Dell World Panel: Delaying On Cloud A Disservice To Your Business

Steve Schuckenbrock, president of Dell Services, recently completed a survey of CIOs from around the world and found that more than half of them already adopted some level of cloud, with SaaS being the primary usage.

"There's no question that the [CIO] community expects to see a significant overhaul of IT execution, and within three years," said Schuckenbrock, who moderated the panel.

The study also found that while in the past organizations focused on either efficiency or innovation, today the expectation is both.

"You have to drive innovation all the way to the end user. They're expecting us to fund and drive utilization levels way, way up and costs way, way down," Schuckenbrock said.

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Vivek Kundra, the former CIO of the U.S. government, said organizations need to embrace the change now because it's going to happen anyway.

"First, most CIOs don't want to become the villain in their organization by being Dr. No. Most CIOs I meet, under the guise of security, say no, no, no. But they're actually creating a more insecure world because IT flows like water. Users will go around the villain so to speak," Kundra said. "Accept the world the way it is, rather than as a delusional dream of how to work with enterprise IT. This new generation born digital is not going to wait for CIOs to take two years to build a secure application that may never exist."

John Dabek, CTO of Towers Watson, a global professional services company based in New York and in the midst of a massive integration following the merger of Towers Perrin and Watson Wyatt, said the cloud has helped the process immensely.

"We had one legacy company where it would take three months to stand up a server. We saw one of everything: every single storage platform, every single server platform, different OSes. We didn't want to burden the organization to support that. We want a standard way of doing business and speed to value," Dabek said. "As a result of our work, we were able to cut down on an initial build. Even before we start, we can get one-day turnaround on some solutions and we saw a 50 percent reduction in cost. Combine those two and we satisfied both goals: serving the business and meeting synergy requirements."

Mike Cote, vice president of Dell's SecureWorks business, noted that security is still cited as a concern for many companies, but that should not be the case.

"The challenge for everyone is to raise the game from a security perspective everywhere. Security should be a security enabler [for cloud], not a security prohibitor," he said.