NetReflections With Bruce Davie: Networking, Transformation, and Cultural Shift

NetReflections With Bruce Davie: Networking, Transformation, and Cultural Shift

This is the second in a series of four articles and videos featuring VMware’s Bruce Davie, CTO, APJ, discussing the future of networking and the role of networking in digital transformation.

Organisations embarking on a digital transformation journey are realising that it requires not only technology change but also people and process change. Interestingly enough, the technology transformation may be the easiest of the three, due to the current state of networking.

For most organisations, networking is still hardware-oriented, so changing a network service is traditionally a matter of reconfiguring a router or installing and configuring a new piece of hardware. This is how networking has worked for decades. But according to Bruce Davie, this current way of thinking about networking needs to change for organisations to successfully move to a virtualised networking environment.

A Software Approach

Davie says what organisations need to do is think about networking as a “set of capabilities” that can be deployed wherever the applications run, on whatever infrastructure or development environment is being used. “It’s a software-oriented approach to networking,” Davie says. And because of that, he continues, “there’s a combination of things that have to change.”

On the technology side, the key technologies of network virtualisation that are the foundation for digital transformation are already available, Davie explains, or far along in development. New approaches to networking are moving forward that allow organisations to deploy new  capabilities and services wherever they do the business the most good. It’s the people and processes, the cultural shift, that may be more difficult.

A Cultural Shift

In most organisations, networking is typically siloed from the rest of the IT organisation. But a software approach to networking requires a different mind-set, one in which the organisation thinks in terms of delivering services to the applications that make the business successful.

“That’s a really big cultural shift,” Davie says. And the businesses that are successfully transforming their enterprise, Davie concludes, “are getting there by actually pushing a change of attitude, this change of culture” through their organisations.

View the video below to learn more from Bruce Davie about the state of digital transformation today, and read his Office of the CTO blog post, in which he reflects on his first four months as VMware’s CTO, APJ.