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How Asia's enterprises are tackling digital transformation: Dimension Data interviews

AvantiKumar | June 1, 2015
From their customer conversations throughout the Asian region, three top Dimension Data executives talk through the challenges currently facing enterprises and how they are allocating their IT budget.

Organisations are challenged to balance these three areas of investment. IT departments are under increasing pressure to innovate and help deliver business results more than ever.

As such, the IT, Business and Operations teams have to get more aligned around business outcomes to deliver more value from technology.

How are these factors impacting the IT budget and its breakdown?

Jiandani: There is a long term trend of moving IT budget allocation from keeping the lights on to investments in security capability and in new applications on mobile and social media.

This requires CIOs to find a new balance between the four competing forces for IT spend - cost, risk, customer service and innovation.

Outsourcing based on labour arbitrage has almost run its course over the last two decades. The emerging ways to find this new balance in IT budget spend is to create space for innovation by moving workloads to cloud, pay-per-use models for buying everything and ensuring that your vendors are fully leveraging emerging new autonomics capabilities. Mega outsourcing contracts are also getting restructured to simpler multi-sourced services where best in breed vendors provide, for example, network managed services, security operations and enterprise mobility platforms in discreet contracts, with the vendor integration layer coming back in-house.

Wong:  To stay ahead of the pack and continue to grow profitably, organisations have to look at optimising 'Run' budget to apply to 'Grow' and 'Transform' initiatives. Hence it is imperative and unavoidable for an organisation to adopt some form of Autonomics in their IT Operations.

Chang Boon Tee - Dimension Data 

Photo - Chang Boon Tee, Chief Transformation Officer, DDMY

Chang Boon Tee:  The debate about all-or-nothing outsourcing has obscured the real issue. The question is not, "Should we outsource or insource IT?" but rather, "Where and how can we take advantage of the developing market for IT services?"

Based on our experiences, successful companies carefully select which IT activities to outsource, rigorously evaluate vendors, tailor the terms of the contract, and carefully manage the vendor

What is your take on how Malaysian industry sectors are faring with the digital transformation theme?

Jiandani: We can see evidence of several trends I discussed earlier in the Malaysian IT market as well. We are getting traction in the market with our new Managed Services offerings for network management, data centre management, security management, etc.

We should also see evidence in the coming months of large outsourcing contracts getting unbundled into smaller and more specific engagements allowing large Malaysian businesses to capture some value by moving to smaller engagements that are based on cloud based and pay-per-use models.

Wong:   I share the same view as Sanjay, where the unbundling of large outsourcing is already taking place and organisations are moving into multi sourcing options. On Cloud, we are also seeing steady traction in Private and Public Cloud adoption.  

How have you helped organisations free up their IT budgets to pursue more growth and transformation?

Jiandani: Our Managed Services for Enterprise Networks (MSEN) offering was launched a few months ago and have already got into agreement with several clients.

This service offering (along with MSDC for Data Centres and MSS for Security Services) is helping our clients free up budgets to pursue growth and transformation. The autonomic engine in these offerings, along with the pay-only-for-what-you-use model helps clients free up budget. We do half-day workshops with our clients and jointly arrive at scenarios to achieve improvement in service quality and reduction in spend.

Are you able to talk about any local case studies to illustrate how Dimension Data has made difference to IT departments and overall business benefits?

Jiandani: This is usually done in a collaborative workshop setting because every client situation is unique. Just to share couple of examples, we are working with a large Malaysian conglomerate to leverage our autonomics based platform to improve MTTR (Mean time to Repair / Resolve) for their Data Centre and reduce risk by automating health checks and routine requests.

We are also working with one of the Malaysian Telco to implement our MSEN offering for improving network management.

Wong:  Following on from what Sanjay has just highlighted, we also recently deployed DD's Managed Hybrid WAN solution in our client's environment. This prominent locally based foreign bank was looking to improve and innovate their existing WAN.  With the adoption, client now enjoys a fully diversified high WAN availability environment.

DD's Hybrid WAN solution combines the technical components of intelligent WAN routing and multi-connectivity types with holistic network management construct. This approach improves network and application performance at a cost effective price point while removing the administrative and operational hassle for the client.

Chang:  We have also built and managed private clouds and Disaster Recovery (DR) for many local enterprises delivering specific outcomes and SLAs.

This has allowed the enterprises to improve their service levels within the organisation as well as providing charge-back mechanism for their business units to consume IT-as-a-service.  With this managed infrastructure in place, it allows the organisations to be able to respond to their business requirements within a short period of time and thus achieving a significantly faster go-to-market for their businesses.

How do you support IT heads to pursue transformation initiatives over the longer term?

Jiandani: We work with our clients in several ways.

  • We advise our clients in the areas of IT Infrastructure via the several consulting and/or training offerings in our portfolio.
  • We also take ownership of transforming clients' IT infrastructure via project engagements and finally,
  • We can enter into multi-year Managed Services engagements where we take ownership of outcomes.


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