transported by self- driving cars operated through servers that are located miles away from them.
  • 2. 2 Khirodra Mishra | Dell Inc., [2015] This shift in the industry landscape is driven by the invention, evolution and convergence of many groundbreaking digital technologies such as cloud, mobility, predictive analytics, social media, connected devices (popularly known as the Internet of Things), 3D printers and intelligent systems. These advancements disrupt business models across all industries as they empower organizations with three unprecedented abilities: • Massive scale: With advancements in digital technologies, every business can be a global organization. Enterprises can serve multiple segments that transcend geographical boundaries on a scale that was once unimaginable. Today, organizations have an extraordinary ability to capture, store and process huge volumes of data. For example, Amazon sold 426 items per second on Cyber Monday 2013 — more than 1.5 million products per hour1 . That’s an unimaginable number of transactions for a traditional brick-and-mortar retail shop to process and deliver. • Unparalleled speed: Organizations can quickly enter newer markets with minor to no modifications to their digital business platforms — and give sleepless nights to their competitors. Take Uber, a digital native organization that, in just five years since its launch, has operations in 58 countries and more than 300 cities.2 This translates into expanding to a new city every six days. • Heterogeneity: Digitalization has enabled industries that are at a crossroads to discover new opportunities. As a result, organizations are now able to satisfy the needs of different market segments — often not considered in their native industries. That is why, today, a sports apparel company like Nike is venturing into the preventive health management sphere. Similarly, a legacy postal and logistics organization like UPS is able to make a foray into financial management solutions. The disruption triggered by digital business is real, fluid and nonstop. Empowered with the massive potential of speed, scale and heterogeneity, companies can deliver value to customers in ways previously unimagined. However, industries will continue to witness the digital disruption with more market leaders and pioneers. IT infrastructure strategies for a digital world Most businesses today were conceived in a very different world when compared to the current digital era — with no pervasive connectivity, mobility, social platforms or the cloud. In a sense, the majority of organizations are working in operational models that were designed for a physical world, not a digital one. It is no surprise that, according to a Forrester report, a mere 15 percent of business executives believe their company has the capability to execute a digital business strategy.3 While digital business is about re- imagining the consumer experience and an organization’s strategic direction, IT infrastructure also needs precise planning. This paper examines the following impact areas, which are fundamental to designing a sound IT infrastructure strategy. End-user devices According to Gartner, in 2015, there will be 4.9 billion connected devices in use — primarily driven by consumer applications.4 Traditionally, an enterprise would be in control of these devices. However, by 2020, there will be more than 20 billion devices such as smart watches, self-driving cars, televisions and baby strollers connected through sensors, radio frequency identification and near field communication technologies. Many of these devices will be owned by individuals, not by enterprises, yet managed by enterprise IT. This dramatic increase in the number of end-user devices will raise the stress on an organization’s IT infrastructure. As a result, it becomes essential to have a robust IT framework in place to manage all these user devices consistently, enabling them for peak performance. By 2020, there will be more than 20 billion devices such as smart watches, self-driving cards, televisions and baby strollers connected through sensors, radio frequency identification and near field communication technologies.
  • 3. 3 Khirodra Mishra | Dell Inc., [2015] Enterprise storage Digitalization will have a paramount impact on an organization’s storage requirements. For example, Virgin Atlantic has a group of connected Boeing 787 aircrafts and connected cargo devices, which produce more than half a terabyte of data per flight.5 Many other industries are in a similar situation. Consequently, data capture, storage capacity and retrieval requirements would all need to grow exponentially. Enterprise computing With digital business blurring the line between the physical and digital worlds, consumer-centric mobile applications complemented by powerful wearables will take center stage. This makes enterprise computing an important factor to closely evaluate. Take Google Maps, a service that may appear quite seamless but actually assimilates and computes data from a large number of connected devices. Similarly, UPS uses sensors on its fleet of delivery vehicles to monitor speed, miles per gallon, number of stops and engine health. The sensors capture more than 200 data points for over 80,000 vehicles every day.6 Tomorrow’s digital enterprise — comprised of a large number of interconnected devices and well supported through the IT ecosystems outside the enterprise’s control — will need to reevaluate their computing capabilities. There will be a huge demand for complex, real-time processing that is able to perform comprehensive algorithms to easily account for both structured and unstructured data. Networking Also imperative to the success of a seamless, digital business is increased networking capability. An organization cannot afford to be unavailable for even a split second as the digital world is bolstered through several internal, external and independent devices that constantly exchange and utilize data. Soon, utilities such as electricity will be facilitated through a mesh of smart grid systems and smart meters. Each home, commercial complex and government building will be connected to a network that will be required to support the capture, analysis and exchange of data. And a momentary disruption could lead to a potential loss of millions. Thus, service levels and user experience become essential for organizations to maintain at a business level and not merely at a technology level. A disruption of the digital network for a few seconds could lead to large losses. Digital business services will need to invest in a strong, secured network capable of transmitting, receiving and processing vast quantities of data in real time. It is no surprise that, according to a Forrester report, a mere 15 percent of business executives believe their company has the capability to execute a digital business strategy.
