Dell… A company in transition

For a company unfamiliar with managing acquisitions, Dell’s transition into a private business has brought upon many challenges for the tech giant.

“We did 19 acquisitions in 36 months at a company that wasn’t previously acquisitive,” says Adriana Karaboutis, the Dell CIO speaking with the Wall Street Journal this week.

“All of a sudden these [companies] come in, and I’m faced with challenges integrating them and using the product so our salespeople can show that Dell uses these technologies in a large enterprise.”

Faced with integrating technology assets from around eight of 19 company acquisitions, Karaboutis acknowledges the challenges CIO face managing large technology projects.

“Making sure the systems we provide to our employees and to our customers are what they need,” Karaboutis says.

“As Dell has gone from a PC company to a provider of enterprise software, services and computers, I’ve had to add new capabilities that we never had to worry about before, including supporting software and recurring billings [for software].

“And I have to make sure we stay up on what our employees and customers need, which includes productivity applications and mobile applications.”

Delving deeper into the issue, Karaboutis believes working at the speed of the customer instead of focusing on their comfort zone stands tall among the many challenges CIOs face across the industry.

“You have CIOs who focus on the data center and keeping the lights on,” Karaboutis adds.

“You have CIOs who focus on the latest trends, such as mobility and consumerization. And you have CIOs who focus on applications that need to be built.

“You have to focus on all of those things. And you have to be more agile.

“The consumer is no longer patient to wait for IT to get through their requirements definition, design definition, technical design, coding and testing.”

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