Michael Dell intends to change the world. And the Dell Technologies founder and CEO realizes that more technology alone won’t bring about the kind of change he envisions. Michael wants to help make the world not simply a different or more high-tech place, but a better place. And he’s confident that the right technologies – and positioning Dell at the center of a multi-cloud world – will achieve that.
Monday in Las Vegas, at the first Dell Technologies World held in-person since 2019, Michael, along with co-COO Chuck Whitten and executives from large customers like CVS Health and USAA, laid out his vision for the future, and the role the company he started as a teenager in his University of Texas dorm room will play in making that vision a reality.
“We are explorers, pioneers of a digital future,” Michael said, “constantly reinventing and reimagining a data-driven world to accelerate progress toward a healthier, safer, more successful future in all human endeavors.”
As technology became ubiquitous, “the twin engines of human inspiration and technology innovation drove human progress and improved lives on a global scale,” Michael said. “Over the past two years, technology became even more important, more essential. The pandemic put an exclamation point on the importance of digital technology for everyone.”
The PC has become “the center of engagement, productivity, collaboration and creativity,” Michael said. And the user experience is set to take another “leap forward” with multi-cloud ecosystems that recognize that the edge is where most data will be generated within a few short years, and where AI processes and moves data across 5G networks in highly automated environments.
“The on-prem/off-prem debate is over,” Michael said. “The future is multi-cloud with workloads and data flowing seamlessly across the entire environment.”
A multi-cloud future spurred on by 5G means businesses can use data as a competitive advantage immediately at the point of creation, Michael said, and it’s estimated that by 2025, 75 percent of enterprise data will be processed outside a traditional centralized data center or cloud.
It’s a recipe for nimble, efficient decision-making grounded in insight and perspective, but there are serious challenges. Chuck emphasized a couple of the most pressing: “Data sprawl” hinders progress, and multi-cloud environments must become less complex.
It also gives the bad guys ample opportunity for attack. Ransomware attacks are the number one threat for most organizations, and it’s estimated an attack occurs every 11 seconds and costs an average of $13 million, Michael said.
Dell has built cyber resiliency into much of its portfolio, and the CEO highlighted the importance of Cyber Resiliency Assessments to help businesses identify cyber risks and vulnerabilities and provide practical recommendations.
Michael said an air-gapped vault solution is an important part of any response and recovery strategy because it gives businesses maximum control and maximum security for data and infrastructure.
Chuck detailed an expansion of Dell’s multi-cloud capabilities within its broad infrastructure portfolio. The expansion is a key part of the effort to simplify customers’ multi-cloud efforts, he said, and builds on more than a year of multi-cloud innovation.
“Multi-cloud is quite logical,” Chuck said. “It is not a temporary bridge. It is the reasonable arc of infrastructure and innovation and done right it is an architectural revolution and it’s transformative for businesses.”
“But,” Chuck said, “it needs to be organized into something much less complex. It needs to help you rapidly extract value from data, not lock up your data in silos. It shouldn’t slow analysis and it shouldn’t slow your decision-making. In short, the world needs multi-cloud by design, not default. That is the great unsolved infrastructure challenge we are working on at Dell Technologies.”
The company made and previewed several announcements today, and Chuck covered several during his keynote, including products and partnerships related to protecting customers from ransomware, simplifying multi-cloud and a sneak preview of Project Alpine, as well as details of a new partnership with data analytics star Snowflake.
It’s clear that Dell’s product strategy revolves around its customers’ opportunities and aspirations. The last founder-led IT company in the industry isn’t interested in change simply for the sake of change. There’s too much at stake for that kind of complacency. Instead, Dell is focused on the good it and its customers can do for their communities and the world, and the problems – from deforestation to health care – they can solve with technology.
“We are aligning our ecosystem, our advantages, our investments and innovation with your big opportunities,” Michael said, “and already solving the problems that could stand in your way. That alignment is a powerful force in creating value across all of our stakeholders from our customers to our communities. It’s incredible what a difference we can make with some partners and some initiative.”