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VMware boss outlines digital transformation opportunity

The vast majority of customers have not embarked on a digital strategy and the move to the cloud is going to take a while giving the channel the time to help users

The train has barely left the station on the journey to digital transformation with the channel looking at decades of work with customers changing their business models.

At the moment only 20% of customers would be described as being fully digital leaving the vast majority of the market at the early stages of transition.

Those numbers were quoted by VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger in his keynote session at VMWorld as he tried to map out the progress of the move to cloud.

He said that currently there were around 160m workloads being put through the cloud, split between 15% on public platforms and 12% on private. That left 73% being done on traditional IT.

Looking forward he said that the market would not get to 50% cloud and 50% traditional until 2021, according to VMware's own research team.

Even then there would still be a mix between private and public and it would not be until 2030 when 50% of workloads were going through the public cloud.

"We have a fourteen year journey in front of us until we hit fifty fifty so there is a long way to go," he said.

He added that the current hybrid approach being taken by most customers would remain the norm for plenty of years to come.

The human element

As CIOs start to devise their digital transformation strategies the advice from VMware is to base it around the customer experience not with the technology as a starting point.

Richard Bennett, senior manager, advisory services at VMware, said that focusing on the customer would then reveal the sort of technologies were needed and would help customers discover their digital transformation strategy.

"The tech has been driving the agenda but the human being should be driving it," he said.

The other opportunity Gelsinger identified for partners along with helping customers increase their digital transformation was around the provision of hosted services.

"There is a huge opportunity and a lot of this is being served by our cloud and network partners as customers are looking not just for hosting services but richer services," he said.

He challenged the idea that cloud would lead to a decrease in IT budgets because of the apparent efficiencies and scale it could bring.

"A cloud that makes IT more accessible, more efficient and more operational becomes a force to expand IT," he said.

The keynote also included his thoughts on the expansion of IoT, with the number of devices expected to increase significantly, driving more workloads into the cloud.

There was also some commentary around the recently announced tie-up with AWS with Gelsinger pointing out that it made sense to give users the chance to have a private cloud experience on a public platform.

The ability to use VMware cloud technology on a AWS platform is due to be available next year.

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