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Dell EMC Australia and New Zealand Blog

203 Posts authored by: ANZ_Team

By Liz Matthews  - Senior Vice President, Global Brand and Experiential


At the end of a long day, I love to unwind by catching up on the latest documentary on Netflix, or taking the edge off with a comedic sitcom. Pop culture has always been extraordinary at making us smile, while also influencing ideas and culture. One of our favourites at Dell Technologies is The Big Bang Theory, which came to a close last week.

 

For the last 12 years, Dell Technologies has integrated products into not only the show, but the lives of the characters we have grown to love. Our Dell XPS M17 gaming laptop made its debut on episode 1 of season 1, which later evolved into the Alienware M17. The Alienware 17 R3 played a role in many of the episodes last season. We have watched as the show and its founder changed the perception of the tech industry and removed barriers to entry for students interested in pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM).

 

Four years ago, Chuck Lorre and the primary cast created The Big Bang Theory Scholarship Fund at UCLA. This scholarship was established to support undergraduate students with promising academic merit in need of financial aid, who are pursuing higher education in the fields of STEM. 52 per cent of UCLA students receive need-based scholarships, grants or other aid, and almost one-third of UCLA graduates have parents who didn’t graduate from a four-year college or university. I had a chance to meet 17 of these scholars at a recent ceremony celebrating their tremendous achievement. We were so thrilled to contribute to this initiative and support the mission of The Big Bang Theory Scholarship Fund that we also sent our future change makers off with Alienware m15 laptops.



Advancing underrepresented groups in technology and cultivating inclusion is a top priority for Dell Technologies. It’s critical to the success of our business. By 2024, there will be 1.1 million technology jobs, so it is imperative that we ensure our next generation is equipped with the skills to thrive in a digital world, and candidly, we need as much talent as possible to fill those jobs to meet the needs of the rapidly transforming world around us.


New and different collaborations are critical to breaking through and ensuring technology is a field accessible to ALL and representative of ALL. In addition to our work with The Big Bang Theory Scholarship Fund, we work with a number of organisations to increase curriculum at the K-12 level.  We’re also investing in partnerships at the university level with historically black colleges and universities to develop curriculum and programs to reskill and bring underrepresented groups access to training they need to pursue jobs in technology. And we continue to partner with peers on coalitions like Reboot Representation and the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion that address key obstacles for our industry overall.


As I reflect on the last 12 years and, prepare to wave goodbye to the show, I’m so proud of the progress we have made together, and how the show has changed cultural stereotypes and had broad reaching impact on the communities it serves. Because together we can do and achieve so much more, and have the lasting impact our future needs.


By Tim Liu - Vice President and General Manager, Mainstream Consumer & SMB at Dell


We're here to announce the launch of the latest additions to our Vostro portfolio, the Vostro 13 5000 and Vostro 15 7000, designed with the needs of small businesses in mind.


Michael Dell founded Dell Technologies in his college dorm room with a revolutionary idea and a great deal of dedication and hard work. These are key ingredients that company founders must possess to start – and successfully grow – a small business. Here at Dell, we understand the challenges facing small businesses today and have built our products and advisory services to enable them to scale, thrive and remain a competitive force in the marketplace, starting with our Vostro line.


This is why we are thrilled to launch our new Vostros. The Vostro 13 5000 is the thinnest and lightest Vostro ever, designed for on-the-go business professionals. This portable 13” notebook is just 14.9mm thin with a weight as light as 1.18kg (2.6lb) and is encased in an aluminium cover that is both durable and sleek. The FHD display is surrounded by a 3-sided narrow border, which was made possible with the new 2.7mm HD webcam. While the HD camera provides a clear viewing experience, Waves MaxxAudio Pro boosts volume and SmartByte software ensures video-conferencing applications receive network bandwidth priority to reduce buffering, making it the perfect laptop for on-the-go business professionals who need to attend meetings from anywhere.


To add to the lineup, the Vostro 15 7000 is our newest 15” laptop catered to professionals who need a high-performance computer that looks stylish, while keeping cost down. Encased in aluminium and featuring a narrow border FHD display, it is both durable and sleek. With up to Core i7 Intel Coffee Lake-H 6-core processors, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics, a 97 WHr battery and an optional triple drive expandability storage option, this performance laptop is ideal for content creators or businesses that run intensive applications and need plenty of storage & performance when working on large projects.


Vostro laptops come with security features that are easy to use for any business user. With an optional single-sign-on fingerprint reader and built-in hardware-based Trusted Platform Module (TPM 2.0) security chip, users can instantly authenticate their systems and feel confident their data is well protected against malware and cyber threats.


Dell also knows that small businesses rely on their technology partners for continued support. Therefore, we are offering the option of Dell Pro Support, which provides our customers with 24×7 direct telephone access to advanced-level technicians who are locally based relative to each small business.


Small businesses play an incredible part in the nation’s economic growth and that does not go unrecognised. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, – small businesses (0-19 employees) make up 97% of business in Australia*. We’re excited to kick off these new Vostros designed to enable and empower small businesses and entrepreneurs.


The Vostro 13 5000 will be available on dell.com on May 16 starting at $849. The Vostro 15 7000 will be available on dell.com on May 16 starting at $1149.


*ABS Small Business Counts

By Varun Chhabra  - Senior Director, Product Marketing at Dell EMC


Cloud usage in the enterprise continues to grow rapidly, and with good reason - cloud operating models increase agility, accelerate innovation and help create a competitive edge in today’s world. As the number of cloud solutions has grown, organisations have found it easier to increasingly deploy workloads across multiple clouds. In fact, 93 per cent of organisations are deploying workloads across two or more clouds.[1] Although usage across multiple clouds provides flexibility, it also creates operational silos due to differences in the underlying infrastructure, management tools and APIs. This leads to organisational complexity, which paradoxically reduces agility- one of the main reasons why organisations adopt cloud solutions in the first place!


We believe organisations should have the flexibility to choose whichever cloud environment is best for their workloads and data - without the byproduct of additional complexity. To help organisations address this complexity, we unveiled Dell Technologies Cloud today at Dell Technologies World. Dell Technologies Cloud consists of joint solutions from VMware and Dell EMC that remove cloud complexity by providing a consistent cloud operating model across public cloud, private cloud and edge locations.


Who says it must be out with the old to be in with the new?


There have been massive changes in IT from both a development and operations perspective since cloud computing became popular. Vendors sometimes portray these new models as a panacea for existing IT concerns, yet they are often incongruent with the applications, skillsets, and operational models established over many years in organisations.


