Kathy Gibson reports from VMworld 2016 in Barcelona – The greatest period of disruption in IT is also the greatest period of opportunity.
This is the word from Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware, who says that digital transformation is the new buzzword. “Often it’s framed as you can have traditional business or new business.
“But we say that is nonsense. All business needs to be digital business. The real question is what is your strategy to succeed in the digital world?”
The difference between leaders and laggards is down to technology and culture, he adds.
Leaders tend to rewrite the rules of culture and have mobile-cloud at the core of their technology.
“We think the period of time we are in now is very profound,” Gelsinger says. “Since the Industrial Revolution everything has been about optimising. But we think what we’re doing now is as transformative as the industrial revolution.”
It’s only been 10 years since the word “cloud” became mainstream, in fact, with AWS first launched in 2006. But already it has fundamentally changed the IT world.
Back in 2006, only 2% of IT workloads ran in the cloud, and most of those were Salesforce.com. By 2011, 13% of IT workloads were running in the cloud, and the idea of private cloud was almost half of the opportunity. But 87% of workloads was still in the traditional IT operation.
In 2016, 15% of workloads are in the public cloud, with 12% in the private cloud – but still 73% in the traditional IT space.
Researchers believe that by 2021, 50% of IT workloads will be in the cloud. However, 30% of that will be in the public cloud, split about 14% SaaS and 16% PaaS. By 2030, the public cloud will account for more than 50% of IT endeavour.
But there are other key changes taking place, Gelsinger says. In 2016, hosting accounts for about Euro54-billion, but this will grow to Euro99-billion by 2020.
Meanwhile devices have proliferated, although this is now flattening, with 8,2-billion today growing to 8,7-billion in 2021.
IoT, on the other hand, is exploding, with 4,1-billion devices today, growing to 18-billion in 2021 and representing a huge opportunity.
“I disagree that cloud will lead to a decrease in IT budgets,” Gelsinger says. “It think it will be a force to expand IT. The more accessible we make IT, it makes it more broadly used and impactful.”
IT is also leaving the nest of “traditional” IT, he says. “Cloud IT is touching every aspect of business, of life.”
In fact, shadow IT is set to explode, with every department in a business becoming an IT organisation. “This is great news for IT – your skills will be in demand in every department of the company.”
So what will the typical business look like over time?
An Economist Business Unit study shows that IT will have to manage eight cloud services, 175 SaaS apps, and more. But when business users were asked who is responsible for the operation and security of these environments, 90,5% say it is IT.
“So in a world where you control nothing, you are in charge,” Gelsinger points out. “We are responsible in a rapidly changing and complex world.”
This boils down to the dilemma of freedom versus control. “In a period of massive change like we are going through, this creates tensions.
“In a hybrid world it’s about giving freedom and control, delivering the tools that allow you to take advantage of all environments.”
This starts with the software-defined data centre, Gelsinger says. “We started this journey to SDDC almost exactly five years ago, which began a journey for VMware to build the different components.”
VMware today launched vSphere 6.5, including more than 100 new features that add usability, security and manageability
“This is the next release of our core franchise capability that users know and love.”
In fact, Gelsinger says users have saved 603-million megawatt hours of power consumption since the launch of vSphere. “This is enough energy to power Spain, Germany and Switzerland for an entire year.”
But it’s not just about the compute function: networking and storage are vital components of the SDDC. VMware is also launching Virtual SAN 6.5 this week.
While the SDDC focuses on the IT department and private cloud, CIOs have to consider the public cloud as well, to run a seamless hybrid cloud.
VMware is launching its cross-cloud architecture, allowing IT to run and manage workloads across any platform.
The cross-cloud architecture is based on the VMware Cloud Foundation, a fully integrated SDDC platform that brings together all the components – compute, network, storage – with an automated lifecycle manager to make it easier to manage and automate.
It also provides a platform for enabling public and private clouds, vRealize.