Our digital transformation was well underway when the COVID-19 pandemic made computing power even more essential and caused us to expedite our plans. As an essential industry, Intel’s ability to meet its customers’ demands for additional product depended on keeping employees safe and productive under extraordinary circumstances. We needed to enable our worldwide manufacturing operations to continue uninterrupted even as the world changed overnight.
Most of our 110,000-strong global workforce transitioned to working from home in a matter of days. This required us to enable remote capabilities to monitor and control our factory operations; install and troubleshoot manufacturing equipment; keep a complex global supply chain flowing in the face of burgeoning customer demand; and connect our extensive ecosystem of employees, customers, and suppliers to communicate and collaborate to keep our business moving.
We had built a strong foundation prior to the pandemic and we worked together with our business partners to identify priorities and swiftly implement changes that would drive the best results for employees, customers, and partners.
As Intel takes advantage of disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), edge-to-cloud, 5G and multi-cloud, our products become more intelligent and highly integrated, driving greater complexity and an increase of transformative programs. Intel IT sees this as an opportunity not only to help drive Intel’s product innovation but also fundamentally change the way we do business. We are rapidly embracing new technologies, adopting differentiated hyperscale computing, and have doubled our high-performance computing (HPC) capacity to simulate new complex product architectures in our energy-efficient data centers. Furthermore, the value proposition of AI is being realized across Intel. For example, we are using AI to automate and enhance our product validation capabilities, and to create more intelligent products that reduce power and improve both performance and battery life.
Experiences that provide personalization and ease of use can both differentiate the company in the market and aid in employee retention. Our employees, customers, and partners live in a world of consumer technology, where companies compete to create intuitive, powerful, and engaging experiences. While our business applications are not consumer apps, we’re inspired by the power of giving people powerful, usable tools that abstract away complexity.
Unleashing the potential of our own data is central to this effort. Intel’s manufacturing tools, customer interactions, testing and validation tools, and other sources generate petabytes of data. We use this data to better understand customer needs so our salespeople can better serve them. We also use data to enable us to intelligently and efficiently determine the right product performance and pricing structure for our customers. We are speeding delivery of new products to customers by consolidating isolated data puddles into a single repository for software and intellectual property (IP) used in product development. These solutions and others help transform both our employees’ work and Intel’s relationships with customers.
A crisis can bring people together, and it can compress the learning curve. The pandemic showed opportunities to improve operations, deepen collaboration across the company, and accelerate change in ways that will help us better serve customers in the long term. Intel IT is a key part of Intel’s “New Normal” task force, which applies lessons from COVID-19 to shape how Intel operates in 2021 and beyond. We’re still defining what the future of work will look like, but what we’ve learned will aid us as we move toward more flexible, personalized, and immersive work environments that support different roles and work styles, and that power new levels of collaboration.
We embrace digital transformation as a journey rather than a destination. As always, employees are the key. Our success lies in our ability to shift to a digitally savvy organizational culture and workforce by engaging our employees and putting them at the center of driving our transformation.
Intel’s purpose is to create world-changing technology that enriches the lives of every person on Earth. That purpose will inspire us to build on our achievements and learnings from 2020 to create more value and more growth for our employees, customers, and partners in 2021.