EMC picks up European Best Workplace Award

EMC has been recognised as one of Europe’s Best Multinational Workplaces in the Best Workplaces 2015 awards announced last week. Every year the Great Place to Work Institute surveys some 6,000 organisations around the world to find companies that encourage workplace cultures of high trust and engagement. Due to the success of EMC’s operations in 12 national Best Workplace rankings across Europe, the company ranked an impressive second out of a field of 25 multinationals.

Ever since EMC came 19th in the 2012 awards, its ranking in these prestigious employer awards has improved year on year. This shows the strength and quality of EMC’s people, from senior leadership setting the strategy and direction to the employees on the front line. EMC’s EMEA President, Adrian McDonald said: ‘A key factor of EMC’s success is our focus on building our strength as an employer and creating the kind of workplace that attracts and retains the best talent, talent which focuses on meeting customers’ needs by helping them optimise their existing infrastructures and build new ones.”

Head to the career page to learn more about the company and what it’s like to work for EMC.

A different perspective on hybrid cloud – illustrations

What are the catalysts that lead people to deploying a hybrid cloud? This was the question we tackled with a number of EMC and industry professionals in the second hybrid cloud Twitter chat a couple of weeks ago.

This led to some great discussions around the issues IT departments are facing and the changing role of IT, which are well worth a read. You can find them in full here:  https://www.crowdchat.net/HybridCloudChat.

In addition, we had a very talented illustrator on board to follow the conversation, and produce live sketches of some of the key topics that came up. You may have seen some of them around on Twitter, but please do take a look below at the full collection.

If you’re interested in learning more about EMC’s Hybrid Cloud, visit our solution page for further information and demos.

What are the catalysts for the hybrid cloud? People, Process and Technology

Hybrid cloud continues to be a hot topic in the IT industry, but what does it actually mean for businesses?

HybridCloudchat2_Hans_410-412In the first #HybridCloudChat we spoke about what hybrid cloud actually is, and where businesses are on their journey to deploying it. Next Tuesday at noon, we’ll be expanding on this conversation and looking at the problems businesses are facing with regards to people, process and technology. We’re exploring catalysts for the hybrid cloud.

The chat will be hosted by Hans Timmerman, CTO of EMC Netherlands, along with a panelist of industry experts: Christian McMahon, CIO at Three25, Eric Debray, Business and IT Consultant and founder of Mageli, and Dinko Eror, EMC’s VP of Global Services.

We also have a professional illustrator on board who will creating sketches of the discussion as it develops – take part in the conversation and you could win a personalised illustration! If you have any questions, just tweet them at @emcuki.

Join us at 12.00PM on May 19th for #HybridCloudChat #2

For an introduction on the issue, take a look at Hans’ recent post on LinkedIn, or read more about business disruption, catalysts and catastrophes from Dinko.

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Hybrid Cloud Illustrated

What happens when you combine IT managers and hybrid cloud experts with an illustrator? Hybrid cloud as you’ve never seen it before! Last month, Dinko Eror, EMC’s VP Global Services, hosted the #hybridcloudchat, taking to Twitter to discuss what is holding businesses back from reaping the benefits of hybrid cloud, with a live illustrator bringing the themes to life. You can find all the final illustrations here, and if you’d like to find out more about hybrid cloud, check out the highlights here, or visit EMC’s Hybrid Cloud page here.

#HybridCloudChat Highlights

Dinko_thumbLast week, we held EMC’s first ever illustrated Twitter chat on the topic of hybrid cloud. Hosted by EMC’s VP of Global Services, Dinko Eror, the chat touched on the challenges businesses are facing when it comes to deploying hybrid cloud, and what is required to achieve a well-run hybrid cloud.

A big thank you to everybody who took part – it was great to see the involvement from people the world over, and from the discussion it’s clear that for many the hybrid cloud adventure is only just starting. You can see the chat in full here on Crowdchat and we’ve summarized the key themes and conclusion below.

Defining Hybrid Cloud

Is hybrid cloud simply a combination of public and private, or is it more? Just like with baking a cake, you need all the right ingredients, and a good chef to ensure they’re combined in the right way. Otherwise, despite investing in all of the resources of a hybrid cloud, you may see none of the benefits. True hybrid means controlling your workloads, storage and network resources so it limits risk and increase productivity, i.e. you need public and private cloud infrastructure, made transparent by a management platform. For us, of course, this is where solutions come in that can accelerate the adoption: VCE VBlock or EMC VSPEX , as well as the light-weight, software-defined storage solution EMC VIPR.

Challenges to hybrid cloud adoption

For some, there is clearly an expectation that it will be really difficult to deploy hybrid cloud. However, with fully engineered solutions available, technical complexity is immediately reduced. Security, data control and legacy contracts can still be a concern. For others, another issue limiting hybrid cloud adoption is that it can be hard to implement an architectural strategy when IT teams are focused on day to day application and infrastructure priorities.

Where can hybrid cloud best serve companies?