Because more workloads are virtualised on VMware than any other hypervisor, organisations deploying Dell Technologies Cloud solutions can apply cloud benefits to their traditional workloads without being forced to refactor first. For instance, with VMware Cloud Foundation, VMs and containers can be moved effortlessly from on-premises to VMware Cloud on AWS without the need for expensive re-platforming. This is just one of the ways organisations can achieve the scale, coverage, speed, and cost structures they want in the public cloud faster with Dell Technologies Cloud. They can also achieve the same benefits in their data centre, thanks to the automation capabilities of VMware Cloud Foundation and the tight HW/SW integration between VMware and Dell EMC.


A better cloud, with options


Dell Technologies Cloud can be consumed as Platforms or as a fully managed Data Center-as-a-Service (DCaaS) offering:


Dell Technologies Cloud Platforms: With Dell Technologies Cloud Platforms, customers have the flexibility to tailor their cloud infrastructure to their specific workload needs. These are built using tight integration between VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) and a variety of Dell EMC infrastructure – hyperconverged (VxRail) and converged infrastructure, as well as Dell Technologies validated storage, compute, and networking platforms. VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail delivers full stack integration, where both the physical infrastructure and VMware cloud software stack are managed as one complete on-premises hybrid cloud experience. Not only does this Dell EMC and VMware jointly engineered integration greatly reduce risk and increase IT efficiency, it also simplifies, streamlines, and automates the operations of the entire SDDC because it creates a single unified experience.


Additionally, with VMware Cloud on AWS available as an add-on to the Dell Technologies Cloud Platform, organisations can also extend their on-premises cloud environment seamlessly into the public cloud, without having to refactor workloads for migration. The consistent operating experience across public and private clouds reduces complexity. In fact, IDC found that Dell Technologies Cloud reduces total cost of ownership by up to 47 per cent compared to native public cloud.


Dell Technologies Cloud Data Center-as-a-Service: VMware Cloud on Dell EMC is cloud infrastructure installed on-premises in your core and edge data centres and consumed as a cloud service.  This new, fully-managed DCaaS offering combines the speed and flexibility of the public cloud with the security and control of on-premises infrastructure.  Additionally, the familiarity of VMware Cloud tools on trusted Dell EMC VxRail hyperconverged infrastructure provides peace of mind through a best-of-breed enterprise solution.


VMware Cloud on Dell EMC delivers cloud-like simplicity to your data centres and unparalleled consistency between your public cloud and on-premises environments. This new construct empowers your entire organisation to focus on business innovation and differentiation.  For instance:


  • IT Operations can offload maintenance and refocus on value-added services;
  • IT Architects can utilise VMware’s hybrid cloud control plane to simplify workload management;
  • IT Security can uniformly apply security policies, eliminating the need to track and secure workloads that span multiple environments;
  • Developers can accelerate application development by building for just one environment; and
  • IT decision makers can negotiate one contract with one vendor for all core and edge data centre needs.
  • In short, the Dell Technologies Cloud Data Center-as-a-Service lays the foundation for savvy CIOs/CTOs to move their organisation one step closer to IT-as-a-Service, delivering on the promise of utilising technology to drive business strategy.


Services to eliminate cloud friction


As part of Dell Technologies Cloud, organisations can take advantage of professional services, support and financial services to help remove barriers to cloud adoption. From helping you determine where your workloads are best placed, to ensuring service levels are delivered, our cloud experts can reduce risk along your cloud journey. Meanwhile, Dell Financial Services makes it possible to achieve cloud economics in your own data centre with flexible consumption models.


Cloud without chaos


With Dell Technologies Cloud, it’s possible to bring the best of public cloud to your data centre, transfer your best practices for management and security to all your clouds and easily extend the best of both to your edge locations. Welcome to a better cloud.


For more information on this announcement, please see the below materials


Dell Technologies Cloud Press Release


Dell Technologies Cloud website


[1] IDC White Paper, sponsored by Cisco, Adopting Multicloud — A Fact-Based Blueprint for Reducing Enterprise Business Risks, June 2018.

Julie Tatum, Global Channel Marketing Campaign Manager, Dell EMC

 

Take advantage of top advice from industry analyst firm, IDC, on how to best pitch IT modernisation to your prospects and customers

 

Are all of your prospects and customers considering how IT modernisation can benefit their business? They should be, because they’re in danger of being left behind if they don’t find a way to remain agile and efficient in today’s fast-moving, digitally driven world.

 

As a Dell EMC partner, you’re ideally placed to assume the role of trusted advisor, consulting with key stakeholders and offering guidance on the best technology solutions to suit their specific business needs.

 

IDC identifies clear opportunities for Dell EMC partners

 

In a new IDC Vendor Spotlight[1], influential analyst firm IDC noted that “Dell EMC holds the market share leadership across most of the offerings it considers foundational to IT modernisation.”

 

This leadership position, combined with a comprehensive portfolio of solutions spanning infrastructure from endpoint to data centre, makes Dell EMC the ideal technology partner to enable organisations of any size to modernise their IT environment.

 

The analyst outlines the company’s fully integrated and forward-looking IT modernisation strategy and details the substantial opportunities that this presents for Dell EMC partners.

 

Insider advice on how best to bring strategy to life

 

The IDC Vendor Spotlight contains plenty of guidance for partners on maximising the opportunities around modernising IT.

 

It states, that customers need help in assessing how best to modernise their IT and that they’re looking for expert technology partners to address this need. However, the report also stresses that capturing and realising the significant opportunities open to partners “requires a deep understanding of customer priorities.”

 

In particular, the IDC Vendor Spotlight is advising Dell EMC partners to focus on three key requirements:

 

  1. The ability to clearly explain the importance and scope of IT modernisation: You need to be able to articulate to customers the benefits of IT modernisation and the essential role it plays as a necessary first step and the best path towards wider digital transformation.

  2. The ability to adopt a consultative, solutions-focused sales approach: Deep understanding of the customer’s environment will enable you to offer trusted advice on IT modernisation solutions that will deliver specific business outcomes, not just tick technology boxes.

  3. The ability to appeal to and engage with different types of buyers: More and more IT decisions are being made outside of the IT department, so you need to be able to tailor your sales approaches to C-suite level and LOB buyers, as well as traditional IT personas.


Get these three aspects right, IDC says, and you’ll be able to win IT modernisation business while also earning long-term customer respect and loyalty.

 

Partners “well-positioned” to become trusted advisors

 

All of these inherent challenges feed into one of the fundamental points made within the report. This is the assertion by the IDC Vendor Spotlight that partners “play a critical role in helping Dell EMC bring IT modernisation to its customers at the scale and pace that customers are demanding it.”

 

That’s because technology providers need to shift the conversation from generic product features to how a particular solution can meet specific business needs. To succeed, they have to be able to deliver complete, often bespoke, solutions to customers – solutions that create value and meet desired targeted outcomes. And that, of course, is dictated by business need, not technology.

