Michael Dell, founder and chairman of Dell Technologies delivers his keynote during the virtual Dell Technologies World event.

Published: October 22nd, 2020

Like most other vendors this year, Dell Technologies has, after delaying for a few months in hopes that the COVID-19 situation would abate, resorted to turning its flagship conference, Dell Technologies World, into a virtual event. This week’s two-day event features a mix of live and pre-recorded sessions, as well as lively music performances, games – and puppies! (Seriously, there’s a puppy cam).

Dell Technologies chairman and chief executive officer Michael Dell kicked things off saying, “Technology has never been more central than it is now.” Digital transformation is like a machine with data as its fuel, he noted, and 5G is the digital fabric that lets us extend the cloud to the digital edge.

With that in mind, he announced the expansion of the Dell Technologies Cloud and introduced Project APEX, Dell’s initiative to offer all of its products and services in an as-a-service (aaS) model to give customers a choice in how they consume them. But he also highlighted the need for empathy; adding technology alone is never the answer to our problems.

“While we talk about the digital transformation, my hope is that we are also seeing a human transformation with more kindness, generosity, and empathy. We’ve needed all of that because in the last eight months, we’ve also revealed hard truths, some hard to watch, and hard to live through, as the fault lines of our society are laid bare, in access to healthcare, to education, to opportunity, and to justice. And we are going to need all of that kindness and generosity and empathy going forward to help bridge these divides and make good on the promise of a brighter future.”

Vice-chairman and chief operating officer Jeff Clarke makes an appearance during Dell Technologies 2020.

By 2023, noted vice-chairman and chief operating officer Jeff Clarke, according to IDC 52 per cent of the global GDP will be digital, and three-quarters of enterprise generated data with be created outside the traditional datacentre by 2025.

“This is the ultimate disaggregation of data moving at high speed further away from traditional core data centres, requiring hybrid cloud architectures that enable data visibility and management at the edge,” he said. “And 5G is more than the next-generation cellular network. It’s the digital fabric of the data era and extends the cloud operating model to the edge and forces a modernization of proprietary mobile networks.”

In fact, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger told Clarke during the keynote, “I think enterprise 5G will displace Wi-Fi globally.”

Global chief technology officer John Roese then expanded on the theme.

“Your organization’s competitive advantage is directly determined by how rapidly you turn data into meaningful insights that influence your organization’s outcomes,” he said. “For digital leaders, data is the foundation that enables you to be a true intelligent business to be able to deliver personalized customer experiences, smarter products, and winning business models.”

He enumerated Dell’s six strategic technologies: hybrid cloud, edge, 5G, security, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and data management, noting, “While organizations are tackling these areas in bits and pieces, they’re actually best and most powerful when they work together.”

But, he added the future he’s outlining “must be built and operated by real people.”

“In 2020, we got a glimpse of the future with digital transformation accelerating our businesses and our homes, work from anywhere, telemedicine, and virtual learning are shaping new behaviours worldwide, with technology at the core of it all,” Dell added. “But even more important than the technology that fuels our future is our collective humanity.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada