Oct 21 2020

Dell Technologies World 2020: The Keys to a Digital Future

When looking at digital acceleration, businesses need integration, data and humanity.

The beginning of the pandemic was a jarring time. As people fell ill and social distancing restrictions kept others inside, the uncertainty was frightening, said Michael Dell, CEO of Dell Technologies.

“There is a heartbreaking story of lives lost, shuttered businesses and rising unemployment,” Dell said during the opening keynote of Dell Technologies World 2020. “But there’s another inspirational story about the resilience of our global economy and how we have persevered.”

Any doubt that may have existed about the importance of a digital future was erased as technology surfaced as a key tool to continue daily tasks.

“One thing is clear,” Dell said. “Technology has never been more central than it is right now.”

Widespread remote work hasn’t necessarily changed the trends of technology in the working world. It just accelerated what was already happening.

“We’re having a glimpse of the future, and the organizations that are investing into that future have the advantage,” Dell said.

Data Is the Fuel for Digital Innovation

The use of data has been on an upward trajectory for several years, but it is now the driving force behind the solutions that keep remote workforces connected.

“The digital transformation will only accelerate from here with the combination of massive computing power, 5G and AI,” Dell said. “It’s like a machine, and the fuel for that machine is data.”

According to Dell, the increase in endpoints during remote work, coupled with increased mobility and growing use of the Internet of Things, has placed a higher priority on connectivity.

“As everything in the physical world becomes intelligent and connected, the amount and relevance of data will continue to explode,” he said.

Jeff Clarke, COO and vice chairman at Dell, noted that more and more computing needs are moving away from the traditional data center.

“In the next four years, there will be an 800 percent increase in apps at the edge,” Clarke said. “By 2025, 75 percent of enterprise-generated data will be created outside of the traditional data center and cloud. Fifty-two percent of global GDP will be digital by 2023.”

“This is the ultimate aggregation of data moving at high speed, further away from traditional core data centers, requiring hybrid cloud architectures that enable data visibility and management at the edge,” Clarke said. 

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New Landscape Demands Integrated, Flexible IT Solutions

It isn’t enough to implement all of these solutions, Dell said. Organizations must make sure they are fully integrated, using them together to create a simple environment for employees.

“We are full speed ahead at building the essential infrastructure for the data era, to be your most trusted partner in accelerating digital transformation with solutions that are automated, intelligent and integrated,” Dell said.

Part of that plan is Project Apex, which is Dell’s commitment to delivering its products in an “as a service” format to give businesses the flexibility they need. Clarke said comprehensive cloud operating models, edge computing capabilities and artificial intelligence are all key areas of the IT environment of the future.

“This all interconnects as a cohesive data management system that can rapidly process and connect data in motion, moving across multiple clouds and intrinsic security embedded throughout your IT architecture that is resilient, self-defending and built-in,” Clarke said. “They must work together to create a fully integrated system with hybrid cloud at its core.” 

Technology Is Most Powerful When Paired with Humanity

Technology is not only about hardware and solutions, Dell emphasized. The humanity behind the tech is crucial for innovation to occur. 

“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 behaviors worldwide, with technology at the core of it all,” he said. “But even more important than the technology that fuels our future is our collective humanity — the kindness, generosity, empathy and resilience that will take us to a better tomorrow.”

Allison Dew, chief marketing officer at Dell, said many customers initially overlooked the impact that digital transformation plans would have on their employees.

“Even companies that thought they had business continuity plans and that thought they were ready weren’t actually ready,” she said. “There’s a couple of reasons for that. One is the technology. Sometimes they just really hadn’t thought it through. It was a paper exercise. Equally important, though, was the fact that they hadn’t really thought about the cultural components of a distributed work environment.” 

Dew said taking those things into consideration really helped Dell remain productive despite disruptions. 

“Thinking about that Venn diagram of the technology, the policies and the culture has ultimately served us well,” she said.

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