  • 4. Product and service availability varies by country.  To learn more, customers and Dell Channel Partners should contact their sales representative for more information.  Specifications are correct at date of publication but are subject to availability or change without notice at any time.  Dell and its affiliates cannot be responsible for errors or omissions in typography or photography.  Dell’s Terms and Conditions of Sales and Service apply and are available on request.  Dell and the Dell logo are trademarks of Dell Inc.  Other trademarks and trade names may be used in this document to refer to either the entities claiming the marks and names or their products.  Dell disclaims proprietary interest in the marks and names of others.  © 2015 Dell Inc.  All rights reserved. July 2015 | D619_Infrastructure_Strategy_for_Digital_Transformation.indd | Rev. 1.0 Scan or click this code to learn how Dell Services can help your organization. Security Security is one of the most critical of these five areas in a digital IT infrastructure. When compromised, it can result in huge losses. For example, Target, a leading retail chain, reported in August 2014 that it suffered a loss of $148 million because of the December 2013 data breach that compromised customer information, such as credit card numbers.7 Sony Corporation pegs their loss at $15 million for their 2014 hack.8 Digitalization gives organizations and their direct stakeholders, including employees and consumers, direct access to their specific data, providing complete control on how the technology and information are used. But this leaves the entire ecosystem more vulnerable to cyber attacks. Organizations need to design a security system that effectively identifies, classifies and removes threats, as well as maintain data integrity at any stage. Conclusion Organizations must realize that digital business is a reality. Enterprises of all sizes and shapes are already carefully evaluating digital technologies and how they would impact their value chain. Further, companies will witness competition from unforeseen corners, which could disrupt their competitive position. According to Gartner, 25 percent of businesses will lose competitive ranking by 2017 because of digital business incompetence.9 Thus, it is paramount that organizations should plan for a robust, future-ready IT infrastructure. To succeed, they need to implement the right partner model, which allows business units to benefit from an entire range of expertise and services. For more information about any of our services, please visit Dell.com/services or contact a Dell representative. 1 Record-Setting Holiday Season for Amazon Prime. December 26, 2013. http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1886961 2 Five Years And 311 Cities Later. June 1, 2015. http://newsroom.uber.com/2015/06/five-years-and-311-cities-later 3 Forrester: Businesses having trouble getting with the digital times. May 6, 2014. http://www.infoworld.com/article/2608153/it-strategy/forrester--businesses-having-trouble-getting-with-the-digital-times.html 4 Gartner Says 4.9 Billion Connected “Things” Will Be in Use in 2015. November 11, 2014. http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2905717 5 Boeing 787s to create half a terabyte of data per flights, says Virgin Atlantic. March 6, 2013. http://www.computerworlduk.com/news/data/boeing-787s-create-half-terabyte-of-data-per-flight-says-virgin-atlantic-3433595/ 6 Big Data = Big Wins for the Environment: http://www.sustainability.ups.com/media/UPS-Big-Data-Infographic.pdf 7 Target Puts Data Breach Costs at $148 Million, and Forecasts Profit Drop. August 5, 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/06/business/target-puts-data-breach-costs-at-148-million.html?_r=0 8 Sony Says Studio Hack Cost $15M, Trims Loss Forecast. February 4, 2015. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/02/04/world/asia/ap-as-japan-sony-outlook.html 9 Gartner Says Digital Business Incompetence Will Cause 25 Percent of Businesses to Lose Competitive Ranking by 2017. September 30, 2013. http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2598515