Transformative organizations leverage today’s IT to improve business outcomes
As diverse organizations seek to implement data-driven strategies, the personal computer in all its varieties remains the key workforce productivity tool. IT leaders must guide PC management across the entire PC lifecycle to enable users to work most effectively.
Today, IT leaders address the PC lifecycle across a continuum from control to transformation. Control is geared to optimization, while transformation focuses on the business impact of technology. Although different, the two approaches are not in opposition. According to the recent Forrester Consulting study, “Digital Transformers Innovate, Digital Controllers Optimize,”1 both approaches strive for the same goals and face similar challenges.
To briefly summarize the findings from the paper, Control and Transformation are defined as follows:
Control. Managers focusing on control pay close attention to efficiency, economy and security. As a result, they tend to standardize on a few PC configurations for their entire workforce. This approach simplifies deployment and management, and is usually carried out in a top-down manner. The result is usually conservation of budget outlays, which can maintain profitability and provide the fiscal flexibility needed to fund strategic initiatives.
Transformation. Managers who seek to enable transformation place a premium on employees’ ability not only to work productively, but also to innovate. They focus on individual users’ needs, allowing them to express technology preferences. Then they match equipment and configuration to users’ unique work tasks and needs, deploying advanced and emerging technologies to improve business outcomes.
Meeting organizational needs across the PC lifecycle
Whether their PC lifecycle focus is primarily control or transformation, IT leaders must address four key organizational needs:
Systems Management – Because an organization’s needs change often, IT needs scalable solutions to deploy, manage and support end-user devices across the organization. Management tools must be able to handle multiple device types and configurations, and
they should streamline tasks so that managers are not consumed by day-to-day operations but can focus on the strategic use of the technology.
End-User Productivity – By placing themselves in the shoes of their users, IT leaders can understand what the users need to get their jobs done. Enlightened IT leaders understand their responsibility is to tailor technology to different users’ needs. For example, engineers and creative professionals often need powerful workstations, rather than business laptops, to run data-intensive, high-performance design and simulation applications.
Business Innovation – Advanced technology can be a powerful innovation enabler. For example, Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning can unlock the innovative capabilities of the workforce’s most demanding users, enabling them
to achieve better outcomes both for the business and its customers.
Data-Centric Security – Data security is critical for all companies, but poor implementation of security technologies can hinder user productivity. For PC users, it is essential to secure data in motion and in use with data-centric encryption, digital rights management and advanced threat protection. The implementation should be seamless to users and should not impede their ability to access data, particularly from mobile devices, as needed.
Dell IoT and AI/machine learning solutions
IoT – The Internet of Things is creating game-changing opportunities for businesses. Examples include the use of big data in the form of IoT sensor information to uncover predictive analytics insights ranging from consumer purchasing trends to factory floor optimization, to the development of innovative product designs.
The task of IT leaders is to build the infrastructure to enable the use of IoT data across the organization. Dell and Intel have partnered to create Dell IoT Labs to enable customers to explore, test and deploy IoT solutions and devices. A key IoT infrastructure component is the Dell Edge Gateway 5000 Series, which aggregates, secures and relays data from diverse sensors and equipment. The Intel® Atom™ processor provides capacity to perform analytics at the network edge, so only meaningful information is sent to the next tier, which could be another gateway, the data center or the cloud. The result is economical use of network bandwidth and reduced overall latency.
AI/Machine Learning – Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning applications are taking hold in a broad range of industries, including healthcare, energy, agriculture, finance and manufacturing. AI/Machine Learning applications enable machines to acquire knowledge by studying patterns and recommending actions. Because the needs of companies in these industries vary widely, Dell works with partners across industries to deliver workstation configurations optimized for each. Dell Precision Workforce Solutions are powerful workstations that are ready for the most advanced AI, Machine Learning and cognitive applications.