Dell: Digital Transformation, Key to Business Growth 

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MONDAY INTERVIEW 

Chairman and CEO, Dell Technologies, Michael Dell, spoke with journalists in Las Vegas on how the technology company is driving digital transformation in work places, as well as providing data protection and security through innovative tech solutions in the digital era. Emma Okonji who was there presents the excerpts:

What are the benefits of digital transformation to organisations and what role will technology convergence play in the whole process of digital transformation that is currently sweeping across globe?

Digital transformation is about the use of technology to change the way businesses operate and making businesses much more efficient and profitable. It transforms economics of scale to drive smart cities, while taking real time decision. Technologies are converging to offer better solutions for business agility. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Internet of Things (IoT) are going to drive convergence in the technology space. What this development means to us at Dell is that the globe needs to generate more data to catchup with the rapid technology growth that convergence is bringing. Organisations must also invest in AI, IoT and ML to benefit from the digital transformation.

How will Dell Technologies help emerging markets in African countries catch up with digital transformation, considering the low level of technology infrastructure in the African region?

African countries need to embrace the global technology transformation and invest in technologies such as AI, IoT and ML to catch up with the speed of technology development. They also need to invest in infrastructure, especially broadband infrastructure. What I think every country should do, is to use local technology partners to develop local technologies that will address organisational and societal challenges, while they still invest in modern technologies. What Dell Technologies could also do is to develop the local markets and offer them opportunities to grow their businesses and economies, using technology solution.

How will Dell Technologies help telecoms companies to deliver innovative and quality services to their customers, especially in Nigeria where subscribers are faced with poor service quality?

Dell Technology is a technology solutions company, developing solutions that will drive business efficiency across various sectors of the economy, including the telecommunications sector. So we have invested in private and public cloud and we have solutions that will enhance telecoms business in Nigeria and the rest of the world.

What is your advice for the African market, with regards to digital transformation?

Developed economies of the world are deploying technology to enhance businesses and promote economic development. African nations must do same and embrace digital transformation. Every African nation must see it as a necessity to grow its economy through the digital transformation that is currently sweeping across the world. Digital transformation has enhanced businesses, and every business is looking for ways to deploy the best of technology solutions in every aspect of their operations to drive growth, new business partners, relationships as well as products and services. Technology is now top on the agenda for businesses globally because technology strategy is about business strategy, and every business must embrace it. We will continue to innovate each day to enhance customer’s business. Today’s success story is different from the success stories of the past because technology has become the game changer. We need to use data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Internet of Things (IoT) in a way that will drive speed of business. Technology transformation is the way to go and data is the fuel that will drive global technology transformation. Dell will continue to support innovations that will drive IoT, AI, and ML, through our public and private cloud solutions that we offer for business growth.

How will you address the fears of most organisations who are still skeptical about investing so much in technology business?

A recent research survey conducted by Dell shows that 42 per cent of the global population does not know whether they can cope with digital transformation, 51 per cent is still struggling to keep up with the digital technology space, while 93 per cent is faced with the barriers of digital transformation. But in all of these, digital transformation must drive Information Technology (IT) transformation, workplace transformation and security transformation. Organisation must therefore summon up the courage to continue to invest in technology to drive their business because the gains are enormous.

What is your view about technology regulation across globe?

Regulation is important provided it does not stifle technology growth. Technology has brought a lot of disruptions in recent times, yet some people are still afraid about the social impact of technology. What country regulators must know about technology regulation is that technology advancement could be used to propagate good and evil, depending on the mindset of the people at the centre stage, and we will not stop innovating just because some people use technology for harmful and selfish gains. The truth is that technology is the game changer and has brought about a lot of business growth and agility and we will continue to innovate. When fire was invented in the early years, some people felt it was a destructive technology but many saw it as a solution for industrial and domestic use, and today fire is used in homes in different ways. When the internet was first developed, many countries condemned it, saying it is evil but today the internet has revolutionise the entire globe, it has created lots of jobs and businesses and many are benefitting from it. What matters is about using technology in a responsible way.

In promoting digital transformation, what is Dell Technologies doing about data protection and security?

One of the biggest accelerator in digital transformation is the ability to protect and secure the growing amount of critical data. Security transformation therefore must come with solutions that are resilient, adaptable and unifiable. Vmware for instance, can accelerate business innovation by forming a consistent digital foundation, so that any device can access any application from anywhere. We also have the Dell EMC workforce transformation and how to keep data of organisations safe. At Dell Technologies, we engineer security in every of our product and solution. On top of that we we lead the market in security and digital transformation. In 2014 we envisioned the combination of Dell EMC and Vmware to provide robust server and storage and virtualisation and in 2016, the combination helped customers in the area of data security and it has enhanced the tremendous growth of Dell Technologies by several billion dollars and we are growing faster than we planned.

How will 5G technology help in driving digital transformation within organisations?

5G technology is about speed in accelerating business transformation and digital transformation comes with the fastest delivery of products and services to enhance business performance and returns on investment. So 5G is an accelerator that will further drive cloud solutions to boost digital transformation.

How will the combination of Dell EMC drive digital transformation, using Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence?

Internet of Things (IoTs) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are the next generation of technology solutions that are driving digital transformation and organisations need a lot of data to effectively use IoTs and AI to drive their business. They need to generate data, aggregate the data to take fast and instant decision that will turn around the organisation in a more efficient way.

How will you assess the growth of Dell Technologies as a technology company?

I started Dell Technologies about 34 years ago and the company has witnessed tremendous growth since inception. Today the company worth billions of dollars and we are still growing and acquiring new companies as the need arises.  

At the Dell Technology World 2018, new solutions were announced. What are these solutions about and how will they enhance organisational growth in the African emerging markets?

 

Dell Technologies launched several new breakthrough at the Dell Technology World 2018. One of them is the Dell EMC storage and server products backed by a comprehensive services portfolio. This solution raises the bar to power up the modern data centre and these new products are designed to address a wide range of traditional and emerging data centre workloads to help customers drive better business outcomes.

We also unveiled the new Dell Wyse 5070 thin client, the company’s most versatile and scalable thin client platform that enables organisations to select just the right configuration based on employees’ needs. In addition, Dell Technologies is expanding Dell EMC’s VDI Complete Solutions, powered by VMware Horizon, to include support for 14th generation PowerEdge server infrastructure and virtualised graphics options for high-performance workloads. Both solutions lower the barrier to VDI adoption, making it easier than ever for organisations to plan, deploy, and run desktop and application virtualisation within their IT environments.

Again VMware outlined its vision for the future of networking, and unveiled the Virtual Cloud Network, which enables organisations to create a digital business fabric for connecting and securing applications, data, and users across the entire network in a hyper- distributed world. To deliver on this vision, VMware announced the VMware NSX networking and security portfolio to enable consistent, pervasive connectivity and security for apps and data across software- defined data centre, branch, cloud, and telco environments.