IT Life: The Thrill Of Government Contracts

Federico de-la-Mora, Enterprise Sales Director at Tripwire

Government IT contracts are a peak experience for Federico de-la-Mora of TripWire


Federico de-la-Mora, has 18 years’ experience in networking and security, and is now is enterprise sales director at security firm Tripwire.

He has a love-hate relationship with Bill Gates, and – somewhat to our surprise – he enjoys the long-drawn out “learning experience” of government contracts.

On the government trail

What has been your favourite project so far?
Working in a fairly large UK government opportunity with a consortium of vendors and suppliers. The sales cycle was measured in years, instead of months, but it was a great learning experience. I met many people that joined and left the project over a period of three to four years. Surprisingly quite a few people from the original consortium were still around by the time it completed last year. I definitely look forward to the next large project.

novell logo squareWhat tech were you involved with ten years ago?
I was working as a consultant for Novell at the time. I probably designed over 30 Directory Services deployments in large organisations and a significant number of IPX to TCP/IP migration projects. At the time, NetWare was still driving most of Novell’s revenue and it was a great operating system to work with. However, a team of executives from Sun Microsystems, including some of the original Java designers, joined Novell and started transforming it.

What tech do you expect to be using in ten years’ time?
It will probably be a tablet with the same functionality and processing power that we expect from laptops. It is hard to predict whether foldable versions of the tablets will be successful, but I expect this market’s maturity to rapidly accelerate in the next three to four years. In addition, integration between the mobile phones, tablets and enterprise servers and processes will be standard, so most of the existing IT Management and Security tools will be built for tablets too.

Gates-COMDEX-2001Who’s your tech hero?
Bill Gates. Microsoft managed to simplify the end user experience while taking Windows & Office from the Enterprise to our homes.

Who’s your tech villain?
Bill Gates. It took a while for Microsoft to start leveraging TCP/IP, the Internet and 32 bit processors. Many other vendors were ahead of this, but failed to achieve Microsoft’s critical mass.

Linux mascot penguinWhat’s your favourite technology ever made? Which do you use most?
Linux has been my favourite technology since the early nineties. I have had the opportunity to play with the source code and recompile it. This was a great learning experience. Linux created the foundations for the open source movement and over time it has also moved from the enterprise to our homes and mobile devices. I use my Samsung Android the most. It is a phone, browser, email, calendar, boarding pass, contact manager, cloud client… you name it!

Security budgets are steady

What is your budget outlook going forward? Flat? Growing?
The IT budgets of our customers, and in particular their IT security & compliance budgets, have remained strong throughout the financial crises. Nevertheless, there is still a significant backlog of projects waiting on funding. Assuming interest rates remain low for the next 2-3 years, budgets should continue to see single digit growth.

ARM Chip leadApart from your own, which company do you admire most and why?
As a naturalised British national, I admire what ARM, Autonomy and the Raspberry Pi achieved competing against much larger organisations. There is a pool of very specialised talent based in the UK that is currently developing technologies that will influence our future. Over time, this will continue to attract and expand the angle and venture capital available to young entrepreneurs.

What’s the greatest challenge for an IT company/department today?
Finding and recruiting talent. The pool of talented IT specialist in the UK is very small for the size of the market. It has become very difficult to hire skilled individuals and salaries have increased rapidly. The efforts to train a new generation of programmers and engineers will take many years to pay off as it takes time for experience to build up.

To Cloud or not to Cloud?
I was not aware there is a choice. Maybe the question is how to Cloud in a secure and reliable way.

What did you want to be when you were a child?
I wanted to pack my books and move abroad. I considered being an astronaut, but there must be a limit in the payload allowance and books are heavy (no plans to buy an e-Reader yet, switching off is good fun too!).

For more of the triumph and tragedy of public sector IT… Try our quiz!