 

This drives many business-led IT purchases into very specific use case scenarios, where each solution is slightly different from the next. The best way to assess, advise on, sell, and ultimately implement these solutions is for technology providers to work with expert partners who are ‘on the ground’ – partners like you.

 

The IDC Vendor Spotlight emphasises that Dell EMC partners are “well positioned” to act as trusted advisors who can guide their customers through the complex journey required for IT modernisation, from awareness and exploration through to decision-making.

 

Get up to speed today with all the ways you can be helping your prospects and customer…

 


Read the full IDC Vendor Spotlight now

 

Explore our dedicated Modernise IT campaign and marketing tools

 

And if you’re heading to the Global Partner Summit in Las Vegas at the end of April, make sure you head over and “Plug-In” to the Dell EMC Partner Zone at the Dell Technologies World Expo to find out more about the Modernise IT campaign.

 

[1] IDC Vendor Spotlight, sponsored by Dell EMC, ‘Modernise IT: The Opportunity for Dell EMC Partners, April 2019.

By Tom Tobul, VP, GM, Commercial Specialty Products, Client Solutions, Dell


IMAGE 1.jpeg.jpgWhen the most innovative and creative minds are looking to not only change their industry, but the world as we know it, they demand that their technology will deliver remarkable performance. So, it is no surprise that innovators across manufacturing, design, healthcare and media and entertainment turn to the powerful Dell Precision 7000 Series workstation portfolio as their tool of choice.

 

Dell has been a leader in workstation technology for over two decades because we are driven by our customers’ insights and experiences, and we continue to purposefully design products with intelligent performance and mission-critical reliability for industry applications and emerging technologies like VR and AI. Inspired by our customers’ drive to push boundaries in their work, we have upgraded our Precision 7000 Series workstation towers and rack to deliver higher performance and massive scalability for the most demanding workloads.


Next month, Dell’s flagship tower workstation, the Dell Precision 7920 tower, and the Dell Precision 7820 tower, will be updated to include the new 2nd Gen Intel® Xeon Scalable processors and NVIDIA® Quadro RTX™ graphics options to deliver outstanding performance for the most demanding applications and largest datasets, including enhancements for artificial intelligence and machine learning workloads. As always, the Dell Precision Optimiser is available on all Precision workstations, and both towers are “Ready for VR.” For a small cost, Dell Precision Optimiser Premium is also available. This is an innovative feature using AI-based technology to tune the workstation based on how it is being used. The smart multichannel thermal design continues to deliver advanced cooling and acoustics. We are proud to be the only mainstream tower workstation family to offer an externally accessible tool-less power supply and FlexBays for lockable, hot-swappable drives for serviceability and security.

For customers seeking the highest level of secure, remotely accessible 1:1 workstation performance, the refreshed Dell Precision 7920 rack workstation delivers all the performance and scalability of our flagship Dell Precision 7920 Tower in a flexible, convenient and secure 2U rack form factor. This rack workstation is ideal for OEMs and customers who need to locate their compute resources and valuable data in central environments. This option can also help reduce noise, heat and save space while providing secure remote access to external employees and contractors.

IMAGE 2.jpeg.jpgWhat’s Inside Matters

Configuration options will include the recently announced
2nd Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, built for advanced workstation professionals, with up to 28 cores, 56 threads, and 3 TB DDR4 RDIMM per socket, and support for ground-breaking technologies such as Intel® Deep Learning Boost
, a new set of Intel® AVX-512 instructions. These industry-leading new Precision 7000 Series workstations will be available in May, with high-performance storage capacity options, including up to 120TB/96TB of Enterprise SATA HDD and up to 16TB of super-fast PCIe NVMe SSDs.

Conner Adams, Advisor, Global Communications - Dell Technologies


Luminaries.jpg

Where can technology take your business? Join hosts Mark Schaefer and Douglas Karr on an IT transformation expedition. Listen in as they have in-depth conversations with technology luminaries who clear the path for your business growth – hear from analysts, partners, your peers and leaders across Dell Technologies. Find research, best practices and tools to make your IT transformation real.

 

In this excerpt from Luminaries —Talking to the Brightest Minds in Tech, hosts Mark Schaefer and Douglas Karr speak with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, (referred to as SIR JOHN, below), Founder and Chairman of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world.


So tell us a little bit about the Clipper Race

 

SIR JOHN: Well, the Clipper Race, it’s an idea I got, I was up in Greenland mountaineering with a friend of mine, and he told me how much it cost him to climb Mount Everest. And it seemed an awful lot of money. And I thought, well, now, what’s the sailing equivalent? And I came to the conclusion it was a circumnavigation.

 

And I thought, well, heck, there must be a load of people out there who’d love to do that, but don’t have enough confidence or not enough money to buy a boat. Supposing I supplied a boat and training and, you know, all the backups needed and offered it, how much would that cost? I worked it out on the back of an envelope, and it came to about half what it cost to climb Mount Everest. So, I met up with William Ward, and we put an advert in the papers saying we were planning on doing this, and got 8,000 answers.

 

Once you’ve launched an idea like that, if you don’t do it, someone else will. So, we said, right, we’d better go ahead with this. So, in 11 months, we built eight boats. We recruited people, skippers, trained up the crews, and arranged a route around the world and started the first race. And really, the race is open to ordinary people who just want to go out there and do something extraordinary with their lives.

 

So, we say to them, look, you don’t have to have any sailing experience, we’ll train you. In fact, I have to say, in many cases, the people who’ve never sailed before, easiest to train. They haven’t got any bad habits. But so, we train them up, and we put on the boats, and with professional skippers. And then we run a race around the world, calling at various places along the way.

 

Now, we’ve been doing this for 23 years now, and we’ve taken some 5,000 people. Really given them an experience of a lifetime. And it’s fascinating to watch how they change. You know, the 18-year-old, a year later, is 24 in maturity terms. But even the chief executive of a company, who’s 60, comes back just standing that little bit taller. They’ve taken on nature in the raw, and they’ve looked it in the eye and they’ve survived it. They’ve something to be proud of.



Sir John, of course, this is a podcast about technology and digital transformation. Can you tell us what the onboard communication technology was like when you circumnavigated the globe in 1994?

 

 

 

SIR JOHN: Well, Douglas, in fact, the first time I went around the world was 1968, ’69. And that was non-stop.

 

And of course, one very simple thing you’ll recognise immediately, no satellites. So, there was no GPS. There was no satellite communication. We used single-sideband radios, very low-powered. If you could get through, it was a miracle. But after two and a half months, mine broke down anyway. So, for the next eight months, I had no communication.

