Joe Baguley Interview

Joe Baguley is Chief Technical Officer EMEA and Vice-President for VMware, although he jokingly also refers to himself as the ‘Chief Talking Officer’ as this seems to be the most pivotal part of what his role involves.

We caught up with Joe after our Define Tomorrow™ event where he gave a keynote speech discussing virtualisation and how ease of use for the end-user must be the first priority when it comes to designing enterprise-level software. 

So, Joe. What would you say are the biggest challenges facing IT departments today? And how can they be alleviated?

“That’s a big question! I think keeping up with users is the biggest challenge, it used to be keeping up with the business but times have changed. It’s tracking their needs and what they need to do. It’s about facing the users rather than facing the business, as I said in my presentation.”

It terms of security, is it always the user who is the weakest link?

“Most definitely, it’s humans who are the weakest link. The majority of major security breaches you see, are human hacking of some sort. So, what you’re looking at now, is the fact that we used to trust users – but now we need to not trust users in the same way. But doing it in a way that’s ‘a nice way’. Rather than just attempting to secure the device, we need to assume that the device is already compromised, and that the security of the user is already compromised, but still work out how they can do their job in that scenario.”

What should business leaders start doing now, to try and future-proof their systems?

“I think they just need to make sure, that any decisions they make now, don’t lock them in to any particular thing. I think historically we’ve had this problem of ‘lock-in’ but now, openness and choice is really important. The flexibility to take advantage of new technical advances is actually typically hampered by previous decisions, but also people and processes so the other thing is making sure that you introduce a mind-set of flexibility and a mind-set of agility in your people which is very important.”

Do you think in the future bring your own device (BYOD) will be the way all office workers operate?

“I think it’s not necessarily bring your own device, it’s about variety of devices. Who actually owns the device ends up being irrelevant in some cases, whether I bought my laptop or the company bought my laptop doesn’t matter, I still want it to be my thing. I don’t want it to be someone else’s thing, it’s that perception.

For example the company bought the laptop but it’s my build my software and what I do on it. And I then interact with corporate systems like that as opposed to previous thinking that the company bought the laptop so it’s their build and their software. I think that’s the mind-set change here, it’s a multitude of devices and the ownership becomes very blurry.”

This is obviously a Define Tomorrow™ event, but rather than tomorrow what about next year? What will we be talking about at the next in 12 months time?

“Haha, if I told you that I’d have to kill you! I think there will be a lot more conversations about how the emergence of AI is affecting our industry. A lot more about Internet of Things, which should really starting to pervade strategies, rather than just pervading marketing books. I think those are probably the two headliners now.”

To catch up on Joe’s full presentation from November 2016’s Define Tomorrow watch the video below.

The rest of the content from Define Tomorrow including other keynote presentations, webinar recordings, a solutions exchange and more, head over to our on-demand virtual event.