The Holy Grail of Digital: Speaking with Jason Shepherd of Dell Technologies – Futurum Tech Podcast Interview Series
by Daniel Newman | October 2, 2018

In this inaugural episode of the Futurum Tech podcast interview series, Daniel Newman welcomed guest Jason Shepherd of Dell Technologies. At Dell, Jason is the CTO for IOT and edge computing, so we figured this would be the perfect opportunity to talk about the Holy Grail for both edge computing and IOT. After all, these topics made the list of top digital transformation trends for 2019, so they’re definitely worth a conversation.

During the interview, Daniel and Jason discussed how we’re basically still in the “AOL stage of IOT,” meaning we’re still just getting everything online and connected in general. We’re figuring things out slowly, and we’re realizing that it’s all about the outcome.

And as Jason explained, it no longer makes sense to lock people into the proprietary way of doing things these days. Sure, there are still companies that try to get people to only use their systems, locking them into contracts for high prices. But now we have the maker movement, where providers won’t simply sell to the highest bidder that tries to buy them and make their products proprietary. Instead, there are a bunch of innovators—too many for one company to buy—who truly want to create the best outcome over the lifetime of a product. They succeed by focusing on value while keeping a good pace when it comes to innovation, and that’s the model Dell Technologies has been following.

That brings us to one of Daniel’s big questions in this interview: is IOT overhyped these days? According to Jason, yes. How can he tell? Well, he said when someone is hyping a product or service, they talk more about the technology than the outcome. They’re more excited about having the newest device or concept than having something that’s truly of value to consumers.

Jason pointed out during the interview that you can’t just throw technology at your business problems. You need to have some sort of alignment with it on your quest to get the best outcome. So you have to consider how your solution is going to improve revenue, increase customer satisfaction, decrease churn, and boost employee engagement. Sadly, not all big brands are there yet. Many still talk up the technology instead of the outcomes and customer experiences, and until this stops, you’ll notice a lot of hype.

So moving on to edge computing…why is it important? Jason explained that we need it for latency reasons, meaning we can’t keep expecting to pull data down from the cloud within seconds. Data can be expensive to move around, and security is another concern. Let’s keep all our data closer and more accessible.

And that’s why we can’t succeed with a bunch of silos. According to Jason, we need to work together to combine different standards, without losing the trust that a single brand often has among consumers. Take Amazon, for example. That’s a brand people have come to trust because they get value from it, but it’s taken time to build that trust. It’s hard for people to trust a bunch of different entities these days, but we have to work toward that, because having a single owner of the public’s trust just won’t work anymore.

Doing this will lead to the Holy Grail, which involves monetizing data across complete strangers. And you can’t do that without a boost from technology because you won’t build trust that fast. But the first step is doing everything in an open fashion, which will hopefully lead us to the Holy Grail within the next three to five years.

To wrap up the interview, Daniel asked Jason what his three rules of IOT and edge computing are. He replied that the first one involves dealing with data digestion, security, and management in the most open method from the insights on top. Basically, whoever has the most knowledge and innovation will have the best outcome. Rule number two is to “separate the edge from the cloud as close to the edge as possible.” And rule number three is to separate domain knowledge from technology so you can offer the right outcome.

You can hear more of Daniel’s questions and Jason’s answers about IOT and edge computing when you listen to this episode of the Futurum Tech podcast interview series!


Daniel Newman: What is the holy grail for IOT and edge computing? Find out now on this inaugural edition of Futurum Tech podcast, the interview series.

Welcome to Futurum Tech podcast, the interview series. I’m Daniel Newman, principal analyst at Futurum Research. We are excited to kick this series of interviews off with Dell Technologies’ Jason Shepherd. Jason is the CTO for IOT and edge computing at Dell Technologies. Jason, welcome to the show.

Jason Shepherd: Yeah, thank you, I’m glad to be here. Thanks for having me.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, you and I have had the chance just recently at VMworld to have a really great conversation, and you inspired me to not only bring you on the show, but to really want to explore this concept of the holy grail for IOT and edge computing. And we’re gonna come around to that throughout this show, but over the next 15 or 20 minutes, I want to pick your brain. And I want you to share not only with me, but of course with this audience, some of the ideas that we had the chance to talk about during VMworld. And before we get into some of these deeper questions, Jason, I want to just start with you talking a little bit about the state of IOT.