Although there are a lot of applications for hybrid cloud, it’s mainly the new, third platform applications that will really benefit from a hybrid environment. We’re talking apps that need to scale in some places, require performance in others and data protection in others still. On top of that, hybrid cloud will bring with it cost efficiency, and will allow IT to move at the speed of business.

When we discussed the types of business where hybrid cloud can best be applied – the answer seemed to be every one of them. The underpinning problem hybrid cloud addresses – of managing complex information management needs whilst containing spend, delivering scale and controlling risk – is universal in any business of any scale today.

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Orchestration and Standardisation

A properly orchestrated hybrid cloud lets you set policies and retain control over your data. That’s why it important to get it right. But who is in charge of orchestration? The CIO should make these decisions, but currently many are facing the challenge of juggling all the different demands coming from varying lines of business. This has to be brought together, and complexity must be reduced to get the control back. Standardisation is key and many hybrid cloud adopters see this as a key factor in delivering the benefits hybrid cloud has to offer.

Essentially, in order to have a well-run hybrid cloud and to experience all the benefits that come with it, people, process and technology need to be aligned.

For more information, please visit our website at http://emc.im/EHC_UK

This was originally posted on the EMC Thoughtfeast Blog

The future of digital: A deep-dive into party manifestos – Labour and Liberal

With the May elections looming, predictions are in full swing as to how technology and digital transformation would develop under each political party. In a previous post we looked at the work the Conservative Party has done and their intentions for the future, but what do the other parties have in store?

Digitisation under the Labour Party

Labour has shown an increasing interest in digital issues in recent months. For example, in November, the Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Chi Onwurah published details of her party’s Digital Government Review.

Like the conservatives, Labour would broadly-speaking continue much of the current agenda, including work with the Government Digital Services (GDS) to digitise public services, making smarter use of data and reforming procurement. Labour also favours the use of common architectures based on open standards, opening up APIs and developing more agile and innovative solutions.

However, there are some noteworthy changes. Most importantly, Labour wants to focus on trust, transparency and security, particularly in relation to the use of citizen data. The party intends to publish a review of data sharing and privacy within 90 days of entering office, providing citizens with more information and control over their data. Citizens’ ownership of their own data will be more explicit and new limits will restrict the government’s ability to pass data on to third parties for commercial gain without their consent.

Labour wishes to emphasise digital inclusion and skills, for citizens and within the public sector. From a citizen perspective, digital services would be designed to be accessible by all members of society, including the most excluded and disadvantaged. Investment would be made in boosting citizens’ digital skills to ensure everyone is able to use digital services. To focus on the most difficult social problems rather than cost reduction, Labour wants to apply a ‘social benefits test’ to new digital services.

This would apply equally to local and central government, and Labour would do more to encourage local authorities to collaborate and develop shared services. For the public sector, leadership and skills are to be a higher priority, and government transformation a Cabinet level priority. Finally, Labour aims to provide more training to improve digital skills throughout the civil service.

The Liberal Democrats’ test the tech waters

Of the three main parties, the Liberal Democrats have said the least about applying technology to transform the public sector. A handful of figures, notably Julian Huppert and Lord Wallace of Saltaire, are getting more engaged in the digital revolution and have recently helped their party to launch an Entrepreneurs Network to engage with the tech sector and help influence the development of Liberal Democrat policy. Like Labour, the party’s starting point is to place greater emphasis on digital inclusion and the protection of individual rights in areas like data sharing, rather than simply aiming for cost savings.

Having looked at all three parties’ policies it’s clear there is a considerable amount of consensus over the digital agenda. This is hardly surprising given that all three parties are committed to delivering significant spending cuts in the next Parliament, £24.9bn by the Conservatives, £5.2bn by Labour and £7.9bn by the Lib Dems. Regardless of the make-up of the next government, it will need to think digital, build on the progress achieved to date and accelerate the pace of transformation to delivery services more efficiently to meet citizens’ rising expectations.

How close are you to deploying a hybrid cloud? Join the #HybridCloudChat

Ready, motivated, undecided – how close are you to deploying a hybrid cloud?

Hybrid cloud has been one of the industry’s biggest buzzwords for a few years now, and uptake is on the rise. However confusion around exactly what true hybrid cloud is and how it can be deployed remains. Recently EMC’s Vice President Global Services, Dinko Eror, debunked the top five hybrid cloud myths, and next week he is taking to Twitter to answer all your burning hybrid cloud questions.

So, where are you on your journey to the cloud? What is holding you back and what challenges do you face? Join Dinko and other EMC and industry experts in the #hybridcloudchat to discuss everything that is (and isn’t!) hybrid cloud on the 25th of March at 12:00 PM GMT.  We’ll cover common challenges and how to overcome them, and a professional illustrator will join us to bring your comments and questions to life, in real time!

Share any questions with us beforehand @emcuki , and don’t forget to join the #hybridcloudchat on March 25th!

Hybrid Cloud Chat Invite - FINAL_portrait

Joining (X-) Forces to Tackle the UK IT Skills Shortage

The UK needs to tackle its digital skills shortage in order to prevent falling behind in new digital era; that much was clear from the House of Lords Digital Skills Committee report released this week. The lack of trained IT professionals is becoming a major threat, not just for our industry but also impacting corporate economic recovery and growth within the UK.

