Sponsored content
Two decades into cloud, compromises are killing your app strategy
Sponsored Content

Two decades into cloud, compromises are killing your app strategy

The world is going multicloud. And this new reality was clear at VMworld 2021.

Held virtually last week, VMworld brought together customers, partners and industry leaders to discuss the future of technology and business innovation. And based on those conversations and the market trends we're seeing, that future is clearly multi-cloud.

But the journey has been long and winding. Let's discuss how we got from where we started to where we are today.

Phase 1: It all started with "Mono-Cloud"

Most of our customers started their cloud journey years ago.

First, it was the "mono-cloud" phase. Organizations stood up a single cloud environment and began building cloud-native applications for the first time. These apps were largely customer-facing mobile applications with not a lot of diversity, so it was relatively easy to manage.

Fast forward to today and the typical organization is running nearly 500 applications to drive their business. At the same time, there is a lot of variety across that app estate—traditional apps, SaaS apps, cloud-native apps and edge-native apps. Those apps are increasingly distributed. Today, 75% of organizations are using two or more public clouds while 40% are moving to three or more public clouds.

Because of this rapidly evolving, distributed and complex ecosystem, mono-cloud doesn't cut it anymore. That's not what it was built for, and as a result, we're seeing a new phase emerge — one defined by the shift from mono-cloud to multi-cloud.

Phase 2: Mono-Cloud to Multi-Cloud

Many of our customers want to run some of their productivity apps, like Office 365, in the public cloud. They want to use different public clouds based on strengths in areas like analytics and AI. And as immersive apps like AR/VR, connected cars and Industry 4.0 come onto the scene, organizations are moving those workloads to edge clouds. Multi-cloud gives us a path to enabling today's business demands and preparing for tomorrow's innovations.

The results our customers have achieved since embracing multi-cloud are undeniable. They've increased app velocity and innovation, while becoming more agile and resilient.

For example, let's look at Pirelli, an honoree in our first-ever VMworld Customer Innovation Awards. Pirelli manufactures tires for premium and prestige vehicle brands from Ferrari and Maserati to Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Ducati. Highly digitized processes in Pirelli manufacturing plants require intensive data management. To modernize its IT infrastructure, Pirelli needed a multi-cloud strategy to integrate its private cloud with a public cloud solution.

We partnered with Pirelli to deploy a multi-cloud solution featuring VMware Cloud on AWS. Now, Pirelli's team can manage workloads and establish accurate capacity demands across all its facilities. And, their multi-cloud strategy helped transform the way they work with their customers. They've minimized costs, improved time to market, boosted agility and enhanced team collaboration. The solution is expected to double the company's bandwidth for half the price, leading to a 40-50% lower total cost of ownership globally, according to the customer.

Pirelli's story is one of many customer successes we highlighted at VMworld. Multi-cloud is a vibrant and dynamic opportunity, and the pace of innovation is relentless. But I wish I could say getting from here to there is as simple as flicking on a light switch. Like so many other transformation journeys, there's a myriad of challenges and complexities to solve before achieving success.

A tangled web of challenges

Customers are grappling with the highly distributed nature of their organizations, both from an infrastructure and workforce perspective. The following trends create quite a tangled web:

  • Organizations run a diverse mix of workloads—from cloud-native apps to core enterprise apps to SaaS apps.
  • These workloads are distributed across private, public, sovereign, telco and edge clouds. That's a lot of clouds!
  • Employees access these apps from everywhere — offices, homes, hotels, schools, coffee shops and anywhere in between.

Put it all together and here's your new reality: Employees and customers access a variety of apps distributed across several clouds. This environment is more diverse and complex than anything we've managed in the past. And it's only growing in scale and impact.

Embracing Multi-Cloud with the 'Power of 'AND'

If you think about the conventional wisdom on multi-cloud today, it's an either/or proposition. In other words, you must make some very tough choices and difficult compromises.

First, developers want the autonomy to build apps on any cloud. Ideally, that decision is based on the specific needs of the application. But there's a built-in tension: Either you have developer autonomy and choice or you put the priority on fast, consistent deployment of apps by your DevSecOps team. There's an assumption that these two things are mutually exclusive.

IT Ops teams also must make a choice: Either you have the freedom to run apps on the cloud of your choice or you retain control of your environment and spend. Again, there's the assumption you can't have both.

And finally, either you give your workforce fast access to the apps they need or you prioritize security to protect all your critical apps and data. Once more, conventional wisdom says you can't have both.

Our approach at VMware is to break through those tough choices. We believe every business should have freedom and control in their multi-cloud business. We are focusing our innovation engine on delivering the "power of and" in each of these three areas:

  1. Modern apps
  2. Cloud infrastructure and management
  3. Securing a distributed workforce

The path forward

The shift from mono-cloud to multi-cloud is well underway and it will be the model for digital business for the next two decades. Companies cannot afford to stand on the sidelines while competitors and peers are accelerating app innovation with multi-cloud. Now is the time to break through tough choices and build a multi-cloud strategy that will drive your business forward for the next 20 years.

We know this at VMware because we've lived it. As a startup, we pioneered virtualization, giving our customers a new level of flexibility in their IT environment. In the process, we laid the foundation for the cloud model we're all using today. A decade later, we virtualized the entire data center and gave our customers all the benefits of public cloud — in their on-prem private cloud. We're now marking the beginning of a new chapter for VMware where apps and multi-cloud are the center of gravity for everything we do.

At VMworld 2021, we outlined our vision for multi-cloud and introduced VMware Cross-Cloud services, a family of services to build, run and secure applications across any cloud. We believe multi-cloud is the future of digital transformation for decades to come. Join us on this journey and learn more at vmware.com.


  1. Cloud Security Alliance: 464 custom apps Average Enterprise Runs 464 Custom Applications | K2 Cyber Security (k2io.com)
  2. Aug 2021 – SaaS apps – 71+ SaaS Statistics & Trends For 2020 - Blissfully
  3. VMware Internal Data – August 2021