However, just real quickly, for everybody out there, can you go ahead and just introduce, tell everyone a little more? ‘Cause I know I gave them your title, but I want to make sure everybody knows everything you’re doing at Dell, which is quite a bit.

Jason Shepherd: Yeah, so I’ve been doing … I mean, IOT is really embedded computing hitting scale for a variety of factors that we’ll talk through, and then we want to get into advanced class, including the holy grail, as you mentioned. But I’ve been doing this for a while at Dell, built up our original partner program, really looked at, how does this landscape come together? My role as CTO is how do we drive massive scale in markets? This is where the big money is. And how do we drive, as part of that, more interoperability into the market? ‘Cause interoperability breeds scale. And we’ll talk a little bit more about why as we go, but so as CTO, I own our engineered solutions roadmap, I own our market and technology strategy, as part of that we’re looking at new business model innovation, you know, creative new ways to make money. Of course managed services, but there’s also things around ensuring outcomes, performance-based contracts, things like that.

And then also I have a set of solution architects that we’re hiring from various industries, with manufacturing, oil and gas, whatever, that work with strategic customers to get these ideas out there and help drive new outcomes.

Daniel Newman: So IOT, edge computing are huge topics. Just recently in the top digital transformation trends post I did for 2019, IOT and edge were two of the leading trends that I identified. And obviously so much about these edge and IOT growth that is leading to also the proliferation of machine learning, AI, high-performance computing, this all really does tie together. But with IOT and edge being your baby, talk a little bit about what’s going on in that space. Both how you see it individually, and then of course the perspective from Dell Technologies.

Jason Shepherd: Yeah, so IOT, like I said, embedded computing hitting scale. I mean, a lot of these things have been done for a long time, usually … edge computing, of course, we’re talking about more and more. You just can’t possibly send all this sensor data from new actors on the Internet or broader networks, more generally speaking, all to one location. It just doesn’t really work. And so I like to say we’re in the AOL stage of IOT, just getting things online in scale. And a lot of people talk about IOT in terms of the widgets, all the technologies. Of course, it’s ultimately about the outcome. Is there reason to add risk and complexity to my life to get business value? So first and foremost, I mean, a lot of processes out there were never connected to broader networks because they were just running and doing their thing. But of course the power here is to connect things up, maybe first for some monitoring, and then maybe some analytics on top of that, and then automating action, your more true AI type stuff.

But in terms of current state, I joke it’s the AOL stage. Also, a lot of people talk about it as “Oh, it’s cheap sensors, it’s ubiquitous connectivity, it’s the rise of the cloud. That’s IOT.” Sure, but it’s also about the maker movement as much as anything else. It used to be if I was a manufacturing-focused provider or any kind of building automation, transportation systems, whatever, the name of the game was to lock you into my proprietary way of doing things so the switching costs are really high, and then I provide these big, kind of service-based contracts for all my stuff. But with the maker movement … oh, and whenever a startup came along and threatened my way of life, I’d buy you up and I’d kill you off. And that’s how it works. It’s been that way for a long time.

But with the maker movement, there’s not enough money in the world to buy up all the innovators. And so that’s why IOT and edge and just digital overall now, digital transformation, you have to change or you will die. It’s just a fact. And so the new world is about outcomes, it’s about a new mindset, it’s about how do you … you look at the cumulative value over the lifetime of a product or service that you offer and the pace of innovation at which you can deliver that product or service, and stay ahead of your competition. This is what it’s about, and so IOT, while it’s a little early in terms of the buzz sense of the scale factor, this is a major catalyst for digital transformation because all data is originated in the physical world, whether it’s by a user or a thing. And with exponential growth of things, there’s a whole new slew of opportunity out there. And so while we’re a little early, this is when the winners are made. And the winners are gonna be made by people focusing on the value and outcomes, and not reinventing the middle and the plumbing. And that’s why we’re doing things in a very open way at Dell Technologies. So it’s really about the pace of innovation and focusing on the value around the wheel.

