"Data economy" worth trillion dollars, says Michael Dell

Michael Dell, the founder and CEO of Dell, recently spoke to the Telegraph's Sophie Curtis about the PC market, something called the “post-PC era”, as well as the financial value and potential of data.

The “post-PC era” is a term Apple executives, both late Steve Jobs and the current CEO Tim Cook, like to use to describe the trend in which PC sales are dropping as laptops, smartphones, phablets and tablets take over.

Dell seems to believe there is no such thing, as the PC market, at least for his company, is still going strong.

“The post-PC era has been great for the PC. When the post-PC era started there were about 180m PCs being sold a year and now it’s up to over 300m, so I like the post-PC era,” he said.

“For the last 11 quarters in a row, we’ve been gaining share in PCs. Last year we outgrew HP and Lenovo. It’s a business with an installed base of 1.8bn PCs, 600m of them are more than four years old, and as we create new beautiful, thin, powerful PCs that are better than the thing you bought five years ago, people will replace the old ones.”

He also talked about the cloud – a series of giant warehouses of data people access to use their favourite apps, do shopping, banking and stream music and communicate. Powerful computers can use the data cloud generates to crunch big numbers and help businesses create better products and services.

Mr Dell believes that this so-called “data economy” is the next big opportunity for the technology industry, which is why he is investing $67bn (£44bn) in data storage provider EMC — the biggest technology takeover in history.

“It used to be PCs and smartphones; now you have tablets and sensors and cars spinning out all kinds of telemetry data, and all kinds of machines and products and services becoming digital products,” he said. “Within all of those devices, you have a thousand times more applications, and the data is very rich.

“If you look at companies today, most of them are not very good at using the data they have to make better decisions in real time. I think this is where the next trillion dollars comes from for our customers and for our industry.”