Game-changing innovation is a powerful thing. Life-changing, disruptive products and services are unleashed. New markets are created. Customers smile, employees cheer and shareholders win. And do you know what’s even better? Innovation at scale.
Innovation at scale is all that and more, consistently achieving repeatable and sustainable organic growth from new products, services and business models that build on the core business.
Talking about innovation and scale, Dell is no stranger to either of the terms. In September 2016, the merger between EMC Corporation and Dell created the world’s largest privately-held technology company, Dell Technologies. It unites seven technology leaders – Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, Secureworks, Virtustream and VMware – in one company with the power to drive digital transformation and generate real results every day for the customers and people who partner with us. Having gone public since, Dell Technologies is today a $92-billion company.
As the largest infrastructure company in the world, it continues to aspire for innovation at scale from investing $12.8 billion in R&D. Dell Technologies also invested an additional $100 million in innovative startups focused on future tech areas like artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things, genomics and others through Dell Technologies Capital. Since the close of the merger, the company has committed to invest almost $1 billion incrementally in its people, go-to-market strategy and technology for key growth areas.
The myth of large companies being slower
In his kickoff at the Dell Technologies World 2019, Michael Dell reiterated his argument that the combined Dell Technologies “can innovate like a startup but with the scale of a huge company.” Founded by iconic entrepreneurs, Dell Technologies aims to use its entrepreneurial genetics to embody a startup mindset to drive digital transformation, not just internally, but also leverage its expertise to power clients’ journeys regardless of where they are on their digital transformation roadmap.
India vs the world on the digital transformation curve
Two years ago, Dell Technologies’ inaugural Digital Transformation (DT) Index revealed that nearly half of the business leaders (45 percent) believe their organizations would be obsolete within three to five years. Digital disruption has continued unabated since then. So, what’s the situation today? Despite the inexorable move towards a digital world, digital transformation programs of many businesses are still in their infancy, as one in three leaders still fear they’ll be left behind as data privacy and security becomes a key deterrent (up from #5 in 2016).
While overall progress on the digital transformation curve has been a bit slow for the rest of the world, India hasn’t fared too badly, coming up as “most mature” among the 40+ countries surveyed. India’s digital evaluators, adopters and leaders come in at 40, 30 and 11 percent respectively, higher than the global averages of 33, 23 and 5 percent. India's companies, therefore, have a unique opportunity. They can become digital navigators who drive the next level of business goals and strategy instead of delivering only technology and power to successfully compete in the global arena.
Dell Technologies India innovation story
Today, innovating at scale isn’t just key to succeeding, but also surviving. As the largest center outside the US, Dell Technologies’ Incubation and Technology lab looks at driving innovation at scale with R&D at the core. Our focus on innovation is apparent from the fact that we invest more than our peers to do this, and the efficacy of this focus is clearly visible and encouraging. For one, patent filing from India is at an all-time high. India-based R&D also contributes to 60 percent of the global server business.
Dell Technologies also approaches innovation through intra and inter-company collaboration. Each business unit has its own chartered innovation journey complemented by horizontal innovation programs run by the company across sites. This includes tech talks, hackathons and workshops, not just for employees, but for the ecosystem at large - all hedged under the India Innovation Forum.
Another way we approach collaborative innovation is through our Customer Experience Centers that are designed to be solution-oriented, interactive and collaborative in nature and serve as a bridge between sales and engineering. We also run a program called AI Academy with a democratic approach to the curriculum. The program is carried out via online and in-person courses, in collaboration with academia and leading IT tech upskilling providers.
Given today’s constantly evolving technological landscape, it’s also important that our employees have access to upskilling programs and forums. In addition to the AI Academy, we have Tech Edge, a skilling program for our high-potential technical talent. A one-year program, it gives employees access to a global pool of mentors. We also have a special forum for distinguished engineers who have access to an international engineering community for mentorship and collaboration.
Another program to drive our innovation is Idea Brewing, a walk-in-based idea-sharing forum. Ideas generated from the forum get exposure to ecosystem experts with the objective to help every idea move into impact.
Key impact areas driving innovation
As India looks towards becoming a $5 trillion economy, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, multi-cloud environments, security and other allied digital technologies are taking center-stage in growth conversations. Companies are aware these technologies are the biggest revenue drivers for them, and so, they are heavily investing in skill pools to harness this next phase of growth.
Now, more than ever, it takes a partner who understands clients, their businesses and the imperatives for change. That’s why Dell Technologies was created one partner, purpose-built to help organizations realize their digital future. With the latest technological advancements on their side, today’s organizations have a greater opportunity to become digital innovators than at any time in history.
When it comes to being future-ready, Dell’s Edge solutions are helping organizations put compute power where it makes the most sense for their business goals, with software-defined infrastructure everywhere. Our AI tools are helping make better sense of data through automation for better decision making based on true human-machine partnerships. Our IoT solutions are enabling businesses get more valuable insights by moving analytics to the edge to add more data collection points for richer analytics. Blockchain technology solutions are helping create transparent, immutably secure information exchange processes, data sharing and storage automation. Finally, as the world begins to look towards 5G, our solutions help deploy higher bandwidth, lower latency networks that let organizations connect people, machines and data with unprecedented levels of performance.
Achieving digital leadership
Four key areas of digital transformation complemented by a strong multi-cloud strategy, are critical to leading in the digital future. It’s important to view them holistically, although your most urgent needs and opportunities may be more focused in one area than another.
Organizations should leverage IT transformation to modernize IT infrastructure and create an engine of growth and new, high-value business capabilities. They should leverage workforce transformation tools to transform collaboration, reduce bias and empower every user to work exactly how, when and where they want to multiply productivity. They should view security as a way to liberate the organization and focus on innovation. They should explore application transformation to rethink the way they design, build and run applications and accelerate innovation and development. Finally, they should explore multi-cloud services and solutions to architect across all environments with the broadest solutions and experiences no matter where they are in their multi-cloud journey.