Daniel Newman: I love that you mention the sort of misperception or the overall market about cheap sensors and more devices. Everybody loves to put their counts, X billions of devices will be connected by a year number. As an analyst, I think our field is obsessed with those metrics. I also have read numerous people talking about this, Jason, and it blows my mind how people are overlooking some of the bigger details, security, privacy, the implications of bringing all these devices online, the importance of these devices being more than cheap sensors, and the additional computing power required either at the device level or at the edge, which are gonna be two areas that are gonna need a lot more discussion, because merely sensors and putting more devices online itself really doesn’t deliver a whole lot of value.

Which lends me to the next question, right? So there’s tons of hype right now about IOT. It’s all the buzz, it’s all the rage. Recently a fruit company that makes computers launched a new watch, wearable. And it was focused highly on healthcare and promoting it as a wearable for, an IOT wearable for healthcare. And that was really popular and well received in media. But isn’t this just hype? Is IOT being over-hyped, or is this really the rage? And maybe can you speak a little bit to both sides?

Jason Shepherd: Yeah, so short answer is, yes, it’s being over-hyped, and when it’s over-hyped, it’s when people are talking about the underlying solutions that are looking for problems versus starting with the outcomes that you could achieve, that these technologies help with. I mean, obviously healthcare, a major push out there. One of the challenges in healthcare or any other industry is the trust, of who owns the data. And so this is a limiting factor, there’s the privacy concerns that you mentioned. And we’ll come back to that, but just around over-hyping of this market, talk about hype, blockchain, ledger techno. That’s really hyped right now. IG, way over-hyped as a panacea to solve the world. All of these different tech trends, even AI, a lot of people that do basic controls, like rules engines, are saying, “Oh, I do artificial intelligence.” Well, not really.

Anyway, they’re all very important. You do have to watch out for the hype, and you can tell when someone’s hyping something, is when they’re talking more about the technology than they’re talking about the outcome. When you talk about outcomes and you have very good reasons in terms of business reasons or something around consumer or customer end-user experience and you’re talking about value received, then it’s valuable. And it’s not then just about IOT, it’s about digital overall, and all these different technologies. So let’s talk about outcomes. You know, we’re seeing incredible growth in different areas from Dell Tech, and we can talk a lot of our partners. We’re about the infrastructure and doing it in a massively scalable way and an open way. We also work with a lot of partners that bring that kind of domain knowledge from, this is all about domain knowledge riding on a more common infrastructure, a long-term. And we’re seeing all kinds of value, where I’m delivering business value, in like cold-chain retail, where I can help a grocery save power but also still make sure that they protect their brand in terms of food safety, and they make sure that they have good food quality.

We’ve got people that are like well whisperers, they help you driving around with trucks, stopping at a oil well and opening the door and listening for like two seconds to say “Yep, that sounds right,” and then driving off to the next well in the middle of nowhere. We’ll put some technology out there and monitor this stuff. And we’re seeing this across the board, but that’s because you’re focusing on addressing an outcome. Now, those are generally speaking, there’s some customer experience stuff in there, those are more what I call defensive measures. Save costs, improve quality, reduce safety issues. Those are more defensive.

Jason Shepherd: What people really want, which kind of leads to the holy grail conversation we’ll have, is the offensive measures. Make money. When you look at outcomes, there’s only so far you can cut costs. When you start talking about making new money, your new business models, new revenue streams, improving your brand, driving new customer experiences, whatever, the sky is the limit. And so that’s why we’re very interested in stuff, and get past the hype, focus on solving some key problems. Usually it’s defensive up front, whether it’s surveillance or loss prevention in retail, you know, the cold-chain logistics that I mentioned. OEE, so overall equipment effectiveness on a manufacturing line. Your predictive maintenance is a key thing, although a lot of people talk about it but few people do it. That’s where domain knowledge comes in, by the way. There’s hundreds of IOT who say that say they do pretty good maintenance, but guess what? Never done it, they don’t have 20 years of failure patterns from rotating machinery that some domain expert has. Those folks, working with more common technologies, is how you solve those problems.

But anyway, so we’re doing a lot of defensive, kind of saving costs, driving new efficiencies etc. You’ve still got to manage around the people issues and the fear of security and all this stuff like that, but what people really want is the make new money, new pools of money, and stay ahead that way. So yeah, you know, hyped, but there’s a lot of value, so you’ve just got to focus on the value.

