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Digital Transformation—A Journey, Not a Destination

by: VMware CIO Jason Conyard, VMware CTO Jerry Ibrahim, and VMware IT Director Sarita Kar

Digital transformation is not a destination, it’s a journey. VMware as an organization has been architecting the transformation quite successfully, not just for itself but for its partners and customers as well.

What exactly is digital transformation?

The implementation of digital technology by an organization to improve efficiency, productivity, innovation, etc. is digital transformation. However, in reality, digital transformation goes far beyond simply implementing new technologies. It involves a cultural and mindset change that is extremely vital to executing the transformation successfully.

According to VMware CIO Jason Conyard, “digital transformation is more about changing our mindset rather than just adopting new technologies. Quoting the VMware COO Mike Hayes, he further said that digital transformation is really revolutionizing the processes the organizations use to manage change.  

The challenges

The global pandemic brought a real challenge, not just for VMware but for businesses across the globe. Operating remotely in almost no time was a major challenge. However, VMware quickly responded to the change that came with the pandemic.

Prior to the pandemic, 20 percent of VMware employees were working remotely. Believe it or not, 33,000 VMware employees started working remotely almost overnight when the pandemic hit us. It all happened in just one weekend because VMware, as an organization, was ready for change much in advance. All it needed to do was implement its virtualization tools while keeping all the security measures in place. Interestingly, it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. The VMware IT team across different regions had to work across shifts to make this transition work.

What we learned

  • During the transition, one thing we really focused on is our employees, and how we can enable them to be productive while working in a hybrid mode.
  • Remote work is a privilege. We at VMware are extremely privileged to be able to work remotely. As an organization, what we really observed during the transition is that many employees are extremely productive while working from home/anywhere because of the nature of work.
  • Organizations need to embrace the opportunities that come with digital transformation including the opportunity to hire from a wider pool of talented people regardless of their geographical location. We can literally hire talented people anywhere across the globe.
  • Always consider human elements and process elements, while implementing technologies; otherwise, the digital transformation journey you wish to embark on will never be successful.
  • When it comes to digital transformation, it’s more about changing the company’s mindset rather than just adopting new technologies.

VMware runs on VMware

VMware literally runs on VMware. Jerry Ibrahim, VMware CTO believes that our VMware on VMware program had a major impact in improving collaboration with our partners, colleagues, and customers. Subject matter experts (SMEs) in the program collaborate with sales and R&D to understand customer pain points and improve our products. It literally makes all the difference.

Learn more in the first podcast of our Digital Transformation series.

Future of work

The way we operate and implement new technologies while keeping employees as our top priority, will evolve with the future of work. As an organization, if your values are clear, you will know the right thing to do during tough times and that’s what VMware IT did during the pandemic.

Another takeaway is understanding the importance of diversity in the workplace. The pandemic allowed us to hire people from different backgrounds, and that’s a privilege.

People don’t join companies, they join communities—the cultural building blocks we create at VMware makes us who we are.

What’s nexttop priorities

  • First, transitioning to a SaaS-subscription business. The way we sell, build, collect, and the way we enable customers to self-service is what matters most.
  • Second, making all of our services easy to consume, with a frictionless experience.
  • Third, simplifying our operations to scale more easily by standardizing processes and technologies. We spend less time dealing with complexity and more time enabling the businesses for the next challenge.

Message to CIOs from Jason Conyard

“I have a lot to learn from other leaders, but I do have something critical to share for the organizations who are embarking on a digital transformation journey,” Conyard said. These include:

  • Digital Transformation is an enterprise-wide endeavor. It is not something that an IT team can do in isolation. It is something that an organization has to do together because transformation is just not an act of technology but it’s also a process of changing mindset.
  • Thinking about technology and the culture around technology is an extremely critical part of any transformation journey.
  • One organization, one vision—it’s extremely important to envision the outcome you are looking for.
  • An organization’s appetite for technology is huge, but organizations need to know where to start in order to successfully adopt transformational changes.
  • Always celebrate successes. We move from one thing to the next thing to the next thing and so on, but we forget to celebrate. We should always celebrate the people involved. Find unique ways to celebrate. It’s always important to recognize the efforts and commitments.

VMware on VMware blogs are written by IT subject matter experts sharing stories about our digital transformation using VMware products and services in a global production environment. Contact your sales rep or vmwonvmw@vmware.com to schedule a briefing on this topic. Visit the VMware on VMware microsite, read our blogs  and follow us on Twitter.

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