Managing the Internet of Things – Interview with Matthias Schorer, VMware

This blog post is part of the Big Data Week Speaker interviews series.  In this article, Matthias Schorer, Leader Business Development Manager, IoT at VMware, shares his thoughts on the impact of big data in business, the AI revolution and how to manage the Internet of Things.

  1. There’s a lot of improvement to be expected from a city going smart and everything else the IoT entails. However, concerns may be raised that complete automation leaves systems vulnerable to cyber-attacks. What can you tell us about fail-safe methods and security measures that would earn the trust of the skeptical?

It is a misconception that gathering information makes systems more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The gathering of data itself isn’t the problem, but the inherently unsafe IoT systems from which the data is collected. I personally trust a completely automated system more than one which has a weak link (which is usually a person) in the process chain. People make mistakes and people are vulnerable in many different ways.


            2. How did businesses adapt so far to the impact of big data?

From my past experience as a consultant, I believe that many companies are not even remotely geared up to handle the data tsunami which is rolling towards them. Not only is their compute infrastructure and storage not able to handle it, but they don’t have the systems in place that are considered critical under the European Critical Information Infrastructure Security Act. So not only will businesses have to urgently revamp their IT infrastructure, but at the same time, they will have to make it super secure and auditable in order to remain compliant.

           3. Why is it important for organisations to become data-driven?

Data is the new gold. Whether that is a bank which can use – and by the way do use – big data to assess how credit worthy someone is, or engine manufacturers who reduce the cost and frequency of maintenance. There are so many use cases which would not be possible without being data-driven. In the end, it is all about knowing your customer and their behaviour.

           4. What are the challenges encountered when trying to leverage data?

Storing and handling the vast amount of data is the biggest challenge. We are talking about terabytes of data. This sheer volume is created in a connected car, a jet engine or a factory every day. Efficient, fast and cheap storage is one of the keys to the big data revolution. The other key is to effectively handle that data. AI systems, therefore, need a solid, scalable infrastructure which can grow and collapse inside the data centre, but also the cloud, according to demand.

       5. How do you see the industry evolving over the next few years?

Over the next few years, we will see a strong focus on securing data and underlying infrastructure from the edge, through the cloud and into the data centre. Roles such as the Chief Security Officer, Chief Digital Officer and other data scientists will have a chair on the board because ultimately, they will be driving the business.

        6. How do you consider the new automation wave and self-teaching AIs will impact the world?

We are still many steps away from the dark scenarios of AI and automation which are painted by movies like Terminator, but clearly, we need to focus on securing all these edges and AI systems. But once that is done, we will see many benefits, like faster and better healing in healthcare, which will be tailored to the patient based on the vast medical knowledge in the world. We will see many more products which don’t follow the ‘one size fits all’ approach, but which will be produced exactly to your specification. Self-learning systems are at the heart of this revolution.

         7. Tell us a bit more about your topic at the BDW2017 London Conference. Why did you choose this particular             subject?

My topic is on managing the Internet of Things, because in the end, it is all about how to manage, monitor and secure these systems at the edge and all the way to the data centre. To date, security and manageability at the edge have not been given a high enough priority. That’s why security cameras are hacked and why railway signboards can contract a virus for example. We, at VMware, believe that a holistic approach is needed on which IoT and KI systems can be built – an approach which has security and manageability as part of its DNA.

          8. Who do you think should attend your talk at Big Data Week? Why?

Everyone who is involved in Big Data projects involving gathering data from the edge should come along to the session. Also, everyone who has accepted the fact that not all computing will be done at a central location, but that some computing will have to be done at the edge. And lastly, everyone who is interested to know how they can leverage VMware technology outside the data centre to introduce a similar level of scalability, manageability and security at the edge.



Matthias Schorer is the Lead Business Development Manager, IoT, EMEA, VMware. Matthias took on the role in January 2017, drawing on his expertise to advise VMware customers on management, monitoring and security across global IoT projects.

Matthias has been with VMware since 2011, working in various key roles across the company. Prior to his most recent appointment, Matthias was Head of Strategy Consulting, responsible for VMware’s automotive strategy and solutions for connected cars. Before this, as Enterprise Cloud Leader CEMEA, he was responsible for growing VMware’s cloud computing business. Since January 2013, he has provided strategic consultancy for VMware Accelerate™ Advisory Services for Central and Eastern Europe.

Matthias joined VMware from CSC, providing customer consultancy on IT architecture, migration of legacy systems, cloud computing and virtualization. For over ten years, Matthias was also the Technical Chief-Architect at Fiducia IT AG where he helped to develop the core architecture for the agree® banking system.

Don’t miss Matthias’ talk at the upcoming Big Data Week London Conference, on October 13. Get your Early Bird ticket today!

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