5 Takeaways From Michael Dell's IoT Day Keynote

The IoT Opportunity

With the Internet of Things market expected to cross into trillion-dollar territory in the next few years, Dell Technologies is aiming to capitalize on its strengths to offer an array of powerful IoT solutions, Chairman and CEO Michael Dell said Tuesday during the company's IoT Strategy Day event in New York. The event took place to announce the new Dell IoT Division, as well as a new IoT partner program within the company. The Internet of Things is "the infrastructure of the next industrial revolution. And that's what we're co-inventing with our customers and our partners," Dell said during the event Tuesday.

What follows are five key things that Michael Dell said Tuesday during the company's IoT Strategy Day.

What Is The Edge?

Today we're also standing at the beginning of a new reality. And this is a reality where sensors act as senses, and the processing is done in silicon and software. And soon there will be a perfect visual mirror of our world, with every object streaming information. And this is the edge, as we call it. And it will be everywhere, and everything. That is the Internet of Things, and ultimately it will be the internet of everything. And it's happening fast. With the cost of a connected node approaching zero dollars, the number of them is absolutely exploding. We'll soon have 100 billion connected devices, and then a trillion. And we'll be awash in rich data. But more importantly, we'll have the ability to harness that data. With unprecedented computing power and fifth-generation connectivity, we can engage in massive engines of computer science to analyze that data, and drive radical progress through our global society.

IoT Is Also About Storage

I believe that AI and machine learning will be the jet engines of human progress. And data will be the fuel for that progress. Now that's a beautiful thing because here at Dell Technologies we store more than half of the world's mission-critical data. And our job is to innovate, along with our customers and partners, the secure infrastructure to loop that data into a cycle of continuous innovation and improvement that goes something like this. First, you've got software that makes products smarter -- like a thermostat, or cars, or jet engines, or wind turbines. And software takes everyday services and puts them online, like taxis and travel and insurance. And those products and services generate massive amounts of data - -which when analyzed, can be used to make the products and services smarter, better, more personalized and predictive. ...

And the true potential of the Internet of Things and AI can be a lot when they come together in one complete, interdependent ecosystem. We call this the IQ of Things, or IQT. And this is where every node is additive to the collective intelligence of the whole. And we see this as the next evolutionary step in computing — one that will have a profound implication on business, industry, society, all organizations around the world.

What About Cloud?

Some have proclaimed cloud computing is the final computing model -- like that's it, we're done. But no, we're not done innovating. Because the new breed of apps that require real-time response will drive a huge move back to a distributed model. And the app may not be running on a PC or a phone -- it could be an autonomous delivery drone, a self-driving car, a lightbulb, or an industrial robot. … We're going to need a highly distributed computing model at the edge, for data triage and machine-to-machine instant messaging. And we're innovating a network of embedded sensors, servers and edge gateways that can perform basic computing functions and ease network traffic.

We'll also need a layer of computing power that is near the edge. And we call this the distributed core. This is a new generation of localized, hyper-converged infrastructure that will handle real events in real time. And this emerging highly distributed compute model is the basis of our Internet of Things strategy. In fact, we believe there will be an order of magnitude more data at the edge in the distributed core than in the cloud. And there'll be plenty of local processing power out on the edge too. That said, the cloud remains extremely important for AI, deep learning and analytics. And it's where we can process all kinds of disparate and unstructured data.

The Innovation Road Map

More and more, our customers have a need for machine intelligence applications that require highly parallel computing resources, special software, and libraries and tools. In the near future, we'll see platforms that improve the performance and efficiency by a factor of 10 or 100 times. And just as we helped democratize the power of technology for the PC and server, we're working to make that next generation of computer science affordable and economical enough for everyone to consume. … To accelerate our progress, we plan to invest $1 billion over the next three years in IoT-related projects. …

Ready or not, we're all moving toward a new reality -- a new future in which everyday objects become smart machines, loaded with information that can improve the world. We're building that perfect digital mirror that can reveal more to us about our own opportunities, our surroundings and ourselves, than all of the mirrors of all history combined. To me that's exhilarating, and it's what I live for.

Dell's Advantage

We created Dell Technologies to combine together the innovations of Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, Secureworks, Virtustream and VMware. And if you look at the Internet of Things, it's a logical place for Dell to play, to lead, and to win. We have vast experience in edge computing. We're the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure, in modular compute, and in storage systems, for the development of the new distributed core. We've made a business out of securing, managing and storing the world's most precious and valuable data. We have the agile software development platforms to enable organizations to build their next-generation analytical apps. And we have the biggest ecosystem in the tech industry. There's not a company we won't partner with to build a better solution for our customers. And we're No. 1 in everything, all over the place. Additionally, Dell Technologies is privately controlled, which allows us to do two very important things. First, to focus 100 percent on our customers, addressing their challenges and opportunities. And second, to do that with a long-term perspective.