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VMware’s Call to IT Professionals: Be Brave

At VMworld last week, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger laid it out: IT is no place for the timid. In a world where business has become not only lightning fast, but also increasingly fluid, he said, “…the biggest risk is perpetuating the status quo.” Success depends on willingness to move fast, be decisive, and take calculated risks.

No matter where you are on your IT transformation journey, learning from others who have taken those risks and moved their organizations forward can help you take the next step. VMworld attendees had plenty of opportunities to do just that, with companies like Medtronic and Boeing sharing their stories of operational transformation. In addition, VMware consultants and experts dug into practical application around SDDC and more.

Medtronic: Taking Risks to Improve Health
Medtronic SessionAs the world’s largest healthcare technology company, Medtronic provides some of the most critical types of technology solutions: those that alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life. Steve Arsenault, Medtronic Vice President of Global Application and Infrastructure Services, subscribes fully to risk taking as a requirement for IT. He told the keynote audience that even more important than taking risks, “…you have to be able to articulate those risks to your business stakeholders in a way that they understand.”

Later in the day, Medtronic IT’s Adrian Woodward and John Bistodeau shared how Medtronic is leveraging the VMware vCloud Automation Center and the vCloud Suite to jumpstart IT transformation and ultimately lead them to delivering both infrastructure and platforms as a service.

There was also an air of realism in their IT journey, as they had to be bold within the confines of the all-too-familiar flat IT budgets. Remarkably, they were able to reduce a 27-step process to four steps, and from 10 days to a single day turnaround time. The results speak for themselves, and it’s safe to say that VMware is helping Medtronic IT live up to its internal marketing slogan “Medtronic runs on IT.”

Boeing: Virtual Technology, Real Results
Operating within a company that has innovation in its DNA, Senior IT Director Enes Yildirim introduced ways that Boeing IT has shown tangible business results through its move to IT as a service. The aerospace giant’s cloud strategy includes program goals around performance, cost, operational maturity, differentiation, and strategy. Within that framework, the organization follows guiding principles that lay a foundation for a culture of innovation in IT:

  • Bank on Success
  • Leverage the Good
  • Self-Fund Innovation
  • Partner for Success
  • Don’t Accept the Status Quo!

By fostering innovation and adopting the cloud strategy, Boeing IT has significantly reduced cost per virtual machine, while increasing capacity to serve the business.

vCenter Operations Manager: People and Process Considerations
One of the most popular sessions in the Operations Transformation track at VMworld was Rich Benoit, VMware operations architect, presenting Maximizing the Out-of-the-Box Functionality of vCenter Operations Manager: People and Process Considerations. Rich cautioned the group against the “technology-only” approach. Instead, he encouraged getting in front of change by identifying roles and processes that will be impacted even before initiating a project. This way, as the silos break down and collaboration begins, people can focus on moving forward. In an implementation as broad as vCenter Operations Manager, Rich detailed the new organizational requirements and how to ensure the top 20 dashboards in the tool are used and the data shared to show business value. Stay tuned for a future blog and deeper dive by Rich.

Medtronic and Boeing have embraced the calculated risk taking required to make operational changes. With the right technology tools and an open approach to people and process changes, it’s a little easier to take Pat’s advice and be brave in the face of IT challenges.

Check out videos from VMworld 2014.