7 Lessons Learned During a Large-scale IT Transformation


Sometimes the insight you need to resolve a problem turns out to be right in your own backyard. When EMC IT decided to transform its IT operating model almost two years ago, it made sense for them to turn to an inside resource—our EMC Global Services consulting team —for help.

After all, the Global Services IT Transformation practice had years of experience helping clients transform their IT operations. We could apply that experience to move the EMC IT effort forward. In turn, our consulting team could benefit from guiding one of the industry’s largest IT transformations, through which we could refine our consulting approach and best practices on a larger scale than we had ever done before.

Breaking new ground

There were several features of EMC IT’s transformation that were different from other efforts our group had worked on in the past. While most organizations tackle changes in their operations by building out one service center or demand area at a time, EMC IT decided to transform its entire operation by creating seven service centers simultaneously. It was a very bold move that required focusing more on a holistic demand management and service center structure. We learned a great deal about scaling transformation efforts, how to push the envelope in implementation, and how to enhance our approach to the relationship between IT and the business.

One important move made in this process was assigning an IT leader who runs a service center to also take on the dual role of demand center responsibility for a given business unit. This enabled EMC IT to run their IT operations while keeping the perspective of the business in sight.

We also spent more time on the people aspect of the changes, working with HR to redefine job families and focusing on human change management—creating a process to help IT employees and leaders cope with change. This was made more challenging by the fact that EMC IT spans the globe and also includes several corporate Centers of Excellence.

Lessons learned

  1. Start by defining your organization’s values and use them to drive your transformation.
  2. Embed IT leaders and demand center teams in each business unit. This will do more to improve the relationship between IT and the business than anything else.

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