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What's In This Podcast
- Industry growth trends during the pandemic
- Digital as a new way of doing business
- Distributed and flexible workplace trends
- Rising threats and enterprise security
- The multi-cloud and edge future
Highlights from the VMware CEO Podcast
Raghuram: Hello, everyone. I'm Raghu Raghuram, CEO of VMware. I'm here today with Crawford Del Prete, who's the president of IDC. Thank you for being here today with me, Crawford, to discuss the changes we see. Clearly, the future we thought we knew has been disrupted and transformed in a big way.
Del Prete: Thanks so much for the opportunity to share some perspectives with you around this extraordinary period that we're operating in.
Raghuram: What I see these days, especially driven by the pandemic, but even regardless of the pandemic, is a more fundamental rethink of, “How do I turn my entire enterprise into a digital enterprise?”
Del Prete: And what we're seeing more and more is companies need to even stop thinking about digital as something separate. They need to think about a new way of doing business.
Raghuram: It is the way of doing business. And that's also causing, I would say, the next wave of both interesting business models and technology innovations as digital meets physical. This is why our business is so fascinating every day. The dimensions constantly keep changing. So, let's look out a few years. What would be the distinct themes that you think we'll be talking about?
Del Prete: A few things. I think we're going to be still talking about the cloud. But we're going to be talking about companies with a level of more cloud interoperability and companies working across clouds. The level of application interdependency only continues to increase.
You're going to put your apps in different cloud instances. So, it's the ability to manage applications across these clouds, manage your data across these clouds, manage multiple cloud instances. This is going to be something we're going to be spending a lot of time talking about.
Raghuram: So app interdependency is a key theme. Multi-cloud is a theme. And distributed data is a key theme. And another part is the distributed workforce, as well. So, where do you think we go from here with respect to distributed work?
Del Prete: I think that this idea of working from anywhere, this idea of being able to work in any instance is really very much the future. I think that work will be different, but it will also be oddly familiar in the future. I think what's really going to change here is the extent that we can apply automation to tasks that people aren't necessarily excited about doing. And the key here is to automate the mundane, and a future workforce needs to take on more sophisticated things. And I think we're going to be talking a lot about this in the future.
Raghuram: I think the combination of remote workforces and remote “everything” means that it's an explosion of concerns around security, right? Where do you see that going?
Del Prete: Let's be very blunt about it. In security, the customer has been forced to be the systems integrator too much of the time. And when the customer is forced to be the systems integrator, they make mistakes, because they really don't understand it. And that complexity is exponentially growing with things like IoT and the distributed edge. So, I think there's a real opportunity for suppliers and integrators to come in and try to create a simplification layer in what's going to become a more and more distributed landscape. And frankly, we see this becoming more of a problem now than it was even a year ago.
Raghuram: The analogy that I use is that if you bought a car and whoever sold you the car said, “Hey, go find anti-lock brakes, alarm systems and theft devices. Go solve them for yourself.” So, that's really the state of where we are in the security business.
Del Prete: This is what people still think of today as something that only big companies can protect themselves from. But I think medium enterprises, government (and) education need to think much more broadly about their data protection strategy. Because your threat landscape is only going to become more complicated as you connect more people and more things.
Raghuram: Let's talk a few minutes about the edge. What do you see as you project out over the next five years?
Del Prete: The edge is exploding. We're seeing people invest in the edge at a very high rate. We think that 50% of new infrastructure that is deployed is deployed at the edge by 2023. You're going to see that this is how we move data closer to the point of decision. And I think what people aren't thinking about is how the edge, by definition, is going to need to be increasingly cloud agnostic.
We believe so much of the infrastructure that's going to be deployed over the next three years is going to have to be at the edge, because it's going to be required for competitiveness. And that's why the edge has to be agnostic. I mean, can you imagine a world where you have to dictate what cloud provider or what environment someone's working on if you want to deliver a service out to that edge? It has to be agnostic.
The podcast conversation and highlighted excerpts have been edited for length and clarity.