Dimension Data's take on digital disruption: Do or Die.

  • We are living in a time of unprecendented disruption enabled by technology
  • With SaaS, total cost of ownership will go down

Dimension Data's take on digital disruption: Do or Die.

TECHNOLOGY solutions providers have been preaching about the importance of digital transformation for some years.

Today, digital transformation is no longer just about helping enterprises to gain an edge over their rivals -- but it is a tool for survival in the market place.

"We are living in a time of unprecedented disruption enabled by technology," said Dimension Data Asia Pacific chief technology officer Andy Cocks (pic above) at the sidelines of the Dimension Data Technology Summit 2017 themed 'Digital Disruption, Do or Die'.

"The thing about digital transformation is that it is almost the way of life today. It is not like 'we need to install the latest SAP' or something. It is a new way of doing business where companies will use technology to digitally enable its product and services. It is not a one-off initiative."

Enterprises' challenges

Although talks about digital transformation have been ongoing for some years, but only a handful of enterprises are implementing it in a holistic manner. Most of the enterprises are doing trials and implementing the transformation on a smaller scale.

"This is totally understandable... This is because all the processes need to change, the skill sets need to change. There is a huge amount of risk if it goes wrong full scale," said Cocks. "It could go horribly wrong."

He also added that one of the biggest trend Dimension Data and its clients are facing is the desegregation of hardware and software.

"In the past, you buy a high performance hardware with software sitting on top. That world is moving now. 

"Today, you run everything on virtual machines and data centres, so that you don't need a dedicated server or dedicated appliances.

"So, all the value now is in the software, and it is all moving into subscription and on-demand basis," said Cocks.

As a result of this, total cost of ownership will also go down, said Cocks. 

"For example: In the past you spent US$100, and US$70-80 will be on hardware, and the balance US$20-30 is on software. Moving forward, the value of the hardware will disappear because you don't buy dedicated appliances. So, the US$100 you spend will be down to like US$50, and from there, US$40 will be on software and US$10 will be on hardware," he explained.

As one of the largest systems integrator in the region, Dimension Data plays a key role in helping organisation to transform digitally. 

Understanding that there are insufficient talent in the digital transformation space, Dimension Data believes that its new suite of managed services could go well with its customers.

"From the trends we are seeing, our customers are going to have increasingly assets in vendor cloud and on premise, and we want to be able to manage those two areas. 

"We also want to set up our platform, this include, our network platform management, managed security services, managed services for data centre and our managed cloud platform which is a hyper converged infrastructure.

"We are going to be pushing Nutanix very hard. We were trying to do it with the VBlock, which was too big, and now we are trying to do it with Nutanix," explained Cocks.

End-to-end services

According to Dimension Data Malaysia's head of BU and Alliances Sandy Woo, the shortages of talents, resources and skilled people is putting Dimension Data in a good position to offer its solutions and services to its customers.

"I believe this is where our managed services model works very well in Malaysia. It is really the sweet spot. We have the kind of capacity to really serve our clients in this niche. It is not many solutions providers in the market with our scale and experience, know-how and track record to deliver that kind of managed services," said Woo. 

Among services it provides to enterprises coping with digital transformation include training -- whereby its team will provide the necessary training for the end users, so that they will be more equipped to handle the responsibilities.

"Training is often an after thought by enterprises. This also puts Dimension Data in a very good position to offer end-to-end services to our clients," said Woo.

Unleashing the power of IoT

During the technology summit, Dimension Data Asia Pacific's IoT lead Jean-Francois Gebhart stressed the importance of IoT in helping companies to transform digitally.

He added that IoT technology is currently being used in many industries, helping companies to operate more efficiently. For example: sensors are being placed in Rolls Royce's manufacturing facility in order to save energy consumption and allow the company to do preventive maintenance. In other cases, sensors are also placed in data centers, so that managers can monitor the energy consumption and spot trends on any abnormally. 

While the technology can benefit organisations, Gebhart stressed that it is important that one goes back to basic before implementation.

"It is very important for enterprises and solutions provider to look at the business outcomes and monetisation aspects of it before implementing IoT projects," he said.

He added that it is important for the organisations to look for a strong partnership when implementing an IoT initiative, as typical IoT projects involve many companies and vendors -- sensor makers, application developers and others.

"We believe that Dimension Data is a right partner as we are able to provide and integrate all the stack. We also have strong partnerships for apps and sensors," he said. 


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