Hybrid computing, security and Industry 4.0: DXC and Dell partner on cloud transformation innovation

Hybrid computing, security and Industry 4.0: DXC and Dell partner on cloud transformation innovation

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The challenge facing many enterprises today is to become “cloud right.”

A lift and shift of workloads into the cloud might reduce data center cost, but organizations are discovering that more comprehensive systems thinking is required. How can a move to the cloud accelerate time to market for product cycles, increase user productivity and reduce operational risk?

“We encourage our customers to not necessarily have a ‘cloud-first’ approach, but a ‘cloud-right’ approach, where they place workloads in the environment that is best suited from a technology perspective, a business perspective and even a security and governance perspective,” said Jim Miller, chief technologist of cloud and infrastructure services at DXC Technology Co. “The right approach might include mainframe; it might include an on-premises infrastructure; it could include private cloud, public cloud, and SaaS components all integrated together to deliver value.”

Miller spoke with Dave Vellante, industry analyst for theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, during theCUBE’s exclusive broadcast of the “Driving Business Results With Cloud Transformation” event. He was joined by Jay Dowling, DXC’s Americas sales lead of cloud and infrastructure services. And DXC’s Aditi Banerjee (pictured, right), vice president and general manager of aerospace, defense and manufacturing, and Andrew Gonzalez, partner sales principal of cloud and infrastructure, America, along with Dell Technologies Inc.’s Todd Edmunds (pictured left), global chief technology officer of smart manufacturing, edge compute and digital twin, and Jim Shook, global director of the cybersecurity and compliance practice, were also interviewed during the event, and the discussion focused on how DXC and Dell partner to drive IT modernization and business results. (* Disclosure below.)

Finding the optimal model

DXC is a Fortune 500 global IT services provider with over 130,000 employees in 70-plus countries. The company focuses on delivering IT services to customers seeking to modernize operations and drive business impact. DXC views modernization as a process for balancing cost optimization with agility, innovation and resilience. That can be a tall order for many firms, with IT’s interest in the cloud occupying a central role for determining whether applications will run on-premises or in a hybrid environment.

Associated issues around governance, security and expense add to challenges surrounding the decisions that IT organizations must make. To help this process, DXC has partnered with Dell to evaluate client environments and develop an optimal target operating model.

“It’s not just a storage and compute play anymore,” Dowling said. “Dell has really taken an outstanding attitude with this and said not all things are destined for cloud or not all things would operate better in a cloud environment. They’re on the edge, they’ve got intelligence in their networking devices now, and they’ve really brought a lot of value to us as a partner.”

Here’s theCUBE’s complete video interview with Jim Miller and Jay Dowling:

Leveraging Industry 4.0

Dell and DXC work with clients that are experiencing a pressing need to digitally transform and remain relevant for the future. A key area where this has become a central focus is in the manufacturing sector where the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, is underway.

“What drives Industry 4.0 is business transformation,” Banerjee said. “It’s improving the downtime, decreasing the maintenance cycle of equipment or improving the quality of products. These are business outcomes that our customers are looking at while using Industry 4.0.”

Those outcomes require new investment to build factories that are equipped with connected machines and the analytics to evaluate productivity and results. This is changing the landscape in the industrial space, where companies must now commit significant resources and transform for the long-term.

“Industry 4.0 is not new; it’s been around for a long time,” Edmunds stated. “What’s new is that manufacturers are looking at this not as a one-off individual use case, but as a need to look at this holistically, thinking about it as a strategic investment. It’s applying technology to get more out of the factories and facilities to do your manufacturing.”

Here’s theCUBE’s complete video interview with Aditi Banerjee and Todd Edmunds:

Protecting connected operations

Developing environments with more connected devices creates another dynamic that businesses must factor into the change equation: increased risk.

The consequences of connected industrial infrastructure were brought to light in 2021 when a ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline Co. forced it to close operations for several days. The attack sharply reduced gas supplies for much of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and triggered an Executive Order to strengthen the nation’s cybersecurity defenses.

“Everything is interconnected,” Shook said. “Even in the days when people thought the OT systems weren’t online, oftentimes IT systems are talking to them or controlling them. Think back to the pipeline attack. All the public testimony was that the OT systems didn’t get attacked directly, but there was uncertainty around that and the IT systems hadn’t been secured, so that caused the OT systems to be shut down.”

The solution for most organizations is to focus on the protection and recovery of critical data in the event of an attack. This often involves understanding what crown jewel data looks like, making a copy of that and storing it in a secure place.

“When you look at protecting that data, not only do you want to put it in what we call a vault, which is Dell technology that is an offline, immutable copy of your crown jewel data, but also how to recover it in real time,” Gonzalez explained. “We look at not only how to protect the data, but how to alert and monitor for attacks in real time, how to understand what to do when a breach is in progress. Understand what your data actually entails so you can protect it and you can build out your recovery plan for it.”

Here’s theCUBE’s complete video interview with James Shook and Andrew Gonzalez:

And make sure to watch the complete “Driving Business Results With Cloud Transformation” event video below:

(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the “Driving Business Results With Cloud Transformation” event. Neither DXC Technology Co., the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Image: SiliconANGLE

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