Daniel Newman: It’s funny how much what you’re talking about aligns with the principles of Future Proof, which was the last book we wrote, that talked about the key pillars of digital transformation, and when we talk about tech, Jason, we always say that you can’t throw technology at business problems, you have to have an alignment of the technology. And when you’re digitally transforming, it really comes down to how is it helping us drive revenue, improve profitability, reduce customer churn and increase satisfaction and then of course drive greater levels of employee engagement. And so what you sort of just did there, which was really great, is you kind of took the microcosm of these two specific technologies and you outlined it. It’s got to be business outcome focused.

And until the media and the analysts and the brands, the technology companies themselves, stop talking about what the technology does and starts talking about the outcomes and the business and the customer experiences that these new technologies are creating, it’s going to continue to feel like hype. And that might just be something to do with the world of a 24 hour news cycle and endless social media, but brands are really missing this somewhat.

So I want to talk a little bit about getting to these outcomes. So for a lot of companies, and we’re talking about whether these are cities, organizations, banks, healthcare, all the different verticals that you’re focused on, I know there’s six or seven that you guys are really digging into right now, what are some of the limitations of these companies to get on this path you’re talking about?

Jason Shepherd: Yeah, so I mean, I would say that the number one and number two challenges in IOT and really digital overall, edge, you name it, any technology, it’s nothing to do with technology. So number one, it’s business case. We’ve been talking about that. The outcome, it’s the value, why. And then the number two problem, it’s people. I joke that the OT/IT diagram, at every IOT conference, you see some version of this Venn diagram of these two groups coming together. It is real, and the OT folks are historically, ’cause it’s cultural, in a sense.

OT folks, historically, have been about uptime and quality and reliability and, “My process is running and don’t touch it,” and, “I do security by obscurity. I do not connect my process up to broader networks, much less the internet, ’cause that’s scary, because if I have a breach in the OT world, it means immediate loss of production or life.”

Meanwhile, on the IT side, I’ve got things like scalability, manageability, governance, privacy. I like to say that IOT starts in OT but scales in IT, and this is why it’s important that these groups work together. It doesn’t mean that they always have to work together, but we encourage it. We’re building new things out in an open way that doesn’t matter who owns it. You can meet the needs of both organizations, including around security. Like I mentioned, the security in OT is very important, because the losses are immediate. In IT, a security breach, and it’s not a matter of when you’re going to get breached, it’s when, it’s how you handle it, and how you have the right technologies to know quickly and handle it.

In IT, a security breach, take like a credit card breach, numbers breach, play out over very, very long time. In IT, I can immediately shut down the system, generally speaking, and, “Sorry you couldn’t get your sports scores or your Facebook, your email today.” You cannot immediately shut down processes in the physical world, and that’s why you want infrastructure that comprehends the differences and the needs. So this is why we think it’s a very bad idea to go with a bunch of different IOT platforms that are mixing together security management features along with the applications. Gee, when’s the last time your ERP system managed your underlying applications? Or the PC that connect to it, not the applications.

But you know, you don’t do that. And so you want to separate out that infrastructure, have it manage the needs and kind of play to the concerns of these different organizations, culturally, so that you can scale it out from there. So there is where technology can help with a culture problem, in that sense. And again, it’s talking about the outcome, talking about the real problem, then have technology help it. It should always be what’s driving progress, and not necessarily leading it, in that sense.

Then once you get past that, of course, security is a challenge. Now, I also always talk about, when I talk about security, most of the breaches you see with IOT devices are because almost no security was applied. Everyone talks about the breach at the big department store chain. Guess what? Someone had lost their credentials and someone logged straight in, and the problem was that they didn’t segment the networks properly, and so you’d go straight through the HVAC system to the payment system. That could have been prevented.

The problem last year, millions of cameras got turned into bots that did a DDOS attack on the backend networks and took down the net up in the Northeastern US. Eight to 20, I’ve heard different reports, eight to 20 credentials got into all those cameras, because the developers made it too easy to change, or not even change, the password. Just return instant gratification, return, return, return. So first off, change your password, second off, had you had some smarts at the edge close to those cameras that said, “Wait a minute, this traffic is all off,” you would have shut it down at the source.