 

So yeah, that was quite funny, because when I got back after passing New Zealand, where I saw some fishermen, no one heard anything of me for four and a half months, until I ran into some ships off the Azores. I remember a lady coming up to me and saying, weren’t you worried when you were missing? I said, madam, I knew exactly where I was.



So, talk about the technology today, because it’s quite different. And you have this partnership with Dell, and this Rugged computer system that they’re providing to you. So, talk a little bit about the importance of technology today. And you know, you’ve talked quite a bit about the training and the safety. And it seems like technology plays a big role in all of that for the sailors of today.

 


SIR JOHN: Well, you’re absolutely right. I mean, we have to move with the times. We have to accept what’s available to us. Our boats typically have three different satellite systems on them now. So, I can be anywhere in the world and call them up wherever they are. It doesn’t matter. Middle of the Pacific, middle of the Atlantic, I can get straight through to them on my mobile phone.

 

This is a big safety thing, of course, but it’s a bit more than that, because we’ve got GPS, we’ve got satellite systems, we’ve got plotters. We’ve got our computers, which are fundamental to making these systems work. So, if you don’t have a good computer, you can’t work them. And then, of course, the next thing is you had a boat that’s rolling around, being smashed about a bit, water everywhere. You’ve got to have a tough computer because otherwise they just don’t last.

 

I mean, there were times in the past when we’ve probably renewed all the computers during the course of a race because they’ve just collapsed. And glad to say that’s no longer the case. But it was the case in the past.

 

That’s just amazing. And when you really think about it, it’s amazing how this technology has advanced. I mean, just to look at in just a few short years, in a couple of decades, how we’ve come to rely on this technology, and how it’s all integrated through satellites. And Dell has this Rugged computer system that can withstand saltwater and everything you can throw at it.



To listen to the full interview with Sir John, download the “Complete the World’s Toughest Endurance Yacht Race…With Rugged Tech” episode of Luminaries —Talking to the Brightest Minds in Tech.

 

Discover Dell Technologies’ vision for the future and learn new capabilities, how to reinvent processes, innovate faster and create value that will change the game for your business & career. Register for Dell Technologies World today.


 

Arthur Lent, SVP and CTO, Dell EMC Data Protection Division


Digital Transformation has been a rallying cry of CXOs over the past few years, and global disruption, due to digitisation, has yielded many examples of industry powerhouses becoming a footnote in history. It should come as no surprise then, that a major trend emerged in the most recent Vanson Bourne Global Data Protection Index commissioned by Dell EMC – data is almost unanimously understood to have value and 25 per cent of Australian respondents are either already monetising it or are investing in tools that will help them monetise it in the future.

Index (1).png

As data becomes more valuable to an organisation, there is a corresponding move to collect more of it and keep it for longer. The concept of Data Capital has become ingrained in every industry, as organisations find that using data to power applications and gain new insights from analytics, sets them apart from the competition. This results in a point of friction, as the creation, acquisition and protection of data are somewhat at odds. Data protection challenges range from financial (affordability of backing it up) to logistical (delivering performance and coverage). These played a significant role in the limited improvement of data protection maturity in companies we surveyed. Simply put, what worked to protect 1.08PB of data a few short years ago, won’t work for the almost 5PB of data respondents averaged in the latest study.


Not surprisingly, such growth has also created a myriad of challenges for organisations with availability and data retention. More than three-quarters (76 per cent) of global respondents have experienced disruption of some kind in the last 12 months. To make matters worse, these service level events are coming about through all manner of sources, making it nearly impossible to eliminate risk entirely. From infrastructure failures and ransomware attacks to data corruption and user error, or even cloud provider issue, it’s time to realise we cannot eliminate the cause of a service level event. We can, however, mitigate the damage it causes by having an effective data protection strategy and solutions in place.


The stakes are higher than ever


When looking at events that resulted in a disruption, we separated these events into two categories — downtime and data loss. Across these two areas, respondents noted substantial impacts from events.


  • 48 per cent experienced downtime with an average estimated cost of $233,000
  • 28 per cent suffered data loss that resulted in an average estimated loss of $791,000


One of the most surprising results revealed that those who scored higher in the data protection index were more vulnerable to substantial losses in the event of an outage or data loss.


1111.PNG.png


This magnified impact was likely due to the increased importance data plays in their business but shows just how essential it is to get data protection right. Read more about disruption and creating a strategy to protect essential data.


Improving protection in three steps


Subscribe value to data and protect it accordingly – 82 per cent of Australian survey respondents say they treat data differently based on its value. As data continues to grow exponentially, it is essential to leverage a variety of data protection strategies across continuous availability, replication, backup, archives, etc. creating an effective data protection solution that can scale.


Consolidate vendors to lower risk – Across the board, respondents who used multiple vendors increased the likelihood of something going wrong. Organisations globally with only a single data protection vendor were twice as likely to indicate they had not experienced a disruption in the last 12 months, with 40 per cent reporting they had no adverse issues.


Protect more in the cloud – Automatic backup to the cloud was the most frequently included technology as part of a comprehensive data protection strategy with 33.07 per cent of respondents indicating they were using it. This is critical to leverage moving forward, both to defer costs of traditional data protection, as well as to provide coverage within cloud environments themselves.


Wrapping up


Ultimately, the report paints a picture of organisations trying to keep up with the data deluge, it’s increased value to the organisation, and new advanced workloads that strain existing data protection solutions. We’ve entered a new age where protecting data has morphed into the need to apply advanced data management strategies to keep it both safe and available at all times. Data Protection can no longer be bolted on as a simple insurance policy, but should be a primary design consideration for any workload that the organisation is prioritising. Over the coming months, we will continue to highlight new technologies and strategies to use in meeting the ever-increasing needs in this space. For now though, please find your complimentary GDPI report here.


View the infographic here to learn more about the Australian findings from the Dell EMC Global Data Protection Index study.

Pete Manca, Senior Vice President, Product Development, Dell EMC

 

It’s been 10 years since the first VCE Vblock debuted, the result of innovative collaboration between VMware, Cisco and EMC Corporation that launched the world’s first fully integrated converged infrastructure system.

 

In the world of IT infrastructure, it was a groundbreaking first, and it quickly evolved to become one of the easiest ways for organisations to deploy a mission-critical cloud within a hybrid cloud strategy.

 

After more than 4,500 installations, which if stacked up would nearly reach Mt. Everest’s peak, the steady beat of innovation continues for the best-selling Certified Reference Systems & Integrated Infrastructure portfolio in the industry. According to IDC, the portfolio is ranked #1 with 46% revenue share [i]. Today, I’m happy to share some exciting new updates to VxBlock, that in the words of a customer gives them “a 10-year step forward”, demonstrating once again that our innovation engine never sleeps and strives for continued excellence for the benefit of our loyal customers.

