Dom Delfino is VMware’s senior vice president of worldwide sales and systems engineering for the software-defined data center. He spends about 75 percent of his time on the road meeting with customers, channel partners, and ecosystem partners. According to Delfino, the practical realities associated with incorporating cloud technologies have now reached the enterprise, and that’s a good thing.
“Cloud reality has set in for our customers,” says Delfino. “A lot of times when technology is first emerging, it’s in the hype cycle: ‘What it’s going to be?’ ‘What’s it going to do?’ The value to the customer is still being vetted by the market.”
Delfino recently sat down with Eric Nielson, senior director of marketing at VMware, to discuss the significant challenge many companies face in both running their current business and also disrupting it at the same time. Listen to their full conversation below.
“For a lot of people, the legacy business is what’s holding them back,” says Delfino. “The maintenance and resources required to continue the operation of the legacy environment—because it’s running the businesses—is significant. And at the same time there is an urgency to innovate. It’s a challenge for everyone, but everyone has the same challenge.”
“And when I’m talking to companies, what surprises me most are two words: ‘I can’t.’ Of course you can, and you must.”
Delfino clarifies that it’s not only the technological learning curve necessitated by new technologies. He points out that there is a body of evidence about the adoption of breakthrough innovations. At first, new innovations are not completely understood by the market, but as adoption increases and customers reference peers, new technologies often lead customers to opportunities or market positions they didn’t think they could achieve. However, in order to be successful, organizational behaviors need to shift in tandem with adoption.
Disruption Is Inevitable
Delfino studied automotive engineering in college and thought he’d pursue a career designing cars. His career took a different path but is now coming full circle.
“Look at the disruption of the automobile industry because of the self-driving car,” he says.
“More and more businesses are becoming technology companies. If you’re in the insurance business, you’re really in the technology business. If you’re in the financial services business, you’re in the technology business. You’re delivering your products, your services, your customer satisfaction through technological means now.”
“Ultimately, this is the pecking order we live in. The business requirements define the application requirements, and the application requirements define the infrastructure requirements,” says Delfino. “Don’t let complacency become an issue. When things are going well in your business, that’s the time to innovate and change and push the envelope.”