This is why you want edge computing. One of the reasons. You want it for latency reasons. I don’t care how fast your airbag is, or how fast the cloud is, you don’t deploy your airbag from the cloud and the network in between.

Bandwidth consumption, it’s expensive to move data around, but then security, you want smarts close to the physical world to address those fears and the concerns around security then the access management, trust, encryption, threat detection etc.

So again, it’s starting with the value, it’s looking at the culture and kind of the people side, and then using technologies to address those problems. Then I can deliver value. Of course, then you bring in analytics and all the other fun stuff. This is how we look at it, we’re very much focused on the big picture and how does it all come together.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, so you brought up a number of good points, and you did make me laugh. I remember reading that story about those cameras, and how many of them either were password password or admin password or no password, and people literally set them up and never changed them. It’s just mind-boggling to me that these are IT professionals that don’t think they’re going to expose their networks by adding devices and not modifying passwords or adding password control.

Jason Shepherd: Right, that and consumers that have this false sense of security. Yeah, this is why security is a very big issue, but also the tools are there, generally speaking. Now, what I always talk about when I say security, if you know what you’re doing, you can totally secure these solutions. Would I trust hooking up my nuclear plant willy-nilly to the cloud? Maybe not. That’s why you do analytics on prem, and a lot of places want to do analytics on prem. At the same time, the tools are there. You can use data diodes that only let data go one way, you know? So there’s a lot of stuff that you can do.

But it’s about security usability. You have to balance the ease of setting stuff up with security, or then bad things happen. Password password or admin password, whatever.

Daniel Newman: It’s just it really is pretty crazy. But yeah, you were right, the consumers are a big part of the problem. Like you said, that false sense of security is a big part of it, and that kind of, still, there’s a little a bit of that mentality. “It’s not going to happen to me, it’s going to happen to someone else,” and that happens with individuals and that happens with organizations, and that’s how some of the biggest organizations in the world are getting hacked and getting plagued, ’cause they’re just not considering everything.

Jason Shepherd: Complaint and they are missing some of that stuff. Sorry, go ahead.

Daniel Newman: No, I just want to, you know, we have a little less than ten minutes left here, and I’ve got a couple of intriguing questions, comments for you. When we spoke, one of the things that has really stuck with me was, you know, there’s a lot of talk about the hardware. You mention the OT/IT debates, you mentioned the adding sensors and being able to collect data everywhere, and that’s kind of the popular rhetoric right now, for edge and IOT. But one of the things that you talked to me about that really started turning the mouse and wheel up in my head was about the new opportunities, the opportunities that a lot of companies aren’t exploring, but with data being the new oil, the new resource, the new asset, it isn’t just about collecting data.

Talk a little bit about, you know, some of the other opportunities that industries have with this movement to IOT and edge.

Jason Shepherd: Yeah, and in talking about that, I’ll mention a little bit more among current state, but quickly lead into that. So a lot of people out there, of course, there’s been advanced control systems for some time, M2M, you name it, whatever it is, people doing sensor driven analytics for sometime. This is the scale factor that we’re now looking at. But when you get into scales, there’s a lot of people just getting started out, and I joke they’re in pie in the sky mode, where they take some sort of Raspberry Pi class device and they hook it up to some public cloud, not really thinking about anything other than just getting started. Which makes sense, you’ve got to start somewhere.

I like to call, I’ve got a lot of sayings, if you haven’t noticed, I like to call, when a cloud or some kind of backend platform gives you a developer kit, a dev kit, that’s locked into their platform, which is pretty much all developer kits today, they’re an IOT gateway drug. Basically, they want to lock you in to their platform, so they make it really easy to start using my platform, and then the problem with getting locked in so early is that we’re just scratching the surface on how do we get to the true potential of IOT? A system of systems. And so the investments Dell is making a lot of companies are coming in, great stuff, you know, EdgeX Foundry is a project that’s all about driving vendor neutral interoperability between devices and applications at the edge. It’s more about the APIs that are just enough to bind together value add, and not proprietary offerings, because we need greater interoperability for bigger scale. With scale creates a bigger stage, a bigger stage produces a better show.