 

There is a lot of value in building your data centre from best-of-breed modular components, especially when those components are from Dell EMC – but our customers have also found a massive benefit moving their core operations to a converged infrastructure platform like the VxBlock 1000.

 


"Dell EMC VxBlock enables us to take an almost 10-year step forward in technology with a single purchase."

Ryan Deppe, Network Operations Supervisor, Cianbro Corporation

 


The Beat of Innovation Goes On: What’s New in VxBlock 1000

The genius of the VxBlock 1000 CI architecture and its advantages over previous CI generations is its much higher scalability, broader choice of components for consolidating mixed workloads and the flexibility to incorporate new technology while protecting previous investments in the system. All of this comes in a lifecycle-assured, cloud operations experience to help unburden IT.

 

Our latest VxBlock 1000 enhancements broaden these choices even further, with additions of new Dell EMC storage and data protection platforms, Cisco UCS servers and deeper support for the latest components in the VMware vRealize Suite 2018. New VxBlock features announced today now allow our customers to:

 

  • Deliver cloud operations faster and more efficiently with new validated support for:
    • VxBlock Central Orchestration workflows with VMware vRealize Orchestrator version 7.5
    • VxBlock Central Operations analytics with VMware vRealize Operations version 7.0
    • VMware vSphere 6.7 virtualisation platform
  • Consolidate and protect high-value, mission-critical workloads with new storage and data protection options built for efficient backup, archiving and cloud tiering, featuring:
    • Dell EMC Unity Hybrid Flash (Models 300, 400, 500 and 600)
    • Dell EMC Data Domain with high availability (Models 6800, 9300 and 9800)
  • Optimise high-value enterprise workloads with the added scale and performance provided by new server and networking options from our long-time partner Cisco:
    • Cisco UCS 6454 Fabric Interconnect (Gen 4)
    • Cisco UCS C480, extending the range of Cisco M5 rack servers available in VxBlock 1000

 

 


“With the VxBlock 1000, we now have the ability to mix and match technologies within that frame and the trust that Dell EMC will upgrade all those components in a seamless manner, so IT professionals can focus on what’s really important to our business’ mission.”

John Grieco CTO, University of Vermont Health Network

 


The Beat of Innovation Goes On: Ready Stack Joins the Dell EMC CI Portfolio


Today, Dell EMC continues to expand converged infrastructure to meet the diverse needs, practices and cultures of IT organisations. Joining VxBlock 1000 in our converged infrastructure lineup is Dell EMC Ready Stack, a portfolio of validated designs for those who seek to build their own infrastructure solutions. With sizing, design and deployment resources, Ready Stack enables customers and channel partners to build their own converged infrastructure, with flexibility of component choice and expert guidance, all from a single trusted vendor – Dell EMC.

 

The new expansion of the Dell EMC Ready Stack validated design portfolio now includes:


  • VMware-based IaaS on Dell EMC PowerEdge MX servers and Dell EMC PowerMax storage
  • VMware vSphere on Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation servers and Dell EMC Unity storage
  • Microsoft Hyper-V on Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation servers and Dell EMC Unity storage
  • Build your own design using any combination of Dell EMC’s #1 server and storage platforms, as well as open networking and data protection options
  • New digital library of Ready Stack resources available at DellEMC.com

 

One size doesn’t fit all, and Ready Stack is another way to help unburden IT so they can focus more on what matters most to their business: innovation, new applications and new services.

 

Stay tuned for more innovation, as we continue to offer IT organisations greater speed and agility to deploy infrastructure for high-value apps that matter, ensure that those apps are running on the most optimal and secure infrastructure, and assure greater efficiency in day-to-day IT operations, management and maintenance.

 

You can learn more about VxBlock 1000 here and Ready Stack here.

 

[i] IDC Worldwide Quarterly Converged Systems Tracker, Dec. 18, 2018. Dell EMC 46% share in Certified Reference Systems + Integrated Systems.

ANZ_Team

How Protected Is Your Data?

Posted by ANZ_Team Mar 27, 2019

Doug Burke, Senior Sales Director, Dell EMC


That’s what we asked organisations worldwide – and the results are in…

 

Achieving success in digital transformation is predicated on your data capital. It’s the foundation of your future: how you manage and protect it is essential to deriving value.

 

We recently conducted a global survey to gauge the data protection readiness of organisations. In the Dell EMC Global Data Protection Index study, over 2,000 IT decision-makers were interviewed in both public and private organisations of 250 or more employees, across three global regions, 18 countries and 11 industries. The results show a challenging landscape for organisations looking to get the most from their data.

 

Recognition vs. reality

 

Data is now regarded as an asset for most Australian companies, with 90 per cent of them seeing its potential value and 35 per cent of them recognising it is extremely valuable and currently monetising it. This has resulted in companies keeping substantially more data.

 

Worldwide, data is growing at a phenomenal rate: the Global Data Protection Index reports that between 2016 and 2018, the volume of global data rose from 1.68PB to 8.13PB. This has created a challenging landscape for data protection, as organisations struggle to keep up with data growth.

 

Protecting data against data loss is proving to be even more important than the threat of downtime. While more Australian organisations experienced downtime than data loss in the previous 12 months (46 per cent versus 30 per cent respectively), the average cost per data loss incident was much higher – in fact, at an average cost of $939,703 USD, nearly double than of unplanned systems downtime.

 

But has this recognition resulted in robust data protection measures? The answer seems to be: not for enough people. Almost two-thirds of respondents (63 per cent) said they weren’t very confident they could meet their own service level objectives to fully recover their systems and data, while 82 per cent think their current data protection solution will not enable them to meet all future business challenges.

 

Leaders and laggards

 

The Dell Global Data Protection Index grouped respondents into four categories, from Laggards, through Evaluators and Adopters, to Leaders. On average, Leaders have 28 times more data than Laggards, and are seven times more likely to be monetising it. This explains why, for Leaders, the threat of data loss is so much greater: the average cost of data loss for them is almost 15 times higher than it is for Laggards.

 

In short, while Leaders are in better shape to avoid incidents, they are also more exposed, because their operations are more reliant on data.

 

Who’s in front?

 

The Global Data Protection Index ranks countries on the maturity of their approach to data protection, awarding organisations in each country more points for shorter recovery times, confidence in their infrastructure, modern data protection systems, and the extent to which they saw value in their data.

 

So – which countries came out on top? The answers may surprise you. To find out more, read the Dell Global Data Protection Index here.

Did you know only 7 per cent of global venture capital funding goes towards women-owned businesses?

