How to Win the Converged Infrastructure Argument

Written by Matt Oostveen, CTO APJ, Converged Platforms and Solutions Division



Australian business leaders are regularly told that as a nation we are cloud-ready, with many businesses executing a solid cloud strategy. But the stories I hear about our customers’ journeys suggest otherwise. While we are close, there are still a few hurdles to cross before we can earn that title.



Customers I spoke to at Dell EMC World reiterated that they are dealing with these struggles globally and on a regional level. The biggest gripes surrounded access to finance, and how to recruit and retain the talent required to run separate cloud environments. CIOs are under increasing pressure to help drive the business on its digital transformation journey and need a partner who can help.



Building A Truly Hybrid Cloud



According to Cloudscene, Sydney is the home of direct cloud connections in Asia Pacific, and Gartner’s annual CEO study highlighted the cloud as a popular focus for those making their digital transformation. However, the reality is that a cloud-first strategy isn’t always on all local business leaders’ agendas.



To counter this, CIOs need to raise awareness of how cloud can help a business. For many this is a long, ongoing process, marred with as many setbacks as successes. If you have already worked your magic and been given the go-ahead to run an Azure environment, then we have good news for you. Half the battle has already been won.



Dell EMC has partnered with Microsoft to produce a turnkey hybrid cloud solution. This first-of-its-kind solution is now a reality, with general availability planned in the second half of the year.



This is a big deal for the local organisations already using a Microsoft Azure public cloud that want to easily unite this environment with their own private solution. As the C-Suite becomes more educated about cloud technology and its benefits to business outputs, they realise a cloud strategy isn’t either private or public, but tailored to suit the workload or application. The CIO needs to not only be able to explain which business functions belong where and why it is important, but make the move quickly and seamlessly. A business’s digital transformation shouldn’t slow down because the technology doesn’t support it.



A Solution for Every Purpose



When a single solution is integrated, your IT team can align the workload with the most efficient delivery platform, with the ability to make alterations as the characteristics of the workload shift over time. Lots of early-adopter Australian customers initially experimented with workloads in the public cloud as they needed its agility and scale. Now they face the dilemma of moving secure apps to the private cloud with minimum fuss.



In order to receive backing from the important stakeholders within the business, IT teams know a quick and efficient turnaround on projects is non-negotiable. Users want a solution that helps them now, not in six months or a year. This is the value of a turnkey offering, as it gives IT departments the ability to provide a technology that will help the CEO achieve their digital transformation objectives. Whether it provides a platform for a customer-facing app or hosts a private portal for customers to keep track of their orders, the right infrastructure is an essential foundation for any digital journey.



Now you’ve sold the CEO on the IT team’s ability to implement this new technology in a timely manner with minimal disruption, the next challenge is how can you get the CFO to stump up the funds to get started.



The more affordable way to HCI



Throughout the digital transformation journey, many CIOs face financial roadblocks. Upfront costs can be high and if a CFO doesn’t fully understand how a new piece of kit will drive outgoings down or increase customer satisfaction resulting in more profit, they are unlikely to put down the lump sum needed.



They’ve also been burnt when investing in the latest tech must haves. The IT sector is full of cautionary tales about implementing a new technology, and then plans changing halfway through the three or five-year period. When this happens time and time again, CFOs are reluctant to let IT introduce new technology on a regular basis. They become blind to the fact it is essential for businesses to innovate and remain current in their markets.



Minimising the Financial Risks



We wanted to give CIOs the option to try out a converged platform without the upfront costs and with the ability to return the hardware after a year if needed. Dell EMC’s Cloud-Flex eliminates initial costs by spreading (decreasing) payments over a longer period of time, with no long-term obligation. This solves many of the issues our customers come to us with and presents a low risk investment for the CFO. A win, win solution for everyone.



On a local level, this payment option will allow small and medium Australian businesses access to technology that would have previously been out of their reach. Converged platforms are an essential component to streamlining the IT processes that are needed to undergo digital transformation. But the upfront costs can be high. The introduction of this pricing model means we are giving all businesses the opportunity to compete, whether you are a global enterprise or a SMB.



The Cloud Safety Net



CIOs have long experienced the same challenges when trying to introduce new tech to a business from their fellow board members. It is vital to gain their support in these projects by ensuring their concerns are addressed.



When a hybrid-cloud platform is well implemented, the challenges quickly melt away. On the matter of staffing, there is no need to expand the IT team to run two cloud environments, as true hybrid cloud allows seamless interaction between the two, increasing operational efficiency. On the topic of cost, new finance models are now available that bring the payment structures of a public model to private facilities.



Our aim is to make the complex simple, and by managing your infrastructure we want to allow your IT teams to focus on how they can digital transform.



If you want to know more about the announcements at Dell EMC World or want to find out more information about any of our Converged Platforms or Solutions, follow us on Twitter @DellEMCANZ.

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