Interview: Paul Henaghan, VP, Data Centre Solutions, APJ, Dell Technologies

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Published: May 23, 2019 12:15:14 AM

In fact we are now focusing on finding the right strategy from the India perspective. Thus, I would definitely say that India has a massive influence on us. 

Therefore, what’s driving the conversation now is the idea to be able to put this orchestration together irrespective of various cloud environments.

Dell Technologies is doing a lot of work around smart cities across India with its partners, primarily the local agencies and government bodies, says Paul Henaghan, the company’s vice-president for Data Centre Solutions, Asia Pacific & Japan. “We are now focusing on finding the right strategy from the India perspective. Bringing people into the digital payments world has created a level of interest and innovation out of India which motivates us,” he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in an interview.

Excerpts:

What’s new in the enterprise technology space? What trends are resonating with customers?

In the last couple of years, there has been a lot of work and money invested to understand how to capture data and how do we grow our capabilities around it. We are now finding more conversations around how to utilise investments made in the different environments, to harness the true power of data in order to drive business and serve our customers better. We now see real maturity when it comes to the concept of data.

What are the top transformations you have seen in the data management space?

The biggest transformation we have seen is the need for data to be more ubiquitous in terms of the way that it is being used, that is, the need to generate insights. Hence, the conversations with the organisations have changed from how to build an infrastructure that allows us to store data and provide better assessment to building a capability where we can provide real-time insights. The outcome may be driven by a business need, compliance, or a new competitive threat. Therefore, the expectation is to support customers in enabling them to underline the orchestration of this outcome.

Are companies finding it difficult to transform into data-driven businesses?

In the current scenario, it’s fair to say ‘yes’. That’s because, principally, technology has the propensity to automate and improve existing processes. However, it is very different from the digital transformation agenda that is now impacting the global economy. Organisations that are not addressing the cultural side of their businesses or the leadership perspective from a transformation point of view will not drive change, no matter how strong or competitive their platforms are. Therefore the expertise we need to bring is to learn from our past engagements and also translate what works in one industry into another industry.

There is growing talk that cloud adoption has not taken off that well. What are your views on this?

The principle of cloud as an operating model has come to a halt. For instance, if we get a software upgrade on our mobile phone which helps us fix security, bug issues, etc, the principle here is that the ease with which this system operates is now expected within the business environment. Now, the adoption of cloud is more nuanced. This has helped businesses to realise three things. The first is that a lot of their workload is not relevant. The second is that the ease and simplicity expected in that environment is not fulfilling and the third, that it is more expensive than expected. Therefore, what’s driving the conversation now is the idea to be able to put this orchestration together irrespective of various cloud environments.

What are the opportunities you see in the Indian market?

We believe that there is phenomenal opportunity in the Indian marketplace for two fundamental reasons. The first is the fact that it is the largest developing economy and the second is the progressive digital initiatives that have promoted strong digital enablement, for commercial as well as for broader socio-economic impact. Bringing people into the digital payments world has created a level of interest and innovation out of India which motivates us. We are doing a lot of work around smart cities across India with our partners, primarily the local agencies and government bodies. In fact we are now focusing on finding the right strategy from the India perspective. Thus, I would definitely say that India has a massive influence on us.

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