#105 James Gordon: Security, Innovation & Inclusion Still Matter in the COVID-19 Era
James Gordon, GM of Ecosystem Strategy & Business Development at Intel, joins Chip Rodgers on this Ecosystem Aces episode.
The COVID-19 crisis has changed things for everybody. The race for innovations to guide us through to safety includes everyone.
Interestingly, security, innovation and inclusion are also key elements of any successful alliance program.
On our show today, I spoke with James Gordon, GM of Ecosystem Strategy & Business Development at Intel, to discuss how these very topics guide Intel’s work in their partner ecosystem.
- How to keep your ecosystem secure
- What COVID-19 means for innovation
- Why inclusion should be a top priority, both inside and outside your company
Keeping your ecosystem secure
James has spent the past 5 years or so working in the security area of Intel’s technology portfolio.
The goal is similar to any other partnership area — to add value and produce better outcomes for alliances.
But producing silicon chips comes with many challenges unseen by cloud providers or others more focused on the software side of things — and some clear advantages to speed and overall security, too.
Providing security for partners means integrating security functions into the microprocessors, themselves, rather than adding functionality through code.
This means if Intel wants their end-users — enterprise or consumer — to see and experience the value built into their processors, they need to get started very early, engaging the ecosystem and their partners. By the time they start producing at high volume and the microprocessors hit the market, they want the software to be ready to consume that technology.
It takes meticulous timing and coordination to achieve this, including adapting to each individual alliance’s release schedule and needs, which means Intel has to remain flexible.
And, above all, Intel needs to maintain strong communication with partners every step of the way, not just at the outset.
Extraordinary times lead to extraordinary innovation
The world has completely changed since the dawn of COVID-19. We work differently, educate differently, and interact with our employees, customers and partners differently.
Most of that change has been fueled by technology and innovation. And being the innovative technology company they are, Intel has committed to being a major driver for this new normal.
And that’s what James is working on now. He oversees Intel’s $10 million Innovation Fund, which is helping partners, customers and even employees who have great ideas impact the directionality of the pandemic, reducing its scope or increasing response time as a global community.
Despite the challenges everyone — everywhere — is facing in this unprecedented crisis, James is hopeful and says this is an exciting time, particularly in the tech world.
He’s already seeing great innovations coming to light through his ecosystem and he is confident that many of the developments the world has been forced to adopt are changes that will live on well after COVID-19 is relegated to the history books.
James points to the many dissertations and analyses being typed at this very moment we’re all living through as a bright spot in the gloom — a silver lining to the current crisis.
Championing diversity inside and out of your company
One glance at James’ LinkedIn and you’ll immediately notice he’s an active advocate for championing diversity and inclusion in the workforce. He sees a key function of his job as part of the white, male majority in the industry — or any industry — to serve as an ally to the underrepresented and effect change.
He jokes that he will probably never be in HR, but it’s just as important that he evangelizes to others that share his majority status, educating them to get up from the sidelines, participate and be part of the solution.
And he also encourages others within the company — and leads by example on LinkedIn — to take the time to not just change things at Intel, but in the industry at large.
James says the tech world has made huge strides in this area and its trajectory has been going in the right direction. But we’re still not there.
And he and the thousands of others in the company championing this cause are hoping the day will come, sooner than later, that the industry can pride itself on making it.
To contact the host, Chip Rodgers, with topic ideas, suggest a guest, or join the conversation about alliances, he can be reached by:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Twitter: @chiprodgers
- LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/chiprodgers