Cloud3 min read

3 Hard Truths About the Multi-Cloud Journey

VMware Staff

Businesses are getting smarter, faster and more resilient in the cloud. But it doesn’t come easy. On the Futurum Tech Webcast, Chief Analyst Daniel Newman for Futurum Research (an analyst firm focused on technology, digital innovation and market disruption) talks with VMware leaders about the surprising challenges of multi-cloud. Here are three takeaways from their conversations.

1. Your Expectations May Be Unrealistic

“Most customers are coming to this realization that what they may have thought of as ‘cloud first’ — where they land every workload on a cloud in a defined period — is not realistic,” said Sumit Dhawan, president of VMware. “The reality is most customers are going to be on a journey to determine what's the best cloud for every app," Dhawan adds.

We call this a transition in mindset cloud first to ‘cloud smart.’

Many companies have learned the hard way, struggling with rising costs. And they’re not keeping up with the pace of modernization and digitization they need.

“Hard trade-offs is the name of the game for today's market,” said Dhawan. “You have to prioritize decisions about which apps and on which cloud you’re going to modernize. That’s, effectively, the starting point of the cloud-smart journey.”

2. You May Go Slower Before You Go Faster

“Applications are really driving the infrastructure choice, and our customers have a lot of choices,” said Paula Hodgins, senior vice president of worldwide cloud sales at VMware. “This desire to move, be agile and go faster comes with a lot of complexity. Although the vision is there, it's tough to manage, and it slows them down.”

Rewriting and refactoring applications for the cloud is time-consuming and expensive. Effectively managing new infrastructures requires new skills.

“We see companies that have been on this cloud-native journey for 10 or more years, and they haven't fully realized the benefits of public cloud at scale,” said Hodgins. “What we can give organizations is the ability to be able to move their applications and take advantage of those public clouds and cloud-native services immediately.”

3. Your Security Model Needs an Update

“Let's face it: Every technology that we use for good, the hackers figure out how to use it for bad,” said Newman. “It's only going to become a bigger and bigger challenge.”

Since companies expanded to multi-cloud environments, security has become exponentially more difficult. As IT figures out how to use cloud services more efficiently, it’s also learning how to secure these services across a much larger attack vector.

“What happened in the past is we had a bunch of technologists, like me, that were like, ‘Hey these are cool new services,’” said Amanda Blevins, vice president and chief technology officer for the Americas at VMware. “All of a sudden, we have this cloud chaos — this proliferation of applications, workloads and data everywhere. Cloud smart is all about understanding what happened, why does that chaos exist and what should our intentional path forward be.”

The key, said Blevins, is to make multi-cloud security and compliance manageable. For example, “cross-cloud services give you the ability to have the same tool set and operational model to secure your workloads across multiple environments.”

But You’re Not Alone on the Multi-Cloud Journey

Becoming cloud smart is a journey, and “a journey is best had with someone you know,” said Dhawan. “We want to be the partner to take the customer on that journey.”

VMware works closely not only with customers but also hyperscalers, systems integrators, channel partners and technology partners. Each plays a supporting role in your multi-cloud journey.

“VMware’s strategy is based on customers choosing a hybrid or multi-cloud environment, which is the reality,” said Zia Yusuf, senior vice president of VMware’s strategic ecosystem and industry solutions. “We have deep, committed relationships with all these hyperscalers. You can leverage the best of what they have but then also have a consistent experience with VMware across hybrid environments.”

Plus, you can learn from others in our latest multi-cloud research. See the triumphs and challenges of cloud-smart organizations, and find out where your organization stands.