3 min read

At RADIO 2023, the Future We Make Is Closer Than Ever

Kit Colbert

If there’s one word that has defined VMware since its founding 25 years ago, it’s innovation. As a startup, we burst onto the scene with groundbreaking virtualization solutions. As a global name, we went on to provide ubiquitous cloud infrastructure and have been leading the way in the multi-cloud era and beyond with the same disruptive spirit—a spirit that will be flowing this week at our annual Research and Development Innovation Offsite, more commonly known as RADIO.

While RADIO doesn’t offer the splashy, high industry visibility and customer-focused experience of VMware Explore, it does serve another key function for VMware—as our biggest catalyzer for innovation each year for more than 20 years. This internal, three-day  conference brings together more than 1,400 of our engineers and contributors from around the world. It’s been the genesis for some of our most impactful products and features. Perhaps most importantly, it’s been an opportunity to come together, train our eyes on the horizon, and think big.

As RADIO 2023 gets under way today, what’s top of my mind for our team? The future we’re going to make—not only for our customers, but for ourselves.

First, we’re committed to helping our customers realize the full potential of emerging technologies like generative artificial intelligence and machine learning. AI is having a breakthrough year, with tools like ChatGPT bringing this emerging technology to the masses. But AI and ML have been on VMware’s radar for years—especially at RADIO.

Our AI-powered solutions are already delivering significant value to customers—even in highly regulated industries where adoption of new technologies is typically slower. A big part of our approach to innovation is thinking about how to help our customers overcome the chaos of new technology adoption by democratizing access and providing trust. This value is only going to grow as we continue finding new ways to incorporate the transformative power of AI and ML into the foundational platforms our customers count on.

We’re also thinking about how the future of our products can support the future of our planet. VMware’s approach to sustainability is truly holistic—something that every part of our business is responsible for thinking about and advancing. That’s especially true for our product teams.

VMware has always offered green solutions—it’s one of the intrinsic benefits of virtualization. But as part of our 2030 Agenda, we’re being even more intentional about making sustainability a core objective for our products. This opens up new airspace for innovation to soar, as we make progress on our own sustainability goals while helping our customers achieve theirs. 

Our success in delivering on these and other priorities will come down to one thing: our mindset around innovation itself. Innovation is always going to be a moving target; what helped us succeed yesterday is most likely not going to be what helps us succeed tomorrow. We constantly have to hone our own agility skills, so that we can pivot as needed to stay ahead of the curve. We call it “innovating how we innovate”.

We’re already making a lot of progress in this space—from evolving our models for platform thinking and product-led growth, to broadening our concept of innovation by considering the entire span of a solution from on-boarding and customer experience, through to lifecycle management and integration. We invite people from across the organization to surface ideas for features, product enhancements, and process improvements. And I’m eager to see what else gets surfaced at RADIO as we talk about and collaborate around how we can support and expand this culture of innovation.

Not a day goes by when I’m not in awe of the amazing innovation happening across VMware. But I’m especially proud this week. RADIO is a celebration of everything that makes our products, our team, and our company special. And from where I’m standing, the future has never looked more filled with possibility.