Organisations are putting aside the retrenchment of the recession years and once again looking to IT to underpin the transformation and growth ambitions of their businesses. This is the clear takeaway from research conducted at EMC’s EMEA Forums in late 2012. More than 6,500 business and IT management professionals from 22 countries were surveyed to determine how businesses are changing in today’s economic climate.There are a few key parts to this survey that are telling of where the industry is headed. One of these reflects the complete change in the transformation of IT within the businesses that they support. Traditionally, IT has been a cost centre and a way of providing more automation to the business. That is changing fundamentally. We are still trying to drive out cost from our business but the change is that IT is becoming the fundamental change agent for agility, business operations and customer experience. This was borne out of the survey and features prominently in the conversations I have with CIOs and CFOs across EMEA every day.To remain competitive, there is a race to change and the challenges of the new IT environment lie in three key subject areas:Standardisation – Organisations must standardise more than they ever have before, which changes many business processes as well as how IT is viewedVirtualisation – Traditionally a server-based subject, organisations must now virtualise storage, network and applications completely so that business applications are separated from their physical infrastructureAutomation – Businesses cannot continue in an environment which is overwhelmingly manual. Processes must be automated, and at scale, so that IT resources can spend more time innovating and adding value back to the business.Investment in innovative technologies will enable organisations in EMEA to create disruptive business models and that will help ensure that the region can remain competitive on a global scale.For more from Adrian on the results of the survey, watch his full interview below.
Ed. Note: This blog was guest authored by Scott Potoczak, Director of IT Customer Support, Baker BottsNo one can predict the future, but as a global law firm, Baker Botts understands the importance of planning for all possibilities. Shortly after the first COVID-19 cases surfaced in the United States, we quickly realized that providing staff with disinfecting wipes wasn’t enough to keep them safe. In-person appointments and conferences rapidly switched to virtual meetings. And within 10 days of our initial office-planning discussions, all our offices had closed.To ensure that we could support the needs of clients and their schedules, employees immediately had to work from home—and stay productive. Thankfully, we were ready for this scenario. We had just completed a workforce transformation initiative with Dell, so employees were already equipped with the right IT tools and processes. Making Strategic Plans to Minimize DisruptionsFour years ago, we had engaged Dell as a strategic IT partner to help adopt a holistic, long-term approach to workforce transformation. As we worked with Dell in choosing new client devices, we decided to issue every employee a Dell Latitude 7390 or 7400 2-in-1 laptop instead of a traditional desktop. Life is full of surprises and we have employees who work in areas impacted by hurricanes, earthquakes, snowstorms and floods. Issuing laptops to every employee enables them to work from any location at any time, especially when that’s needed to protect their health and safety. Another way notebooks cut risk is by reducing the use of personal devices for client meetings and other work, which can introduce security issues.To further boost productivity, employees use their choice of Dell UltraSharp 24 USB-C Monitor – U2419HC or Dell UltraSharp 34 Curved Ultrawide Monitor – U3415W. Having multiple displays boosts productivity and high resolution monitors decrease eyestrain, especially for lawyers who spend a significant part of their day reading. We deploy Dell Display Manager software on employees’ laptops to simplify the use of multiple monitors. With the software, staff can easily display windows side-by-side, change the size and placement of windows using grids, and snap windows in place on a specific area of a screen. Transitioning from Corporate to Home Offices InstantlyWhen COVID-19 hit and offices closed, staff simply brought their laptops, power adapters, keyboards, mice and phone headsets home. Some also took their Dell USB-C Mobile Adapter, so they could connect their laptops to the monitors and other accessories. Most were able to connect and configure their multiple displays with little to no assistance from our IT desk by using Dell Display Manager software.Employees who did not have monitors at home but needed them to stay productive could order them through our Dell portal. We opted for this approach because professional shipments minimize breakage. We also don’t know if people will have to switch between working at home and at offices in the future to stay safe.Other steps we took during our workforce transformation meant that we avoided the IT infrastructure issues other companies have faced during the pandemic. For example, we had already bolstered our VPNs to support more traffic and simplify access. So even though our entire workforce is now remote, everyone has quick and secure access to their data and applications. We had also replaced our manual server-maintenance processes with an automated model delivered by Dell Managed Services. As a result, we didn’t have to develop and implement new data center processes—and our IT staff didn’t have to travel to data centers during shelter-in-place orders.Facilitating Consistent Productivity Levels By creating highly flexible workforce solutions with Dell, we have kept our work productivity at or close to 100 percent in all departments during the pandemic. That’s because our employees already had the IT tools they needed to work from home and follow health and safety guidelines. Regardless of their location, employees can participate in video conferences, compare documents side-by-side—and do both at the same time. We are continuing to partner with Dell to help ensure that we have the agility needed to stay productive regardless of what the future brings.
NEW YORK (AP) — One of the first book-length inside accounts of the coronavirus pandemic will be coming out in June. Lawrence Wright’s “The Plague Year,” which builds on a New Yorker story that ran earlier this month, will be published June 8. Wright tells The Associated Press that he interviewed more than 100 people for the story, including such government health officials as Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx. “The Plague Year” will document what he calls “the shocking failure” of the United States to contain the virus, which has killed more than 400,000 across the country.
LONDON (AP) — When the U.K.’s coronavirus death toll surpassed 100,000 this week, it was much more than just a number to Justin Fleming. Lying in a hospital bed, he knew how easily he could have become one of them. Fleming was rushed to London’s King’s College Hospital in mid-January as he struggled for breath. The 47-year-old says he was saved from becoming another death statistic by the “incredible” staff. Fleming is one of more than 37,000 coronavirus patients in Britain’s hospitals, where overworked staff on overcrowded wards are fighting COVID-19 one patient at a time with no end in sight. One nursing manager says the pace is relentless but staff just “take every shift as it comes.”