Anyone who thinks of EMC in terms of our storage portfolio won’t be surprised to find out that we typically have about 1,000 storage conversations every quarter through our WW Executive Briefing Center program.But it might surprise you to hear that we are also having about 1,000 customer conversations every quarter on various aspects of private cloud, ITaaS, and overall IT Transformation.And these discussions often get the highest ratings we’ve seen in terms of quality and impact.But we almost always end up with a question rather than an answer: “What are our next steps to help us accelerate our transformation?”And –Is our IT Transformation program ahead or behind the competition?How are we doing against our best-in-class competition?What are the top priorities that will accelerate our progress?It seems the #1 thing mid-size and large enterprises are most interested in is, “How are we doing relative to everyone else?” It’s human nature—wanting to be better than the other guy. But it’s also driven by the desire to gain a competitive advantage by making IT more relevant to the business.To get to the answers, EMC has an emerging “best practice” that we’ve been sharing with customers for the past several months. It’s a different kind of Executive Briefing that we run either at your site or ours: a half-day working session we’re calling the IT Transformation Workshop. You can learn more about it here.The purpose of the (free) workshop is to share our experiences helping other customers transform their IT models in an effort to help more enterprise IT organizations prioritize their own IT initiatives and accelerate their transformations. It provides a structured review of your readiness to transform at the infrastructure, application, operation, and IT Service Strategy level. The key is in assessing where you are today versus where you want to be, and then comparing that to industry peer benchmarks based on data from about 1,000 customers that we’ve collected across a variety of industries.Here’s how it works:First, prior to the workshop, there’s a simple survey designed to capture your organization’s current level of readiness for delivering IT as a Service along the dimensions of service strategy, infrastructure, applications, and operations. From here, we’ll prepare a benchmark report that shows your current state of readiness against your own target state, as well as industry averages and best-in-class peer groups.Next, during the workshop itself, we’ll use the benchmark results to facilitate an interactive discussion, and then present findings and recommendations.Finally, after the workshop, we’ll generate a report that includes the benchmark data, along with results of the workshop prioritization and recommendations for next steps.Based on some of the workshops we’ve already done, the topic areas will span a fairly broad range, including strategic areas such as:Establishing service-based costing to provide financial transparencyAnalyzing the impact of converged infrastructure on Capex and OpexSegmenting end users to determine best targets for desktop virtualizationTraining developers in modern application development processes and toolsIntegrating management tools with the virtualized environment for greater automationConducting a skills audit to drive career path decisionsThese are just a few recent priorities that we’ve surfaced during workshop sessions. The net result for customers is an action plan with specific recommendations to help make IT more relevant to the business. If you’re interested in learning more—share your comments below and let me know!