Raghu Raghuram, CEO of VMware, speaks at the opening keynote of VMware Explore 2022.

Aug 31 2022

VMware Explore 2022: Digital Transformation Is Happening in the Cloud

In the opening keynote session of VMware Explore, the company announced enhanced offerings to help its customers along in their continuing journey to a multicloud world.

Businesses had already begun moving some of their data to the cloud prior to the pandemic. But the sudden need to enable remote work kick-started a rapid migration, not only of data but of applications and workloads as well — and that move doesn’t appear to be slowing down.

According to Gartner, worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services is forecast to grow more than 20 percent in 2022 to just under $495 billion, up from nearly $411 billion in 2021. In 2023, that figure is expected to reach nearly $600 billion.

In the opening keynote of VMware Explore 2022, VMware CEO Raghu Raghuram explained, “When we started VMworld, it was a community for data center professionals. And we grew the community. But over the years, we have grown. It's no longer just about the data center. It's about all of these roles … not only the data center, but across clouds, and the edge. It is truly a multicloud community these days. That is why we changed this event from VMworld to VMware Explore.”

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The Multicloud Universe Is the Home of Digital Transformation

“Whether you're a born-in-the-cloud company or an established enterprise, all of you are running the same race. And that is a race to transform your businesses to become digitally smart,” Raghuram said. He identified three priorities being driven by IT leaders in that race: the acceleration of innovation; the next generation of automation using artificial intelligence and machine learning; and the next great leap in employee productivity. “This is what ‘digitally smart’ means,” he said.

Digital transformation is an ongoing journey, and Raghuram said he’s had many conversations with CIOs and CEOs who commonly respond that the process simply isn’t happening fast enough. He cited three common roadblocks to digital transformation, which he said are common across industries.

“The first one is the lack of skills; not just developer skills, but cloud skills, SRE [site reliability engineering] skills, platform skills. The second is the weight of all the enterprise applications that you’ve got to bring forward with you. And the third — because a lot of your teams are building applications on multiple clouds in the data center, following different models — there is no consistent developer experience. That slows them down.”

EXPLORE: See how VMWare's solutions can simplify data access, sharing, and security.

How to Move from Cloud Chaos to Cloud Smart

According to Raghuram, many IT leaders currently characterize their cloud deployment as “cloud chaos” because of the roadblocks described above. However, he said some companies are finding a way to move beyond the chaos to a state he calls “cloud smart.”

“Fundamentally, cloud smart means taking an architected and planned approach to digital transformation and multicloud.” Companies that want to become cloud smart, he said, should apply these core principles:

  1. Deploy the right cloud for the right application based on cost, technical factors, governance factors and data access factors.
  2. Create a unified developer experience, regardless of where you're building applications, because the single most critical bottleneck hindering speed is developer productivity.
  3. All enterprise applications need a consistent infrastructure that benefits from the resiliency, security and cost effectiveness of running on the same operational model, regardless of whether they run in the data center, on the edge or in the cloud.
  4. Employees are going to use a variety of applications — traditional applications still in the data center, Software as a Service applications and new cloud-native applications. “You must deliver a frictionless experience to your employees, so that they can go about achieving the next great leap in productivity,” he said.
Raghu Raghuram
Cloud smart means taking an architected and planned approach to digital transformation and multicloud.”

Raghu Raghuram CEO, VMware

VMware Announces Product Enhancements for Multicloud

Raghuram’s opening keynote was presented amid a flurry of product announcements designed to accelerate the multicloud journey for VMware customers. He chose to highlight the latest advancements to two products, vSphere 8 and vSAN 8.

“The next decade of modern computing is going to be about what the industry analysts and technical folks call heterogenous computing,” he said, “the single-compute infrastructure that you have available to you in a variety of processors: the CPU, the GPU and an exciting new processor called the data processing unit. And vSphere is going to be the singular platform that allows you to deploy and manage workloads and run them effectively and securely, regardless of the underlying processor technologies.”

Raghuram said this kind of infrastructure will allow organizations “to run not only today's applications, but the next decade of AI and machine learning applications and data applications, real-time applications, telco applications — you name it.”

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Photography by Joe Kuehne

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