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.

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.

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

Wasps enter the Ricoh Arena with EMC

This week we are delighted to announce that EMC is the new official sponsor of Premiership Rugby Club Wasps. The club has also announced that it has become the joint owner of one of Europe’s largest multi-purpose venues, the Ricoh Arena.

The partnership with EMC is a development that will help to secure a bright future for the club. James Petter, Senior Vice President and MD UK & Ireland at EMC, comments: “This is clearly an exciting time for Wasps and EMC is privileged to be part of it. The team has a very clear strategy for success and we are elated to be working with them moving forward. Our expertise in data is going to contribute in to the success of Wasps both on and off the field and we can’t wait to get started.”

The joint ownership of the Ricoh arena is also an exciting development for the club as, by acquiring a thriving and sustainable business, Wasps become the highest turnover rugby club in the premiership, offering the opportunity for to achieve long-term stability and success.

If you’d like to read more about the announcements, you can find the press release on the website. Allez Wasps!

Redefine your business – EMC Forum UK just two months away

Are you ready? EMC Forum UK is back to help redefine your business! In just two months’ time on the 21st of October we will be hitting Westminster Park Plaza Hotel for a day of cloud insights, practical advice, and IT strategy and storage talk. Of course there will be plenty of opportunity to meet and catch up with peers too.

The 2013 event was a great success, so we’re looking forward to seeing many of last year’s attendees again, and to welcoming some new faces. We’ve also pulled out a few of our favourite tweets from last year below.

EMC forum is free to attend, and especially designed for IT professionals looking to get up to speed with everything that is going on in the world of cloud, with plenty of opportunity to engage with technical experts and connect with EMC partners. In other words, it’s a must-attend event for anybody looking to redefine their IT strategy and help transform their business with the latest industry knowledge, best-practices and insights.

vic-bhagat-bwYou can look forward to a keynote from Vic Bhagat, the Executive Vice President of Corporate Services and global CIO EMC – keep your eyes peeled on @EMCUKI for updates on what he will be covering – and dozens of sessions ranging from how to redefine your big data strategy to a look at what’s hot and new in 2014. Explore the agenda here, and register for free!

To get the latest updates on EMC Forums follow @EMCForum on Twitter or take a look at the Facebook page for news and images from the global events. You can also join in the conversation on Twitter using #EMCForum.

 

Steve O’Neill – Transformative CFO on CFO World

The role of the CFO has evolved. With the key role technology now plays in business success, CFOs have the ability make big investment decisions that influence the future of a business. With this in mind, the Transformative CFO blog on CFO World, by our very own Steve O’Neill, is dedicated to technological issues CFOs are facing today and offers advice for those tackling these challenges in their business.

Steve is CFO EMEA Strategic Operations at EMC and is responsible for the company’s overall financial and operational strategy and commercial engagement in EMEA. With over 20 years’ experience in the IT industry, he has some great insights to share on technological issues relevant to today’s CFOs.

In his most recent post, Steve discusses why CFOs should consider flash storage as a solution to their data storage challenges. Flash storage has historically been the more expensive option compared to traditional hard disk drives and is therefore quickly ruled out as an option. Given the amount of digital data being created and consumed is growing exponentially however, companies needing to store, secure and manage data in order to succeed as a business now face the tough challenge of meeting staff and customer needs and compliance requirements, whilst keeping the costs down. To address this, Steve discusses the benefits that make flash worth considering.

Another crucial issue facing companies of all sizes and around the world is cyber risk. The number of risks companies are facing is growing all the time and increasing in variety, and the potential costs to companies suffering a cyber-attack are considerable. However, even though understanding and planning for risk are part of a CFO’s remit, few CFOs had any processes set in place to manage cyber risk. Another of Steve’s posts laid out why CFOs are no longer able to turn their back and pass the buck when it comes to cyber risk: Cyber risk? Not my job.

Other topics discussed by Steve include why it is so important for companies to manage the exposure to risks of their digital data, which has become quite a challenge with technological developments such as public and hybrid cloud, and how the businesses that will be most successful in the future are those who are making the most of their data to gain real value, and the role of a CFO in achieving this.

So, keep an eye out for updates on the blog, and in the mean time you can find Steve on Twitter to get further insights from this transformative CFO.

Redefine Possible – Mega Launch 2014 – 20 days to go!

It’s just 20 days now until EMC hosts a major launch event that will unveil industry leading innovations that redefine the possible.

Taking place on Tuesday, 8th July 2014 at London’s Old Billingsgate Market, attendees will hear from David Goulden, CEO, EMC Information Infrastructure, Jeremy Burton, President, Products and Marketing, EMC Information Infrastructure, and Jonathan Martin, CMO, EMC Information Infrastructure as they announce breaking news from EMC.

Participants at the event will also receive exclusive access to EMC executives, customers, partners and industry in what promises to be a fantastic spectacle at one of London’s finest venues.

We’ll be sure to bring you more updates as soon as they happen!

Report: Technology could save UK £24bn a year by 2020

Yesterday, at the Google campus in Shoreditch, Policy Exchange launched its Technology Manifesto report which looks at why technology should be front and centre of political party ideas, ahead of the 2015 election.

The report, which has been co-sponsored by EMC, highlights the priorities for using technology to reinvent government in the run up to the election. It suggests that the government could save as much as £24 billion a year by 2020 with a more efficient use of technology to deliver the next-generation of citizen services.

Speaking at Policy Exchange 04.06 283-136The event included an expert MP panel, which comprised of three members from each political party, all discussing “The future of Digital Britain”. The members were Nadhim Zahawi MP, Member of the No 10 Policy Board, Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Cabinet Office Minister and Dr Julian Huppert MP, Member for Cambridge.

The report explains that it is not enough to simply digitize more services but that major work is required behind the scenes with bespoke IT to replace standard systems. The report goes on to explain that initiatives, such as the Government Digital Service cannot be an island of innovation and whilst there has been some excellent progress made with the creation of gov.uk for example, more still needs to be done.

James Petter, senior vice president and managing director for EMC UK & Ireland comments, “we are big believers in how technology can enable government. As a nation, we’ve not been fast enough to deliver digital government and to date there has been too great a focus on cost efficiencies. Change is needed to meet evolving citizen demands and ensure Britain is positioned as a country that the world wants to do business with.”

Eddie Copeland, Head of Technology Policy Unit at Policy Exchange and author of the report says, “as businesses have long known, IT is transformative only when it changes the way people work, That means breaking down silos, it means sharing more data, and it will almost certainly mean that fewer staff will be needed to perform particular tasks. The next government must not shy away from the hard but inescapable need for organizational change”.

The event and report have already generated media interest with coverage appearing on the Daily Telegraph and the Inquirer. Take a look at a video of the debate below, and see how the debate developed on Twitter with storify:

Reinventing Government: Preparing a 2015 Technology Manifesto on Storify

EMC is supporting leading think tank Policy Exchange in writing a Technology Manifesto to advise and challenge the next government. On Friday 4th April, EMC brought together senior technology and policy leaders from within government and beyond to discuss priorities and contribute to the report. Below you can see how the conversation developed. 

UPDATE: Here is the latest from Eddie Copeland, head of technology policy at Policy Exchange. The ‘A Portrait of Modern Britain’ report takes a look at how the UK’s population will change by 2050.