Irish business will be transformed over the next year by global evolutions in AI and machine-learning that will turn our PCs into even smarter companions, says Bob Savage, vice-president, EMEA Centres of Excellence and Cork site leader, Dell Technologies.
Mr Savage also made several other 2020 predictions for Dell Technologies, Ireland, and global business, in what he expects will be a landmark year for business, led by evolutions right across digital.
Ireland is well-positioned for this predicted growth, with Dell Technologies expecting significant growth this year. Most immediately, PCs and other computer devices will be able to optimise power and battery life for our most productive moments.
These devices will become increasingly self-sufficient, with the ability to automatically repair without needing to inform the owner. Biometrics will also become widespread in PC ranges. With this innovation, PCs know it’s you from the moment you gaze at the screen.
“We are in very good shape and looking forward to playing a lead role in the digital transformation, working closely with our customers,” said Bob Savage. “We have a very broad customer base. We are in constant contact with our customers, ensuring they are ready for changes from now and into the 2030s.
“If you look at the global workplace reports around new technologies, around 80% of jobs are not fully refined. The opening up of 5G in September has given the people in our centre of excellence in Limerick a greater sense of what our customers will need.”
5G promises to transform the data game, bringing transmission speeds up to 20 times faster than current 4G platforms, Mr Savage says. The near-instantaneous transfer of data and information will speed up the delivery of autonomous vehicle and smart cities. In 2020, focus will turn to the hardware and infrastructure needed to support the delivery of 5G and the massive amounts of data that will move at speed.
In Ireland, Dell has three campuses — in Cherrywood, Cork, and Limerick — which have become one global hub for sales, services, centres of excellence, solutions development, manufacturing, supply chain operations, engineering, IT, and finance.
Dell Technologies is comprised of seven tech leaders — Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, Secureworks, Virtustream, and VMware — in one company. With its broad, private and public sector client base, Dell is well-positioned to predict how business will evolve.
For instance, Dell Technologies, which employs 6,000+ digital experts in Ireland, in global and regional functions, is seeing that the co-existence of public and private clouds is becoming a clear reality in 2020.
“Multi-cloud IT strategies, supported by hybrid cloud architectures, will play a key role in ensuring organisations have better data management and visibility, while also ensuring that their data remains accessible and secure,” said Mr Savage. “In fact, IDC predicts that, by 2021, nine in ten businesses worldwide will rely on a mix of private and public clouds, together with legacy platforms to meet their infrastructure needs.”
He also predicts flexible consumption and as-a-service adoption will accelerate rapidly this year. Again, Ireland and Dell are well-positioned for this change.
“One of the biggest hurdles for IT decision-makers driving transformation is resources. In 2020, flexible consumption and as-a-service options will accelerate rapidly, as organisations seize the opportunity to transform into software-defined and cloud-enabled IT,” he said.
“As a result, they’ll be able to choose the right economic model for their business to take advantage of end-to-end IT solutions that enable data mobility and visibility, and crunch even the most intensive AI and machine-learning workloads, when needed.”
Mr Savage’s views on how technologies are driving business change are backed up by vast experience, most notably 31 years with Dell Technologies, in all its various guises. It comes as no surprise to him that so many businesses are now being transformed by their innovative use of AI (artificial intelligence), IoT (internet of things), robotics, and 5G.
“When I was 12 years old, it was already very clear that AI was on the horizon,” says Mr Savage, an engineering graduate of Cork Institute of Technology. “It is here now, and it has introduced greater power in our production and processes. In Cork, we are transforming our operations and manufacturing with IoT, 5G telephony, robotics, and 3D printing.
“We are also very progressive in Limerick. In global terms, we are certainly more than holding our own. In terms of Ireland, we are also on target and moving in the right direction.”
Mr Savage also highlights the strong technology focus of CIT, UL, and other third-level colleges. Staying ahead of any potential skills gaps is very important for Ireland, as it seeks to attract and retain the world’s leading technology companies.
Of course, with data and digital now so central to how every sector of industry operates, having companies like Dell Technologies based here is invaluable to how Ireland is perceived. One example is edge computing, the practice of processing data near the edge of your network, where the data is being generated, instead of in a centralised data-processing warehouse — increasingly a feature of the multi-cloud space, a mix of private and public cloud.
“With edge computing, for instance, a car is connected back to the central computer base. The computing must happen at the edge. We serve customers who have smarter cars that are connected to smarter buildings.
“We also leverage robotics and 3D printers, printing out prototypes to test new products with our customers. We have product offerings from laptop and PC, from gaming right up to data products and cloud — so the customer sees us as a one-stop shop.”
Which leads us to Mr Savage’s final prediction for 2020, that companies will continue to see Dell as an ideal partner, in terms of building awareness of environmental issues into their business strategies.
“Sustainable technology will take centre stage, with organisations increasingly looking to protect the plant,” said Bob Savage. “2020 will see greater investments in reuse and recycling for closed-loop innovation. Hardware will become smaller and more efficient and built with recycled and reclaimed goods.”