Discover PerformanceHP Software's community for IT leaders // October 2013
Harnessing change: Dan Spurling of T-Mobile
The man behind the telecom’s infrastructure, engineering, and ops has a surprisingly non-techie perspective on IT excellence.
In September, the HP Power to Change virtual event discussed the rapid change in enterprise IT with analysts and tech leaders. Dan Spurling, who leads IT for T-Mobile, talked about how his company’s focus is changing to respond rapidly to customer preferences.
Spurling likes the mantra “Be agile, and think like a customer.” As director of infrastructure, engineering, and operations, he manages the overall IT engine that serves T-Mobile’s 43 million customers—everything from servers, storage, data centers, and desktops to cloud delivery and mobility.
Below are highlights from his interview with HP vice president Matt Morgan.
Spurling says major changes in the wireless space are rewriting how IT operates: “At T-Mobile, we’re excited to be on the forefront of pushing change for customers. For example, people now want anytime upgrades, no phone subsidies, no customer lock-in. That radical shift in the wireless industry has meant that IT has had to shift just as radically. At the risk of using buzzwords, we’re more agile, nimble, and responsive. We’re enabling this through consolidation, rationalization, and things like managing Big Data and cloud delivery.”
The consumerization of IT—particularly the huge array of technology choices available to business users—is forcing a change in the way we look at traditional IT: “The availability of technology today is staggering. There are simply more and more choices today for any consumer. And that’s driving the CEO, COO, CIO, and even CMO to say: ‘What do I need to do to deliver on my business, and is my IT team best-suited to help me enable that?’”
IT is no longer a sole-source provider, he says, and many organizations are looking beyond their internal teams for what the business needs. This means IT needs to change its relationship with the user—becoming a participant in how to enable technology to serve business needs: “We’re a service provider, and sometimes a broker of an external service. We’re no longer supplying IT for IT’s sake. Instead we’re delivering a set of key services and facilitating service enablement. That’s the view we’re taking with our cloud platform as well as other offerings to the business.”
Spurling offers three points of advice to IT leaders in an era of radical transformation:
- “First, you need to lead, not be led. Stop and realize that the entire ecosystem of IT is changing dramatically. As an IT leader, you need to lead your team to help technology meet specific business needs.”
- “Second, IT teams are nothing without their people. The reality is that no single technology solves our problems—it’s people who do. Technology is just an enabler.”
- “And third, once you understand the business drivers, you need to plot a clear path that’s proactive and not reactive.”
Those, he said, are the top three points, and he noted that each is about people and relating to business goals, rather than the specific new flavor of IT. “It’s not about the technology,” he said.
Keep up with the latest trends and strategies around key technologies, including mobile, cloud, analytics, and security with the Discover Performance newsletter. Subscribe here.
HP Software’s Paul Muller hosts a weekly video digging into the hottest IT issues. Check out the latest episodes.
To understand, engage, and convert your best customers, you need to leverage and integrate all the data at hand from search, social, and mobile.
Meg and HP Software EVP Robert Youngjohns discuss how businesses can tap into big trends and HP innovation to deliver amazing applications that excite and engage audiences. (Oct. 1)
Introduction to Enterprise 20/20
What will a successful enterprise look like in the future?
Challenges and opportunities for the CIO of the future.
What the workforce of 2020 can expect from IT, and what IT can expect from the workforce.
Data Center 20/20
The innovation and revenue engine of the enterprise.
Dev Center 20/20
How will we organize development centers for the apps that will power our enterprises?
Welcome to a new reality of split-second decisions and marketing by the numbers.
IT Operations 20/20
How can you achieve the data center of the future?
Preparing today for tomorrow’s threats.
Looking toward the era when everyone — and everything — is connected.