But of course, like you said, it’s not just about interoperability, so we’re trying to combat the gateway drugs with open interoperability. That just helps people out. Let’s focus on the outcomes, etc. So that’s kind of like baseline. When you’re in pie in the sky mode, I want to help you get started with an EdgeX based dev kit that gives you choice. There’s a lot of great stuff happening with the cloud. Not saying otherwise. I just think it’s bad to get locked in too soon, ’cause you need to have interoperability for just the base, but then also advanced class. So when you get into advanced class, you know, those new outcomes you were asking about, this is about the system of systems, the true potential of digital or IOT, edge, whatever you want to call it. You can certainly include your ledger technologies and AI, it’s all related. Mobile, social, eCommerce. We don’t talk about eCommerce anymore, of course. We’re not going to talk about IOT in five years. We just go buy stuff online. Things are more prevalent on the internet. Okay, great.

How about outcome?

But when you get to the advanced class, it starts to really become about trust, and so when you look at consumers, consumers generally build trust with entities that give them value, and when you get value, your privacy goes out the window. Amazon, great example. I mean, we called Amazon maybe the first winner of consumers like four years ago. That’s why we didn’t focus there ’cause there’s great value with the relationship you have with Amazon. Amazon has an impact out there, and I have a first name relationship with my UPS driver, but it’s about that trust factor. Your Facebook; sometimes, the trust is violated. But, people see value in Instagrams, all that kind of different stuff.

But, consumers place trust in brands that they get value from, et cetera. In the business world, for everything else, business to business, business even to consumer, B2B, smart cities, you cannot have any single owner of the trust. It doesn’t work.

So, all of these clouds that are doing their gateway drugs and trying to lock people into their clouds thinking that if I can lock you in, then I can make money off of your data, if you let me. It’s completely opposite of what you should be doing. What you need to be doing is setting the data free in the physical world. All data is created in the physical world, and using technology to bring cheques back from total strangers. This is the scale factor.

And so, when I talk about the Holy Grail, increasingly, and we’ve been going this for four years strategically working with those technologies, working with a bunch of partners. You know, this is about it takes a village. there’s some new projects we’re working with together out there. IIC. All these consorting efforts, they matter, because it’s about bringing people together around just enough plumbing to realize the true potential.

We can’t do this with a bunch of silos. When I say Holy Grail, I mean I want to be able to monetize data. Data’s obvious. Resources. This is anything consumable; compute, storage, networking, energy, et cetera. Or services; my domain knowledge, my ability, my consulting, my ability to consult. Monetize those things across complete strangers; total people I’ve never met before. This is scale. So, this is the Holy Grail.

So, data, resources and services to people you never met. You cannot do that without technology’s help because you can’t build trust fast enough. You can’t have any single owner of the trust. And so, if you take root of trust down to the silicon level, so things like TPM or trust from a bunch of different players, or creating things. We’re working together increasingly on how do we make that pervasive.

You take open defacto standards, like EdgeAx you know cranos that’s emerging. Other projects. A lot of good stuff out there, but you gotta work together. You combine some different standards around protocols and you can make this happen with everything under the sun, but there’ll never be one protocol.

You combine that with ledger technologies. I pick on Blockchain. I call it one of the Windexes of technology, if you’ve ever seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding you know what I mean. Same with edgy. You combine all that stuff together with some AI for context, and I could literally create data in the physical world, send it off into the ether and collect cheques from complete strangers. This is where we’re headed. This is the Holy Grail.

My thing with what we’re doing with this open approach, is the only way you can there is an open approach, so you have no single owner of that pervasive, intrinsic trust. You get to the scale factor. This is why we’ve been doing what we’ve been doing. A lot of great folks working with us across the industry, on these types of open projects, like EdgeAx and the like.

And, I want you to get started and find the sky mode, so yeah, this sounds like crazy stuff, but it’s happening. Look out there. You do some research as a listener. You’ll see people already starting to do this with ledger technologies and other technologies with it.

I want to get you started when you’re in pie in the sky mode, and you’re just getting going with your solution, trying to find your outcome in a very easy way. But, that first step; doing it in the open fashion, is also the first step towards on the path to the Holy Grail that will happen over probably about three to five years.

And so, you can have your cake and eat it too. This is why open really matters, and why we want to get to that Holy Grail over time.

Anyway, so you get my going, I could go on forever, so I’ll pause there.

