IT organizations are under a lot of pressure to become more agile and cloud-like. Raj Dhingra (@raj_dhingra) took time out of his VMworld 2016 schedule to take a ridecast and talk about the pressures, obstacles and opportunities to transition their legacy IT operations to cloud-based IT.
MF: Hi, this is a technology ridecast, I’m Marc Farley and our guest this morning is Raj Dhingra. How’re you doing Raj?
RD: Hi Marc I’m doing well. How’re you?
MF: I’m doing great. Thanks for taking the time.
MF: Watchers might want to know that Raj is the CEO of CloudVelox. CloudVelox is a company that helps customers on their journey to the cloud. Which is an interesting thing because here at VMworld, one of the companies that is trying to figure out the journey to the cloud is VMware.
MF: So everybody’s doing it.
RD: VMware has announced that essentially they’re going to provide tools so customers can use similar tools to manage their workloads and applications and VMs in a VMware environment, but also use those similar tools for managing in the cloud. I think it’s starting to transition into where Enterprise IT – maybe two years ago – they would say, you know, “is the cloud
ready?” Now I think they’ve been saying are we ready for the cloud?
MF: Yeah, I think the cloud was developed, you know, in a sense for greenfield opportunities, but now there is this real interest in all the cloud service providers to try to bring all corporate IT into it, so they have to move and companies have to move. So what are some of the, you know, typical things that a customer might run into?
RD: What we see, and we’ve been working with a variety of enterprises in a variety of verticals: manufacturing, technology, government and also health care/pharmaceutical, there’s a lot of scrutiny going on within the organization about what the spend on IT is. I think that’s in the context of either – maybe it’s a new hardware purchase – or we’ve also seen customers who maybe had
multiple data centers and are trying to consolidate that data center footprint, or in another case where people were basically using a secondary data center for disaster recovery and now the secondary data center hardware is aging and it’s coming up for renewal. So these are some of the drivers we’ve seen why people are really looking at – okay – if I’m going to take, you know, not going to have continued to refresh my existing infrastructure, how can I take advantage of this cloud-based infrastructure as a service.
MF: Yeah, so there’s the infrastructure equipment,
MF: And then there’s the applications,
RD: Right. There are few sort of ways to think about it – how it was written. It was written for a world where mostly people were either using terminals or desktop computers; it was written in a monolithic fashion, basically building and adding to it was very complex. Things were very slow, complex and costly to make changes. And what the need is today is to be highly agile, you know, a lot of well, at least a lot of people would like to operate in a devops style….
MF: Everybody wants to get there…
RD: Right. Everybody, which is not easy but I think people are recognizing that, you know, the world has changed, where consumers and customers of these applications or technology, are living in a multi-device world with multiple applications and have the need to be able to operate anywhere, anytime and I think that’s actually what’s causing the change in software, right. Software needs to change and transform to be able to keep up with what customers expectations are, and to some extent, the the better you do that, perhaps the more competitive advantage you have, the more differentiation you have. The ability to move quickly, the ability to provision new infrastructure to do, whether its development or test, the ability to take a monolithic app and break it into smaller pieces and microservices, these are all aspects of, as we were talking digitalization and transformation, and whether it’s hardware change or software change, fundamentally most enterprises are asking this question, “How do I transform, how do I transform my existing infrastructure, my applications and take advantage of the cloud”.
MF: So the last piece of the puzzle then would be the human part. We’re talking about hardware, we’re talking about software, but people have to change too.
RD: Fundamentally, it’s just like learning a new skill set, and that skill set is going to help open new ways of doing things. Previously there were ten things, you know, ten plates spinning and now you can actually have twenty plates spinning and then to be able to do that just because cloud computing and automation enable people to do a whole lot more
MF: Yeah, if you don’t like change and you’re in IT, you’re in the wrong business.
RD: That’s right.
MF: Raj, this has been great. Thanks so much for coming on.
RD: You’re welcome. Thank you for having me.