Internet of Things at Dell World – Beyond the Hype

The Internet of Things sits at the very top of Gartner’s hype cycle. Our Dell World sessions on this topic attracted large audiences, with two sessions requiring extra chairs to be brought in. And yet – when we asked who was engaged in active IoT projects, or even considering them in the next 1-2 years – only a handful of hands went into the air.

There is a ready list of reasons for the hesitancy. Standards are not in place. Security is a significant concern. Existing bandwidth may not meet new demands.   

IoT has emerged as a trending topic on the shoulders of other key technologies such as Cloud, networking, sensors, Big Data and analytics.  In particular, the Big Data and analytics areas have amazing stories around results, but are intimidating to many organizations without experience in this space.  Being told that you should embrace analytics can feel like your kid’s teacher saying that the class will be using the Singapore math methodology, which means, by default, you get to learn Singapore math as well.

Yet another layer is that IoT projects take us outside the familiar hum of a datacenter or the systems that sit on our desk. IoT projects mean getting familiar with the operational technology of a given industry – the factory machinery, the basements of commercial buildings, or the outpost of an oil pipeline.     

The net of all this, is that IoT projects are hard. At our CTO Summit this week, Rick Lisa from Intel spoke of his experience in partnering with Dell on proof of concept projects:

“You go in thinking that it’s going to be easy, but it’s not. You need to bring in new capabilities for each project. It takes a village.”

The promise of value creation from the Internet of Things is remarkable. But in these early days, there is no getting around the hard work. Those willing to dive into small projects to gain learnings and expertise quickly will be able to better turn this technology into a competitive advantage. 

For Dell, the opportunities in the emerging IoT market have led our technologists to roll up their sleeves and experiment within our ever-growing toolbox of capabilities. How could our Statistica and Kitenga products help more easily transform IoT data into actionable insights?  How will datacenters evolve with new workloads coming from billions of connected devices? What new business value can be generated by the integration of device and business data using Dell Boomi cloud technology?

Dell OEM Solutions VP and GM, Joyce Mullen, shared how Dell has both “an obligation and opportunity to lead in this space. [watch the full video interview below] She gave advice to those not yet moving forward:

“Just get started. Postponed perfection is not going to give you an edge here. Start with defining what problem you’re trying to solve, and move to a pilot. You can take it in steps.”

At next year’s Dell World, there will be many more hands in the air when we ask for those with active IoT projects. We look forward to sharing our emerging expertise and learning more about your specific operational environment. 

It’s probably a lot more fun than Singapore math.

About the Author: Kirsten Billhardt