Kathy Gibson is at Dell Technologies Forum in Sandton – Businesses today are struggling to balance a need to increase profitability while rolling out new customer experiences and innovative services to maximise competitive advantage.

IT has to enable this and, to do so, has to become a profit centre, says Ian Jansen van Rensburg, lead technologist at VMware.

In this environment, IT has to focus on accelerating the cloud journey to help business achieve its goals. And this means implementing hybrid cloud and multi-cloud infrastructures that run modern apps, Jansen van Rensburg says.

“They also need to transform networking and security, and empower the digital workforce.”

The elephant in the room is apps, which are a whole new ball game today, he adds.

The new app has to be mobile-first, enable 24/7 innovation, and enable infrastructure as code.

Applications go well beyond the data centre today, Jansen van Rensburg points out.

Applications used to be centralised in the mainframe era; then client/server decentralised the architecture. Cloud centralised them again and, in the future, the edge will demand decentralised apps again.

The hybrid cloud enables this setup, he says. It is run on private cloud, public cloud or the edge – but it provides a consistent infrastructure, with consistent operations.

The Dell Technologies Cloud brings together Dell infrastructure with VMware offerings.

The One Cloud experience lets companies run their applications wherever it makes sense – on the private cloud, public cloud or the edge, Jansen van Rensburg explains.

Within the data centre today, organisations have progressed from running virtual compute as well as virtual networking which lets them create microsegmentation – or virtual instances of the network. Storage virtualisation completes the data centre picture.

“Once you virtualise something, it becomes software – or code,” Jansen van Rensburg explains.

Virtualisation technology is combined into a suite to create VMware Cloud Foundation – and this is the same platform that runs in the private cloud, on the Dell Technologies Cloud, as well as on public clouds.

“So traditional applications in the data centre can now be seamlessly moved to the public cloud environment and run there. And you can perform policy-driven provisioning and management,” he says.

These policies are moved into the infrastructure, so they are bound to the virtual machine and move with it. This means the VM is able to self-provision itself regardless of which environment it is running on.

“When everything is virtualised, you have infrastructure as code; and you can now add catalogues so the user can simply select what he wants to run and deploy it: on-premise, in the Dell Technologies Cloud, in the private cloud, or on any mega-cloud out there.”