Lorna Hardie, regional director: sub-Saharan Africa at VMware, says cloud and virtualisation technologies play a pivotal role in the organisation’s futureproof strategy and sustainability.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is arguably here. It is moving rapidly into high gear and is pulling the reluctant, the bewildered and the baffled along behind it.
For some it’s a terrifying technology-powered future that implies disruption, skills shortages, business challenges and high costs. For others it is the wave they’re riding in to digital success. For both it should be an opportunity to redefine business parameters and invest in the technologies that will allow for long-term sustainable and strategic growth in a volatile market and mercurial technology landscape.
Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), automation, big data and machine learning all feed into and drive this digital revolution. All provide the organisation with a rich and full ground of intelligence, insights, efficiency, cost-savings and growth.
However, all require that the organisation invest into the infrastructure that powers and leverages them. An agile and scalable cloud backbone is critical. No business can expect to achieve the levels of agility required to meet the demands of emerging technology and customers without the ability to spin up, virtualise and adapt on demand.
This reality is reflected in the research. According to IDC, public cloud spending is set to reach $US227 billion by 2021 and spend on IT infrastructure for deployment in the cloud is set to reach 52.3US billion in 2018. Off-premise private cloud will see 12% year-on-year growth and on-premises is set to reach 9.1% year-on-year. And Gartner, the other research giant, has predicted that more than $US 1.3 trillion in IT spend will be impacted by the move to the cloud by 2022.
While these statistics point to the predicted growth of cloud, further research done by Gartner has found that only 42% of CEOs have initiated digital transformation. There remains a need to cling to the life raft of traditional technology and stretched infrastructure. A need that makes sense. After all, investing into the infrastructure that was designed to hold up the foundations of the enterprise for the foreseeable future, cost more than a pretty penny.
However, it isn’t agile and flexible enough to allow for being able to pivot and move on demand. It is the weight that will pull the enterprise under as those in the cloud, unencumbered by legacy and limitations, float to the top. The alternative is to commit to the right cloud investment so that the organisation gains the flexibility to leverage on-premise investments alongside their cloud services.
The futureproofed organisation is the one that makes the move towards the cloud and the capabilities offered by virtualisation. There are so many different types of cloud available today that the organisation can cherry pick the solution that fits, try it, and then find another if the first doesn’t work.
The qualities of agility and flexibility that make cloud the competitive differentiator and market disruptor are the qualities that make it easy for the business to pick, choose and discard on demand.
The strategic value of this level of flexibility cannot be understated, but it does require a commitment from both company and vendor. Cloud and virtualisation technologies may have evolved to the point where ease of use and integration are standard but the journey to cloud remains complex and migration requires care. The focus needs to be on ensuring that the execution of a cloud strategy is clearly defined and brilliantly done.
For VMware, customer care is critical for cloud. As a result, the company focuses on giving customers the ability to operate effectively in a multi-cloud landscape whilst still accessing innovation and managing change. It is time to limit lock-in and the inability to access the best technology thanks to its source.
It is essential that any business moving towards the cloud make technology decisions that support its future and strategy not hinder it. Cloud technologies must support the pace of transformation and the disruptive nature of new technologies and this means that the enterprise must have a digital foundation that won’t limit it.
VMware has paid attention and, as a result, has developed an offering that unlocks value from the technology of now while allowing the business the ability to benefit from the technology of just now.