 

For International Women’s Day 2019, Mark Fioretto, Managing Director for Enterprise at Dell EMC ANZ, and Angela Fox, Manager Director for Commercial and Public Sector at Dell EMC ANZ, talk about the importance of gender equality in the workplace and Dell Technologies’ commitment to supporting women in business.

 

Here’s what International Women’s Day means to them.



By Stephanie Walden, contributor

 

Today’s travellers leave behind more than just physical footprints wherever they roam: They also drop digital clues that collectively inform larger trends in the travel and tourism sectors.


As globetrotting becomes more accessible and popular than ever before, there’s great potential for companies to use data to anticipate traveller preferences, improve customer experiences, access untapped leads, and boost their bottom lines.


Here are four ways businesses are utilising data analytics and emerging technologies to revolutionise modern travel.


1. Enhancing the Customer Experience


Airlines are overhauling clunky legacy systems in order to make better use of customer data and enhance customer service. From planning flight routes to improving customer service and loyalty programs to responding to natural disasters in real time, airline and aviation companies are using data in a variety of ways to modernise operations.

 

Australia-based airline Qantas offers an app that gives passengers a personalised flight timeline, guides for easy check-in, and travel-related content that adapts to users based upon their in-app behaviour and specific flight details. The app provides users with a customised feed of news, restaurant recommendations, offers, and shopping experiences based on content they’ve previously interacted with, their passenger profiles, and current flight itinerary. The app also syncs with travellers’ planned journeys to provide relevant news and videos related to upcoming destinations. To encourage customers to share their data with third parties such as brand affiliates and advertisers, Qantas rewards those who opt in with frequent flyer points.

 

United Airlines, too, uses data in inventive ways to improve the travel experience: The company’s “collect, detect, act” approach to data analytics takes into account more than 150 variables about each customer—including elements such as how frequently they fly with the airline and previous destinations they’ve travelled to—which are assessed in real time. Flight attendants are equipped with handheld devices that display passenger data such as dietary restrictions, frequent flyer status, and if they have a connecting flight. Collected data also serves to help the airline anticipate overbookings.


2. Improving Travel Security


Airports and airlines are investing heavily in cybersecurity technologies - spending reached $3.9 billion in 2018. With the number of travellers taking to the skies expected to double in the next two decades, airports will need to streamline security processes in order to handle the hordes of people trying to get to their gates.

 

Biometrics, which have already become commonplace in consumer technology like smartphones, are now being incorporated into airport security processes. The future biometric airport is rooted in the idea of “single token travel.” This means that once travellers’ faces match their passports during initial security screenings, they can proceed through all remaining checkpoints without producing additional documents. In Brisbane, such a system is already being tested: Travellers simply show their passports, boarding passes, and facial images at check-in, and then navigate seamlessly through the remaining control points. At gates, passengers only have to look into a camera to board their flight.


3. Hyper-Personalisation of Itineraries and Experiences


“Personalisation” is a buzzy term in industries ranging from big banking to food delivery, and the travel and tourism sector is no exception. Today, companies are seeking to create hyper-personalised experiences based on traveller trends.


Journy, for instance, is a digital travel agency that pairs prospective business and leisure travellers with custom itineraries, including accommodations, activities, and restaurants. The company uses open-source data (such as reviews on social media or travel sites), as well as proprietary customer surveys to inform travel-planning at scale. Since launching in 2016, Journy has helped formulate around 6,000 trips in more than 100 destinations.

 

Journy issues smart predictions about where and how consumers should spend their time and money. AI algorithms automate about 80 per cent of Journy’s travel suggestions; the remaining 20 per cent is supplemented by high-touch, human input and one-on-one consultations with trip designers. The company’s curated database - a global network of more than 900 chefs and local experts - is supplemented by an internal ranking algorithm that adapts to users’ profiles, preferences, and the histories of similar travellers’ plans.

 

“What this looks like in practice is, say you’re going to Tokyo for the first time and you have five days there with a significant other, and you’re interested in must-see attractions, world-class cocktails, history, and fine dining,” explained Journy cofounder Leiti Hsu. “Our system pulls up for the Journy trip designer recommendations from hundreds of past trips we’ve planned, and it prioritises the places that were most popular with [your] particular profile of traveller.”

 

4. Streamlining Logistics

 

One common pain point that has long frustrated frequent travellers is the extensive research required before visiting a new destination. BYG, or Before You Go, is another startup that aggregates data from governmental and NGO sources in order to streamline travel logistics via a series of online guides for more than 70 countries. BYG’s single-page, location-specific overviews detail logistical information such as visa requirements, best wireless carriers, plug adapters, driving regulations, required vaccines, and more. The guides also evolve based upon source data to ensure constant accuracy.

 

As digital transformation continues to shape the future of travel, companies are tapping data to continuously revolutionise how people explore the world—and the digital footprints created along the way.

By John Shirley, Vice President Product Management, Dell EMC Unstructured Data Solutions


Every day we hear of a growing number of enterprises joining the ranks of modern, data-driven organisations. These organisations leverage technology and business strategies that set them on a course to unlock even greater value from their data capital. A critical component of this transformation is an organisation’s ability to bridge the gap between traditional applications and modern cloud native applications while empowering initiatives in AI, IoT and more. The core enabler of these endeavors, however, is data. As more and more data is created to fuel these engines of growth, organisations need an economical and efficient way to capture, store, protect and leverage this data within the appropriate business units in a timely manner. 

 

Enter Dell EMC ECS 3.3, the latest version of our enterprise-ready object storage system. This newly updated release contains software enhancements designed to enable our customers to accelerate their data-driven initiatives. ECS empowers customers with a highly flexible solution to capture, store, protect and manage unstructured data with cloud-like capabilities and ease of use. With ECS, customers can retain complete control of their data, reduce security vulnerabilities and meet strict compliance requirements, all at a lower total-cost-of-ownership (TCO) than public cloud services i.

 

These latest ECS updates enable our customers to:

  • Meet security and compliance mandates with improved enterprise-grade features such as external key management, STIG hardening, and NFS WORM compliance, which can help organisations to protect their data capital in an age of heightened threats and more stringent data security requirements.
  • Proactively manage the storage infrastructure with enhanced data visibility via capacity monitoring improvements, custom alerts and metric exports. This enables storage administrators to make more accurate forecasts for capacity growth so they can ensure data availability and reap peak system performance.
  • Unlock new insights from data faster than ever before through accelerated time-to-insights for developers, enabled via new features such as prefix search for Amazon S3 and faster S3 list execution.
  • Modernise the storage infrastructure leveraging the streamlined platform modernisation capabilities for legacy object platforms such as EMC Atmos and Centera via seamless retention policy migration and cloud gateway tool unification, to enable organisations to migrate to a modern ECS platform without impacting productivity.

