Business Management

Dell sees route forward in digital transformation

One way to try and understand the hugely complex creation of Dell Technologies is to think about another complicated affair, the emergence of digital transformation as a defining challenge for the current generation of CIOs. These people need to lead the charge in the way that their organisations will market themselves, sell and participate in value chains for the coming years; Dell wants to serve them by providing all, or at least most, of the parts that companies need to transform.

Who better to share his knowledge of these twin strands than Rob Lamb, the cloud business director of Dell EMC, having joined the new megacorp via EMC. Lamb knows both sides of other fences too: he was formerly the global IT director for the pharmaceuticals giant Eli Lilly. And he’s also in an interesting place geographically, having responsibility for the UK, currently dealing with the aftershock of Brexit and now braced for a flash general election in June. I sat down with Rob recently at the (rather excellent) Scandinavian Kitchen in London’s Fitzrovia to talk about transformation.

Research conducted late last year by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Dell paints a picture of general uncertainty and fuzziness and it would be a surprise indeed if similar numbers wouldn’t be generated today. Item: 38 per cent of UK businesses “don’t know what their industry will look like in three years”. Item 2: 65 per cent see digital start-ups as threats and a third fear their firms being made obsolete by them.

These are unsurprising findings in the ‘Uber for X’ economy as we set sail for the “fourth industrial revolution” beloved of conference speakers. What might be more of a surprise is that 65 per cent feel they could be doing more. This might be the state of the game today though: a general sense that we should be transforming our businesses combined with management’s reluctance to commit capital expenditure, worsened by the fact that the world (and certainly the UK) is at an odd juncture that makes predicting the future very tough indeed.


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Martin Veitch

Martin Veitch is Contributing Editor for IDG Connect

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