Office of the CIO

Annual IT Report
Driving Innovation Through Transformation

VMware’s 2021 IT Performance Annual Report shows how we are driving positive change.

While it’s true that transformation is a journey, I think it’s more useful to say that the business transformation of today is more of an attitude. By that I mean transformation is a choice we make every day. Business and IT leaders must model the transformation mindset so that it reaches their entire organization.

Companies met the challenges of 2020 and 2021 with a raft of transformative technological solutions. These solutions helped companies deliver delightful experiences for customers and employees in a remote-first environment. They enabled organizations to adopt new business models on the fly, reduce technical debt, and develop new avenues for innovation.

These solutions required a transformational attitude and illustrated that IT is a catalyst for business success. IT has led the attitude shift necessary to enable four different, interconnected transformations: cultural, cloud, workforce, and security. The VMware IT Performance Annual Report 2021 looks at how VMware transformed using our own technology and processes. However, I think the four areas the report examines offer valuable lessons for any organization undergoing its own transformation. Here is what I think leaders can learn from our experience. 

Embrace diversity for cultural transformation

If organizations are to embrace transformation, business leaders must foster corporate cultures that encourage change and adapt to new challenges.

At the heart of business transformation are the humans who enable and are affected by that change. Leaders should leverage the broad talent pool suddenly available to remote workforces to build teams with an array of talents, perspectives, and backgrounds. This approach should provide as much diversity of thought and experience as possible.

Fostering diversity improved our ability to think differently. Emphasizing innovation for our diverse team improved our ability to create, so we encouraged teams to submit ideas to IT subject matter experts. The result of this program was a 400% increase in invention disclosures, a sign that our transformations have led to a culture of innovation.

Cloud transformation: an operational shift

A cloud transformation requires changing the business’ operating model to reflect the provisioning of the cloud. Our internal SaaS transformation enabled us to more quickly deliver innovation our customers require, in part by helping us realize a 29% improvement in IT responsiveness, for faster time to value.

Changes to business-critical applications illustrate this change. These applications used to be monoliths that required the knowledge of various experts to operate. Moving to a cloud operating model improves the customer experience by speeding up delivery and reducing operating costs of applications and services, all with in-house development teams.

Modern workforces require enriching experiences, collaboration

Our world is now hybrid. In the last year, IT teams accelerated development and implementation pipelines so that businesses could enjoy effective collaboration in this new environment. Moving forward, organizations must rely on IT to maintain and build upon these enriching, collaborative work environments with three pillars we found useful for creating an anywhere workspace.

  1. Workspace. Engage employees through surveys and interviews about their experiences. Update technology interfaces and experiences to address their concerns.
  2. Work practices. Every process, from onboarding to learning how to use a new platform, to meeting with teammates must not only be simple but delightful.
  3. Workforce. Cultural and workforce transformations are symbiotic changes. Each relies on a people-first approach.

Zero Trust is the way forward for security transformation

Passwords and traditional firewalls are outdated now that every remote mobile device and computer is a potential attack vector. Only through a complete security transformation within a Zero Trust framework can leaders rest assured these network connections are trustworthy.

The only constant is change; transformations must be ongoing

In 2020, 95% of VMware’s workforce transitioned to working remotely over just one weekend. It’s likely that many other organizations adjusted in a similar, expedited fashion. As the year progressed, it became clear that many of the short-term solutions IT implemented had to become ongoing changes. Through transformations like these, leaders must ensure companies can face and adapt to any future disruption. After all, the only constant is change. 

Download the VMware IT Performance Annual Report 2021 today to learn more about how your organization can apply the lessons learned during 2020 and apply them to your own business transformations.