 

ECS 3.3 (1).png


In many customer discussions, we continue to hear how the public cloud is not the end-all-be-all for enterprise workloads. Some of our customers have even repatriated certain workloads that were formerly on public cloud services, opting to support them with ECS to take advantage of the lower costs while gaining better control of their data.


“Dell EMC ECS provides us the ability to deploy our own public cloud storage infrastructure,” says Bob Bender, Chief Technology Officer at Founders’ Federal Credit Union. “Several teams within our organisation use ECS as our cloud storage for various purposes like AI, IoT and cloud native apps. While we are able to provide public cloud-like storage, we can ensure compliance and security at a corporate level with the fewest resources to operate the infrastructure.”


A recent report by ESG Analysts Tony Palmer and Scott Sinclair states that, "…on-premises storage can provide a 59.5% or greater cost advantage over a leading public cloud services provider while reducing data access latency. This analysis was performed using conservative assumptions and considerations, suggesting that more aggressive configurations may yield even greater savings."


ECS 3.3 (2).png


ECS helps solve these public cloud pain points by offering enterprise-ready capabilities and real economic advantages as data volumes grow.


ECS 3.3 is available to download to all our existing customers today. Learn more about the new updates to ECS – and how they enable enterprises to accelerate infrastructure modernisation and data-driven initiatives by visiting the Dell EMC ECS web site. Be sure to also check out the ESG report “Economic Benefit Analysis of On-Premises Object Storage Versus Public Cloud” that shows how ECS offers public cloud-like scalability and flexibility at a better TCO than public cloud services with improved control over enterprise data.

Michael Dell, CEO and Chairman at Dell Technologies


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Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry, is right around the corner and 5G is going to be the talk of the show. You hear about 5G almost every day. But what does it really mean? We had GPRS and 3G and then 4G, and they’ve been great, but did they change our lives like we were promised? Each in the moment may have felt more like incremental improvement. They made what we were already doing easier. However, cumulatively, over time, the additional speed and bandwidth has been truly revolutionary, touching every aspect of our lives from how we shop to how we travel, entertain and interact.


5G represents the next step-change improvement – moving to real-time, immersive, “always on” services. Combined with ubiquitous computing power, advanced analytics like AI and ML and cutting-edge automation to manage the explosion of connected devices and data -- 5G is the missing component to unleash the power of all that data. I mean 5G isn’t so you can talk faster, it’s so all those applications, machines and devices out at the edge can talk to each other. 


The complete 5G network may be years away, but some early versions are already being rolled out. It will help enable Digital Cities with connected vehicles, streetlights and traffic signals. Even things like smart trash cans which Seoul has already implemented with real-time monitoring to cut their waste collection costs by 83 per cent. Recently in the UK, a 5G industrial trial has begun to take a step toward the creation of smart factories. And in America, a study has launched that intends to combine 5G with virtual reality and augmented reality to test if it can help reduce chronic pain and anxiety for certain hospice patients.


5G is not simply an evolution from 4G. 5G empowers massive progress. This once-in-a-decade transformation of the mobile platform will manifest itself progress along 4 main vectors:

  • Digital Transformation – monetisation of data analytics and artificial intelligence.
  • IT Transformation – modernising infrastructure to support automated processes.
  • Workforce Transformation – providing the tools and skills for operations to take advantage of the new infrastructure capabilities.
  • Security Transformation – integrating natively into all services and processes, rather than as an overlay


At the core of just about every 5G business case is the need to transport, aggregate, process and react to massive amounts of data, requiring organisations to reimagine technology infrastructure. However, they must also reimagine themselves - not just implement incremental change. Just digitising the old way of doing things is not enough. 5G is the opportunity to envision different methods, models, products and services for the digital age.

 

So, yes, 5G will mean that one day soon you will be able to download a 4K feature film to your phone in just eight seconds – but it will also completely transform the entire entertainment industry from production to distribution.


So go ahead and order the large popcorn, with butter, because the 5G transformation show is just getting started.

ANZ_Team

Where Beauty Meets Data

Posted by ANZ_Team Feb 21, 2019

By Pragati Verma, Contributor

 

Y Combinator-backed startup Proven Skincare is using artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics to give skincare a makeover. The core idea is to create a skincare routine personalised for each individual.

 

“Each of our product caters to a specific customer’s skin needs,” explained Proven Co-founder, Ming Zhao. “What works for a 20-something living in a high-humidity area might not work as well for a 40- or 50-something living in a dry climate. Similarly, people living in New York or Chicago might not need the same formulations as someone living in rural Oregon.”

 

Potential customers begin by answering an online questionnaire. Proven’s AI engine then compares their answers with data from 8 million consumer reviews and 4,000 scientific journal articles, using natural language processing and fraud-detection algorithms. From here, it formulates proprietary products tailored for each specific skin type and extrinsic condition, taking into account level of pollution, hardness of water in a particular area and UV coverage.

 

This idea of “combining AI and data analytics to understand the correlations and interconnections between people’s skin and the ingredients that work for each person,” she said, “is all set to hack the skincare products market.”


The Best Match


Zhao and her co-founder, Amy Yuan, started this journey with their own skin issues. For Zhao, the struggle to find products for her “difficult skin” proved to be expensive, time-consuming and frustrating. Nothing worked until she found a “skin guru” who created customised skincare products just for her.

 

“[Amy] had atopic dermatitis, [a chronic condition that makes skin red and itchy],” Zhao added, “Being a data scientist and computational physicist, she took a scientific approach to the problem. Amy had done a lot of big scale supercomputing simulations and she wrote an AI engine that analysed reviews for her to find skincare products that were right for her skin.”

 

When they met about four years ago, they combined their epiphanies about data-powered knowledge and personalisation — and Proven was born.

 

A big centrepiece of their offering is their database—the Skin Genome Project, which won them an MIT 2018 AI Idol Award this past year. According to Zhao, it is the most comprehensive analytical database of clinically effective ingredients for skincare ever created.

 

“At this point, our deep learning algorithms pick out useful and relevant information from more than 100,000 products, 8 million testimonials and reviews from over 4,000 scientific journal articles to analyse the effectiveness of over 20,238 skincare ingredients,” Zhao explained.

 

This is huge, she continued, as it eliminates the trial-and-error methods that are traditionally used to match people to products that work best for them. At Proven, their algorithm identifies the ingredients that work best for a person’s skin type, genetics, lifestyle and environment. Proven’s products are then formulated in collaboration with S. Tyler Hollmig, head of aesthetic dermatology at Stanford University.

 

“We have an award-winning cosmetic chemist to help us formulate our products,” Zhao said, “and we have dermatologist advisors to put a human touch on our huge database knowledge.”


