Sep 29 2020

VMworld 2020: Priorities That Will Lead to Success in the New Normal

Security and the digital workspace need to be front of mind for IT teams.

The importance of being connected has never been greater. At a time when people are encouraged to keep their distance for their own safety, finding ways to remain in touch with others has become a critical aspect of both life and work.

Enabling and protecting those connections is at the center of this year’s all-virtual VMworld 2020. VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger said in his opening keynote that the company has had to look at its work from new perspectives over the past several months.

“We're in the midst of a profound rethink across every dimension of our lives,” he said. “How we care for our sick, how we connect, how we live, how we worship, how we learn and how we work. At the center of this profound rethink is digital innovation.”

Gelsinger acknowledged that IT teams have taken a lead role in moving through these changing times.

“As we navigate this chapter of human history together, many of you are at the forefront of our current environment,” he said.

By keeping key priorities in mind, Gelsinger said that VMware has been able to continue to support its customers despite the rocky waters.

MORE FROM BIZTECH: What to expect from this year's VMworld.

Five Things to Focus on to Remain Productive During Remote Work

From the beginning of the pandemic, Gelsinger said that VMware’s focus was on its customers. Being able to relate their own challenges to those they served helped achieve that.

“In 2020, we've proved to ourselves that empathy plus urgency is a powerful combination,” he said. “Our mantra is simple: Care deeply and act decisively.”

This pushed five priorities to the forefront for VMware: app modernization, multicloud environments, digital workspace, virtual cloud networking and intrinsic security. 

"In the face of uncertainty, we deliver five critical building blocks,” Gelsinger said. “Put it all together: the digital foundation for an unpredictable world.”

Intrinsic Security Is Key to the Future of Work

Being able to protect data and programs is central to any organization. As widespread remote work adds to the number of tools in the IT environment, security can become quite complicated.

“Let's look more closely at our intrinsic security strategy,” Gelsinger said. “The question I hear from all of you is, ‘How do I drive a consistent security posture for all my apps and data?’ That gets harder as you scale across data centers, multiple clouds and to the edge.”

Building security controls directly into that infrastructure can allow apps and data to retain security posture, he said. One new offering from VMware to help address this is Carbon Black Cloud Workload.

“This is a new solution for hardening, configuring and managing your virtual workloads,” Gelsinger said. “We've integrated it natively into vSphere to simplify operations — no agents to install or manage.”

DISCOVER: Learn more about how VMware's solutions are enabling the future of work.

Digital Workspace Is at the Center of Digital Strategy

All IT avenues are leading to digital workspace right now. Networking and cloud decisions are all being made with one thing in mind: How does this enable our employees to work from anywhere?

“We just experienced the largest workforce migration in the history of humanity,” said Gelsinger. “Billions of people switched to a flexible distributed model, and most of us did it overnight. As we blur the boundary between work life and home life, the digital workspace has taken center stage.”

That means making sure the right networking is in place to keep people working, and the answer might not be the same technology that organizations had used in the past, according to Gelsinger.

“As we extend our corporate perimeters to embrace home office networks, it's no secret that VPNs have proved inadequate to better support distributed teams,” he said, adding that businesses can benefit from more creative solutions.

Outside of productivity, it’s also critical to make sure workers are still interacting with their jobs, particularly as the lines between work and home life become more blurred. 

“It's all about increasing employee engagement,” said Gelsinger. “At a time when remote is the new office, employee engagement is everything.”

Follow BizTech's full VMworld coverage here.

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