A Goldstuck glimpse

The four tech superpowers to watch   

Arthur Goldstuck Arthur Goldstuck


If you want to query which technologies will be big sellers in the near future, there are few better sources than a man who has been intimately involved in some of the best-selling technologies of all time.

Pat Gelsinger, CEO of cloud management software leaders VMware, led the Intel team that developed the 486 processor after he became the chip giant’s first CTO. He was also closely involved with developing the USB drive and WiFi into commercial product categories.

“These are the technologies of my early career that touched more of humanity than any other,” he said during an interview at the VMworld cloud conference in November.

“Now, obviously, it’s cloud and mobility; both have become extraordinarily scalable applications and platforms for industry. In many ways, we’re just getting started. VMware currently runs 60 million workloads, and soon it’s going to be a 100 million. I’m challenging the company to reach a billion."

” These aren’t just success metrics for VMware: the numbers represent the massive acceleration of applications going into the cloud, and the potential for entire categories of on-premise hardware to become redundant. However, it will also mean a rapid increase in the demand for cloud management software, and cloudnative applications.

The channel will need to adapt rapidly to this world in which hardware is minimal, and software is rented and scaled on demand. The good news is that almost entirely new categories of software are emerging, as well as hardware that will be able to take advantage of a more nimble IT infrastructure.

This revolution has already begun, is accelerating fast, and still has tremendous room for new players or those evolving into new areas of technology.

“The four superpowers are cloud, mobile, AI and the Internet of Things. For every one of those, we still have very long runways for acceleration, and they’re causing each other to become more powerful,” said Gelsinger.

“If you have more cloud, you need more computers for AI. If you have more AI, you have more use cases for edge computing and IoT, and that creates more data for the cloud.” It’s almost as if IT becomes self-generating and self-innovating, leading to an explosion in services and use cases.

“We’re in for a very robust decade in technology. Unquestionably, we’re in a phase of acceleration and we’re already feeling the impact. The economic growth rate is an indicator. The growth rate in tech is two times that of GDP around the world, and in enterprise software, it's three times."

” The three sectors that have tended to lag behind in Africa are ripe for taking advantage of this acceleration – and therefore ideal fishing waters for the channel. Said Gelsinger: “Health, education and agriculture. Those are the opportunities where we can leap ahead".

But it doesn’t stop there. It’s potentially open season in every sector.

“The reason is that every business has to become a technology business. I was speaking to a real estate company that said, ‘We were a real estate business that was in technology, but we will eventually be a technology company that is in real estate’. In the same way, banks are beginning to say that they’re a technology business that happens to manage money".

” Little wonder that the man who helped reinvent Intel and re-energise VMware is still enthusiastic about coming to work: “This is my 38th year in tech,” he said, “and I’m as fired up as ever.” 

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