Wanted: Champions of the Cloud mobile era

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger outlines the raft of challenges IT teams will face today and over the next five years.

Exactly a year after taking on the top role at VMware, Pat Gelsinger says the period of disruption has become greater, and warns, the “fastest will win”.

The four trends of social, mobile, Cloud and Big Data are affecting consumer and business IT, says Gelsinger.

These four trends– which research firm IDC calls the ‘third platform’ – “are feeding and touching each other”, said Gelsinger in his keynote at the 10th VMworld conference in San Francisco. “Everything that happens has one or more of these [trends] underway.”

At the same time, he says, Gartner notes 30 percent of IT budgets today are going to new innovation. The goal is to go from “IT ball and chain to apps as a service”, in order to liberate resources to drive innovation.

“It is all about applications that we are building to enable applications for business,” says Gelsinger, who was chief operating officer of EMC, VMware’s parent company, prior to his CEO post. “Enterprise apps are becoming more like consumer apps.”

Related: CEO Pat Gelsinger wants VMware to be the 'Apple' of IT operations and infrastructure

Gelsinger says the challenge for IT is to be “champions of the mobile cloud era.”

He asks, “Who will build this next generation IT in the mobile cloud era?”

“No one is delivering close to the value you have delivered for IT and the business in the past decade.”

“You have rewired IT, you have done it with incredible cost savings and greater agility," says Gelsinger. “You’re poised to rewire, transform IT again and again.”

Gallery: VMworld 2013 in photos

He lists three ‘imperatives’ for IT infrastructure to take: First is virtualisation, “the most powerful tool of the decade of IT”. The task is to extend it beyond the computing platform to include storage and networking, he says. Second, is for IT management to give way to automation and the third is “compatible hybrid clouds”.

Gelsinger says in five years, social, mobile, cloud and big data will still be major forces and will simultaneously disrupt consumer IT.

He notes, however, how some organisations are “operating a lot of things they don’t need to, low value things they are not getting value from.”

Gelsinger says the organisation must determine what they are good at and what differentiates them. Those that do not provide these, they should “get out of”.

The CEO's job is not only to state where the company is going and but also where it is not. Sometimes, the latter is more important, he states.

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