To tackle this shortage, EMC has teamed up with social enterprise X-Forces, to provide free training to up to 20 military leavers. These are typically highly motivated individuals with very specialist technical skills, so they have a lot to offer in an industry with growing skills shortages. Backed by an investment of £250,000, this military leavers program will target all types of military personnel with leadership and technical backgrounds.

Over the course of seven weeks and with support from EMC staff, the leavers will be given lab and online training covering IT architecture and design, storage solutions, data protection and more. This will equip the participants with the necessary skills to perform in a range of different roles – either at EMC or within a company from our channel partner networks. For trainees who’d like to start their own business, X-Forces will provide funding and guidance to get them started. On top of that, mentoring support from ex-military staff will be available to the trainees at all times.

We’re really excited about this initiative, and as Ren Kapur, CEO and Founder of X-Forces, explains, it’s ground-breaking for two reasons: “Firstly it bridges the gap and delivers fit-for-purpose expertise into those vital areas where skills shortages will impact corporate and national economic recovery and growth if they are not filled.

And secondly, of equal importance, it recognises the human nature of the solution, and delivers hope, opportunity and support to this cadre of highly capable people, ensuring that they can aspire to fulfilling and sustainable second careers.

This route will really appeal to technical personnel leaving the Services and from the Forces’ community and give them an excellent opportunity to add real value to the commercial sector.”

To find out more about our partnership with X-Forces, take a look here.

IT as an enabler for business change – EMC Forum Survey

The trends of cloud, mobile, social and big data have fundamentally changed the expectations of consumers and end-users, affecting what is required and expected of IT departments. This much has become clear from our recent survey findings*, questioning IT decision makers in the UK for their perspective on IT’s role as an enabler of business change during the rise of these industry mega trends.

Jeremy Burton, President Products and Marketing, EMC Corporation, explains: “To remain relevant and competitive, businesses across every industry are reinventing their business models to handle unprecedented levels of access, interaction and scale. For this reason, IT finds itself back in the driver’s seat, morphing from cost center to a true catalyst for change through the use of cloud and big data technologies.”

Our survey results reflect this, as although creating efficiencies and reducing cost is still a priority for 60% of businesses, 70% of respondents see IT as a strategic business driver and 78% agree their organisation sees the increasing role of automation as critical to business growth.

Customer experience is a key factor, with 54% of respondents using cloud, mobile, social and big data technologies to improve customer experiences, and 53% seeing it as a top business priority. Organisations are making use of the technologies available to get their IT into shape by building new products and services (43%) and streamlining business functions and improving efficiencies (42%).

However, barriers will need to be overcome to achieve IT’s full potential, as 73% of respondents don’t believe IT has the skills to keep up in the next couple of years.

Take a look at more results from the survey below, and get in touch with any questions or comments on @emcuki.

 

IT is a Business Enabler

  • 70% of respondents in the UK report that their CXOs consider IT as a strategic lever to grow the business, now more than ever before.
  • The top three business priorities when implementing new technologies in organisations from the UK are: delivering savings and finding efficiencies (60%), enhancing the customer experience (53%) and automating processes (49%).
  • 78% of respondents in the UK agree that their organisation sees the increasing role of automation – such as software defined storage – as critical to business growth.

Taking advantage of the Mega Trends

  • 77% of respondents in the UK expect next-generation technologies such as mobile, social, cloud and big data to give their organisation a competitive advantage.
  • UK respondents say these new technologies will impact key aspects of the business, including: improving customer experience (54%), building new products and services (43%) and streamlining business functions and improving efficiencies (42%).
  • As businesses operate increasingly online today, 71% of respondents identified a need for joint public and private cloud services – hybrid cloud – as a means for greater agility and security.

Future of IT

  • 59% of respondents in the UK believe their organisation has the right level of skills and knowledge to complete business priorities successfully.
  • 73% believe it will be a challenge to have these skills keep up with the pace of IT innovation over the next 1-2 years
  • 70% of companies see IT as a business enabler, yet 43% of companies believe that spending for technology was outside IT’s control – indicating there is still work to do in gaining trust from decision makers.
  • 77% believe that the model IT department of the future will act as the in-house provider of on-demand services, including platform-as-a-service and public and private cloud.

*Collected during a non-mandatory questionnaire after completion of registration for the EMC Forum held in London on October 21, 2014. This research polled a total of 664 business and IT management and executives, technical architects, data scientists and storage/infrastructure managers from a range of UK businesses

Conversation highlights – ‘Leading the Healthcare Technology Revolution’

Last week EMC and Reform hosted a summit on ’Sustaining Universal Healthcare: Making better use of Information’, discussing the future of healthcare in the UK and how to deal with the problems faced by the NHS. The summit marked the launch of a healthcare report by Volterra Partners and EMC, highlighting how data analytics and better use of information have the potential to save the NHS up to £66 billion per year.

It was great to see so many people getting involved in the discussion on Twitter using #NHSdatareform. Take a look at the Storify below to see the conversation highlights.