How can you realise your business’ digital future? This is a question many CIOs, IT managers and other business leaders are asking every day.

Digital transformation is the metamorphosis of companies, a thorough and dramatic change in form or appearance.

Nigel Moulton, the EMEA CTO for DellEMC’s Modern Datacenter group and who will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Dell EMC Forum 2018, is no stranger to the topic and has discussed it with countless companies. He is well versed in the four stages of digital transformation – legacy, emerging, evolving and transformed – and has great insight in what barriers are out there.

But Moulton prefers to frame transformation as an opportunity, not a threat, and noted these three trends that are helping companies chart their journey into digital:


IT is the business

IT went from optimising the business to being the business. Not only does technology provide the systems on which a business excels, but it has become a competitive advantage to tailor those systems and let them help drive new and improved processes.

Hence the argument that every company is turning into a software company and why businesses need to embrace agile thinking if they wish to adopt machine learning, IoT, mobile and other exciting avenues.

Framing the conversation around this mindset is a good place to start the transformation discussions: see the value systems bring to departments and find ways to improve on those.


Applications are the driving force

Leading in from the first point, the application is not solidly the focus of attention when it comes to digital transformation. Applications drive business value and are the central cogs which users connect to.

The same applications rely more and more on the cloud, which articulates the importance of modernising underlying infrastructure. It’s not just about performance: the support infrastructure must also be secure, scale easily and be modular so that technical debt doesn’t rear its head again. Yet these are technical considerations, because all users care about are features and performance.

This is why the application is where all conversations meet. Improve the application and you get the buy-in you need.


Edge to Cloud is the new value chain

You may have heard a lot about the edge, which may seem contrary to the cloud. Cloud is where many services live and it is key to introduce cloud-native applications into the company ecosystem.

Not all applications will live in the cloud, but many are. This enables faster communication with the outside world.

Yet not everything has to happen in the centre. Edge point and gateway devices are becoming smart themselves, able to handle many data gathering and structuring tasks, even responding to events.

The relationship between the cloud and edge is the next level of automation, efficiency and intelligence gathering. It is where digital finally becomes a very real part of the business landscape, empowering very advanced levels of planning and strategy.


Nigel Moulton will be speaking at Dell EMC Forum 2018, to be held on 27 March at the Sandton International Convention Centre in Johannesburg, sponsored by Intel. He will also be meeting with attendees to discuss their digital transformation journeys.


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