VMWORLD 2016: Digital transformation is as big as the industrial revolution and VMware is at the centre of it, says CEO Pat Gelsinger
We are currently in the “greatest period of disruption in the history of IT, and the greatest opportunity,” according to VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger.
The statement was the opening line of Gelsinger’s keynote at VMworld in Barcelona and he used his speech to put the company firmly at the centre of IT’s great digital transformation.
“Digital transformation is the current buzzword in IT. And when we talk about that, it’s often framed as: ‘you can have either traditional business or digital business. You can be part of the cool new digital stuff or the old, clunky traditional business,” he declared.
The Greatest period of disruption ever
“To that I say: nonsense. We view that every business needs to be digital; there’s no longer a meaningful distinction. In our view, the question is what’s your strategy to win in an all-digital world.”
Gelsinger added that digital transformation is on a par with the industrial revolution in terms of its significance and the long-lasting effect it will have on the world.
This transformation is being driven by the move to cloud computing, which has given businesses choice, agility and flexibility at levels the industry have never seen before, he said.
Currently, around 73 percent of workloads are run on traditional infrastructure, while 15 percent run on public cloud and the remaining 12 percent are on private clouds, Gelsinger said. In 2011, those figures were 87 percent, 7 percent and 6 percent respectively, according to VMware’s figures. The point where workloads are split 50-50 between traditional infrastructure and cloud will arrive in 2021 – at 2:57pm CET on June 29th to be precise.
But that’s also where the challenge comes in. As more and more businesses move to the cloud, many adopt a hybrid approach. That can result in confusion over third-party applications, security and control. In fact, Gelsinger said that at the moment companies run on average eight clouds, 175 third-party SaaS applications and eight security solutions.
Despite this, most people still expect IT to take responsibility for these environments in terms of performance and security.
“It will be world where you don’t write the application, you don’t control the data centre or the network or the devices… you control nothing but are in charge of everything,” Gelsinger said. “It’s like being a parent with a teenage child… you want control, they want freedom. In IT, users want freedom to choose different clouds, different services, but you want control.”
That’s where VMware comes in, Gelsinger said, and where it’s positioning itself at the moment – right at the point of freedom and control. The company has updated its vSphere, Virtual SAN and vRealize Automation products as part of its Cross-Cloud Architecture, to help customers run, manage and secure workloads on any platform.
“In a hybrid world, it’s about giving freedom and control, and delivering the tools that allow you to take advantage of both,” Gelsinger added. “This is, simply, the hybrid cloud, the world of public and private; a hybrid environment for decades to come. In this ecosystem, we’re leading the way in building and understanding the hybrid cloud.”