There are so many opportunities to make society and business more sustainable with smart use of technology, Isabel Moll starts enthusiastically. But the technology itself – such as an IT environment – can also be made much more sustainable. And according to Vice President & General Manager of Dell Technologies Netherlands: You also need to manage employees sustainably. “Technology can help to provide a good balance between work and private life, but in the end you also have to facilitate this as an organization. And preferably as a whole IT sector: Let us all do our best to show that this is a beautiful and sustainable sector to work in. “
“From the beginning of my career, I have been introduced to all aspects of IT, from the hardware, software and service side,” says Moll of her choice to join Dell Technologies in August 2021. “It’s here, al this knowledge comes together nicely: think about how organizations can use our technology to design and build their own version of their cloud, in a hybrid and / or a multi-cloud scenario, but also: how to use technology for to tackle production and human processes in an organization in a smarter way? ”
This is increasingly happening on the edge of a network, by already setting up data and computing capacity on this edge. This makes it possible to collect more and more data and you also increasingly have direct insight as a basis for data-driven decisions, which can also be automated.
“Consider, for example, preventive maintenance because an elevator threatens to break down or when more power is used somewhere than necessary. By preventing unnecessary errors and maintenance tasks, you can manage people, resources and the environment smarter. ”
Another interesting area, according to Moll, is mobility, where there is also a lot to be gained in the field of sustainability. Of course, it also requires a behavior change, but with smart application of technology and gaining new insights from data, you can control behavior – for example, by showing what someone saves in time or money when traveling beyond the car.
“But also think further: For example, by not letting mobility take place, which of course becomes very visible in all the new hybrid forms of work that are now being created. In short, thanks to the smart use of technology, you can be more economical with your environment and your people. “
Vision and ambition
It’s amazing that Dell Technologies is providing products and services to realize this, Moll outlines. And also has the vision and ambition to do this in the most sustainable way. In production, in logistics and in hardware recycling and recycling. “Michael Dell once said at a customer meeting that he knows exactly how many devices Dell Technologies has made down to the laptop. And he feels responsible for the proper circular handling of any laptop to ultimately achieve zero e-waste. “
As a result, Dell Technologies not only has a program to restore old products, but also to reuse them – completely or as individual components – in new products. And how you can make these new products more economical. In the production process, in use – think of energy consumption – and in the supply chain.
Moll: “You do not always have to send products. Sometimes transport by train is more economical. You might think we should have known that a long time ago. But in all parts of the process – from design to transport – it is a continuous development to look at how something can be done better, smarter and more sustainably. ”
Dell Technologies does not take such steps alone, Moll emphasizes. “Our products include chips from Intel and work with products from software vendors such as Microsoft. You try to coordinate the products as well as possible. In this way, Microsoft can ensure that its workplace environments on our laptops and servers work as economically as possible. And our conversations with Intel are about how we want chips in our products to be as energy efficient as possible. We are not the only ones in this sector doing this, but we work closely together on this. “
Moll emphasizes that sustainable entrepreneurship is not something you are ever done with. You can see this in our Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) report. If we receive questions from customers about this, we can include them in it: where are we now, where do we want to go and also: how do we make it measurable “Because it is also very important: without measurement and data from there, we will never know whether the sustainability goals we have for 2030 are realistic, what we need to do for it and whether we will succeed in achieving them.”
Sustainable dealings with employees
Sustainability – and smart use of technology – is also reflected in how employees are handled, Moll believes, as part of a social and inclusive approach. “It’s a mix of factors. We were already working on getting people to work hybrid and offering them a better work-life balance, and it’s been accelerated enormously by the corona.”
You need technology for that, but also politics. Facilitates the use of public transportation by locating your office – as Dell Technologies does – close to a train station. Offer employees a bike plan and make sure they can easily store that bike in the office. Let people think for themselves about the benefits of more sustainable modes of transport.
By being so attractive to an employer, one can also tackle the growing shortage of staff in a sector such as IT, Moll believes. “That’s why we at Dell Technologies have our Family Life Balance program: It’s no longer the time to focus solely on hard work and achieving your goals. You want to achieve an optimal and sustainable balance for them with your employees, and you look at everything that goes with it, such as sports, mental well-being, food and lifestyle. ”
More diversity in talent
In addition, Dell Technologies launched a pilot this year to look at the impact of getting people to work part-time. “It was already possible to work part-time, but the goals did not change. Then you need to work harder to reach your goals. We have now started on a smaller scale in one place with goals that are adapted to the number of hours. For example, we will find out if it makes anyone more productive or if it works in their team. But also whether in this way we can bring in more diverse talents: For example, people who do not necessarily want to work a maximum number of hours, but who want to be active in IT. ”
Moll also claims to have been a part of the ancient culture, but believes that the culture is obsolete. “Great if you still want to work as much as possible, but just emphasize that it is no longer appropriate for this time. That way, you limit yourself to bringing in new talent, and you lose people who no longer want it and who go to work elsewhere or even leave the IT sector. ”
New and different talent
With the knowledge gained from the pilot, Moll hopes to bring new and different talents into a larger scale. “Think of people who have started a startup but want to combine it with a part-time employment contract that brings interesting ideas from their own environment. Or to interest more women in the middle of their careers for a job in IT. It is an initiative that I was also actively involved in at Microsoft, where I retrained women and made more female talents available to the sector as a whole. ”
Dell Technologies started the pilot project part-time this year. However, Moll will invite the entire tech sector to look at working hours differently. “If we do it together, we can seriously move the issue of working hours. The entire industry needs to leverage a larger pool of talent. By tackling it together, we can change the picture of the sector as a whole: that you are only welcome here if you want to work at least 40 hours and do not shy away from working overtime. In addition, customers are more likely to accept that they do not always have the same point of contact, for example because someone works part-time. ”
Moll sees it as a social responsibility as a sector to ensure that technology and IT already have a central place in the high school curriculum. “So you also appeal to the pool of girls who still have no idea about working in this sector, or who still think technology is typically a male stronghold.”
There are many ideas, and Moll realizes that not everyone can be done at the same time and at the same speed. “Then you have to deal with a kind of tanker, which you want to completely change course. It is important not to start too big and to grow organically. At some point you will see the acceleration get going. Get people to think with examples, invite and do it together, the whole ecosystem. Then the work becomes easier because everyone takes up part of the challenge and shares lessons with each other. It gives you a flywheel effect because you do it not only for yourself and your own profit, but for the whole sector and everyone who works in it. ”
Author: Marco van der Hoeven