VMware is a company that still holds server virtualization as its core innovation, but it has evolved significantly over the years. At VMware's VMworld conference today, CEO Pat Gelsinger took the macro-viewpoint to explain to attendees what he thinks is required to be successful.
For Gelsinger, there are five key imperatives to success in the modern digital economy:
1) Asymmetry in Business
Gelsinger's first trend is all about disruption. The concept of asymmetry in business is about startups entering established markets and attacking the incumbents.
Gelsinger said that with cloud technologies there is now a vast pool of easily accessible resources available for a startup to get up and running quickly. While startups can be innovative, Gelgsinger noted that established companies can be innovative too, and that's where the asymmetry comes into play.
"This is the best time in history to be a challenger to the status quo," Gelsinger said.
2) It's the Professional Era of Cloud
Cloud isn't just about utility computing anymore in Gelsinger's view; it's now about hybrid application computing. That's part of VMware's own vision at VMworld 2015, where the company is pushing its unified cloud approach.
Gelsinger explained that applications exist in both private and public clouds, and pieces can all be brought together in a unified approach through common networking and security controls.
"The unified hybrid cloud is the future," Gelsinger said.
Security is a core underpinning of both success and failure in the modern digital economy. Do it wrong and you end up like the U.S. Government's Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which was recently breached — a breach that included Gelsinger's own information. Gelsinger emphasized that security exists to protect both people and data.
In Gelsinger's view, virtualization provides the right environment for security and sits in the middle of hardware and software, allowing for the precise alignment of security.
"Virtualization allows us to build trusted services on untrusted environments," Gelsinger said.
4) Automated Everything
With orchestration engines, portable workloads and improved analytics, Gelsinger emphasized that to be successful today, it's important to automate everything.
5 ) Take Risks
The status quo and not doing anything isn't a viable option for success in the modern digital economy. In Gelsinger's view, in the modern economy, taking risks has become the lowest risk.
"You must break out to remain relevant," Gelsinger said.