Kathy Gibson at Dell EMC Forum, Sandton – Internet of Things (IoT) is not a thing – it’s a concept.

This is the word from Benjamin Vernooij, from Dell EMC EMEA, who points out that it is about sensors, data, connections and computation/storage, all of which add up to the ability to analyse the environment.

Digital disruption is real, he adds, and IoT is able to radically transform business. “It is important that you think about digital transformation in your business now rather than later.”

More than half of the Fortune 500 companies have vanished since 2000, and mostly because they didn’t plan for digital, Vernooij adds.

“Don’t be afraid to change, to ask the tough questions,” he adds. “Also think of the business case, and look at how to change the business as a whole.”

IoT seems to be on the edge – and this is where things and sensors would be located. But analytics has to happen in the core.

However, the sheer scale of IoT means it is necessary to distribute computation, to put intelligence close to the edge.

“You need to figure out how to deal with all this data that will help your business to transform. How do you filter it at the edge, to make use of first touch analytics, then drive it up into the cloud?”

Vernooij explains how IoT can transform a business, letting it transform from guessing what is happening in the business, to knowing.

“We can get direct data from machines, using gateways for analytics, and get realtime data.”

This means companies can move away from selling capital equipment to selling the outcome as a service.

IoT also help companies to transform from being reactive to being predictive when it comes to issues like management and maintenance.

Vernooij highlights the partnership with South African company IoT.nxt to offer its Raptor software on Dell gateways to create IoT in a box under the Dell brand.

“Dell’s strategy is about making things simpler and more relevant. And this partnership makes it very quick and easy to implement an IoT solution.”

Dell EMC has introduced new edge appliances, adding the Edge Gateway 3000, the Edge Gateway 5000, the Embedded Box 3000 and the Embedded Box 5000.