Beauty Gets Personal


Despite its revolutionary algorithmic technique, Proven is not alone. Several other startups are taking a tech-heavy approach to personalised skin and hair care.

 

While Function of Beauty uses an algorithm to create customised shampoos and conditioners based on their customers’ hair types and goals, Curology blends a prescription-strength, personalised formula to treat acne, taking into account customers’ skin problems, medical history, photos and skin goals.

 

For Zhao, this influx of data-powered personalised beauty products makes a lot of sense. “Our medication is personalised to what we actually need. Skin is our body’s largest organ and consumers are realising that they need products tailored to their needs. Technology is enabling us to listen to consumers and provide them the products that make the most sense to them.”

 

It’s this personalised product model, said Zhao, that also enables them to reach demographics traditionally underserved by the beauty industry, such as ethnic minorities, people living in rural areas and men. The expanding user base — coupled with its powerful database — is where Proven seems to have cracked the skin care code.

 

“[Our database] is growing stronger all the time, as our users take the quiz and use the products and share that knowledge back with us,” Zhao said. It’s this combination of data, customer experience and personalisation that she and Yuan feel make their brand unique.

 

The duo’s ambitious vision, however, doesn’t stop here. Making Proven’s database a de facto source of truth for the entire beauty industry is no easy feat, but Zhao believes it is possible for two reasons: “Ours is the most comprehensive database in the industry and that [data-powered personalisation] is the direction the industry is moving in general.”

 

Personalised skincare, she noted, is not just necessary, but it’s the future of the industry. If startups like Proven succeed, they will bring deep changes in the skincare industry, projected to exceed $131 billion next year.

 

As Zhao explained with a rhetorical question, “Why would you go to a store to buy one-size-fits-all products when you could get all your beauty products designed just for you?”

By Russ Banham, Contributor


Today, the current pace of data production is estimated to be 2.5 quintillion bytes per day. To get a sense of this expanse, 2.5 quintillion pennies would cover the Earth’s surface - five times - if laid out flat. This figure is only set to surge with developments in IoT. A 2017 IDC report predicted a ten-fold increase by 2025 - 30 per cent of which will need real-time processing.


All of this data equals untapped business value, with innovations that make company operations more efficient, online interactions more seamless, and recruitment and hiring more aligned with business strategy. Yet given this exponential increase in business data, experts say it is wise for companies to hire for specific roles to manage its development and application.


“If you look at the meteoric rise in data from a business strategy perspective, you need to develop ways to collect data, cleanse and archive it, and apply analytics to it to extract insightful information,” said Jim Johnson, Senior Vice President of Technology Staffing Services at Robert Half, a global job search and staffing firm. “This isn’t just `bits and bytes.’ You need people with the right skill sets who understand the data and digital transformation strategy to bring it to fruition.”


‘Jobs of Great Importance’


Entrusted to garner these benefits are CDOs - yet, here is where things amplify. The acronym comprises of two types executive leadership roles - chief data officers and chief digital officers - each unique, yet both focused on data oversight, and in high demand as companies transform operations to understand, analyse, and monetise it for business purposes.


“They are both focused on data, realising its core value as a business asset,” Johnson said. “But fundamentally they have different corporate missions.”


This explains the recent hiring spree for both types of CDOs. According to a 2018 Forrester survey, more than half of companies have appointed a chief data officer, and 18 per cent are preparing to do so in the future. (Another survey by NewVantage Partners pegs the hiring per centage higher, with nearly two-thirds of companies hiring for the role - a considerable leap from the 12 per cent that employed such executives in the firm’s 2012 survey.) Similarly, a PWC study indicated that 60 per cent of chief digital officers were hired between 2015 and mid-2017.


“Every company is going through a digital and data transformation or darn well should be,” said Johnson, who helps companies hire for both types of CDOs. “This compels them to find people to lead these initiatives.”


The question is, what do these roles look like? (And does your organisation need one?)


Chief Digital Officers: A Business-Savvy Bunch


In essence, chief digital officers own customer-related analytics and metrics. What’s more, they are responsible for harnessing these insights across the organisation, developing digital approaches to solve business problems. An example in a manufacturing context is analysing supplier data to determine ways to enhance supply chain efficiencies.


Chief digital officers typically have backgrounds in sales, marketing, or customer service, as well as knowledge of how to use innovative technologies to enhance business functions. These leaders generally partner with sales and marketing executives to streamline and improve the customer experience across mobile and digital channels, and at times will guide the development of marketing and advertising strategies.


These responsibilities, however, are evolving. “Chief digital officers are now being asked to take on the additional role of business information analyst,” Johnson said. “Given these newer job tasks, the best chief digital officers need to have significant strategic, financial, operational, and interpersonal communications skill sets, in addition to technological chops.”


Chief Data Officers: Data Science to Boot


By contrast, the chief data officer is charged with managing the access, analysis, and dissemination of data to effect better business outcomes. To do that requires transforming the enterprise around data to identify new product opportunities, enhance customer experience, improve regulatory compliance, spot competitive challenges earlier, and make operations leaner and more efficient.


“Anything that involves data can have an impact on financial performance,” Johnson explained. “We’re now at the point where technology is beginning to catch up to the massive volumes of structured and unstructured data being generated. What used to be stored in a database is now stored in the cloud, where it can be sliced and diced into insightful bits of knowledge.”


Given the focus on data and analytics, these CDOs often have backgrounds in mathematics, computer modelling, and data science. Typically, they lead the Data and Analytics department that is focused on achieving the corporate vision for enterprise-wide data access, use, and governance.


A recent Forbes Insights study shows this is no easy task - almost 80 per cent of executive survey respondents said 40 per cent or less of their organisation’s data is available for sharing across the company. “It’s up to the CDO to make data available for use by all parts of the organisation - to identify business opportunities and solve business problems,” said Johnson.


One example is the wide-ranging use of data in the insurance industry, where data drawn from image recognition software embedded into drones is improving the underwriting of homes and office structures, as well as data within claims filed by policyholders which can help customers mitigate potential losses.


An Evolving Role


The responsibilities of both CDOs are expected to become broader, as newer technologies like deep learning, blockchain, and the IoT burgeon. Business disruption is a constant today, requiring companies to stay on top of the latest digital and data trends - and the technologies that power them - to remain competitive.


This responsibility is the job of the CDO, both of them, albeit in different ways.


“Many CEOs perceive CDOs as `change agents’ - digital and data transformation specialists,” said Johnson. “Now and in the near future, it’s a job that holds great importance.”


Russ Banham is a Pulitzer-nominated financial journalist and best-selling author writing frequently about the intersection of business and technology.

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