Daniel Newman: Well, I gotta keep to you about 30 minutes, Jason. But, frankly, I think it’s actually a tremendously exciting story. As an analyst, I have the benefit of talking to knowledge organizations and a lot of people who are either the innovators or the strategy, or at least the executors of the innovation.

And, the story you told was different, and that was why, for everyone out there listening to this episode of Futurum Tech Podcast interview series, I thought it was so important to bring you on, Jason, because there is so much hype and so much speculation around IOT edge computing, the influence that it’s going to have on the future.

But, I do feel, as a guy who attends tech conferences around the world, we are still talking too much about technology. We’re talking too much about closed platforms, or not so much hyper-convergence in the sense of infrastructure, but hyper-convergence in these cloud providers asking people to turn everything over to a single provider.

You will see, I am a huge proponent for multi cloud, because companies need to have flexibility. Because, they don’t even know, Jason. This is something I think you would probably agree with. They really don’t even know all the uses that are gonna potentially come up with this data that they’re collecting, and they really are only beginning to understand the potential that comes from this data and from making significant investments in IOT and at the edge.

Jason Shepherd: Right. Yeah. And so, I know we’re kind of at time.

I totally agree. That’s why we talk about this stuff, and Holy Grail sounds far fetched, but you get on the path.

My three rules of IOT are really edge computing. Number one, the couple, the underlying infrastructure, security, management, data digestion in this open way from the insights on top. Eventually, even analytics become more infrastructure that the fundamental tools, at least.

There’ll be specialty stuff, but then it’s whoever’s the most innovative, the best services, the best data science, who has the best algorithm, that’s who wins. It’s the main knowledge.

So, rule number two, separate the edge from the cloud as close to edge as possible, so now all permutations, ’cause you don’t know, like you said, multi cloud is important. Multi-edge is important. All permutations work if you control your data’s destiny from the moment the data’s created, and eventually, you get to the Holy Grail.

Number three, separate all domain knowledge from technology. It’s important. Remember I said that predictive maintenance for example. You need people that know their industries that have been there, done that. You don’t need that heart coupled to the technology. You need that to ride above the right technologies to deliver the right outcome, so, and then it starts crossing over between home and consumer and enterprise and auto and brick and mortar and all that.

This is the scale factor. Let’s talk about this, but also be practical about how we go to get there.

Daniel Newman: Jason, that’s a tremendous was to wrap this episode of Futurum Tech Podcast: the Interview Series. Three rules for IOT and at the edge. We’ll make sure to share all these details in the show notes, and we’ll get this out there.

Jason Shepherd, CTO for ITO and Edge at Dell technologies. Thank you so much for spending the last 30 minutes or so sharing your knowledge with everyone out there, and I look forward to following very closely all the moves that Dell Technologies is making in ITO and Edge. And, I will have to bring you back in a few years to see if you’ve got the Holy Grail right.

Jason Shepherd: That’s right. Yeah.

Daniel Newman: And what is actually in that Holy Grail.

Jason Shepherd: Yeah, in the meantime, I’ll watch a lot of Monty Python, but it’s cool.

Daniel Newman: And, your obscure references; I did not miss them, and I’m hoping that the listeners enjoyed them. So, thank you for that.

Jason Shepherd: If we’re at time, then I can say, lately, if you’re ever watching Mr. Mom, the old move from the 80’s with Michael Keaton, lately I’ve been saying, with [inaudible 00:29:05] doing the south to drop off, north to pick up, with the kids at school, and the lady comes out. “Hi Jack, I’m Annette. You’re doing it wrong.” ‘Cause a lot of people are doing it wrong, right now. You’ve gotta flip it around.

Daniel Newman: 220, 221, whatever it takes.

Jason Shepherd: Whatever it takes.

Daniel Newman: But, thanks everybody out there for listening to this episode of Future in Tech: the Interview Series. Come back soon. Stick with us. Follow us. And join us on iTunes for now. Daniel Newman [crosstalk 00:29:33] at Futurum research. We’re outta here. But, we’ll talk to you very soon.

Outro: Thank you for joining us on this week’s Futurum Tech Podcast: the Interview Series. Please be sure to subscribe to us on iTunes each and every week as we bring more interviews and more shows from our weekly Futurum Tech Podcast.

About the Author

Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. Read Full Bio