With the cloud journey being essential to enable digital transformation, Sanjay K.Deshmukh, Vice President and Managing Director, SEAK, VMware, said that there would only be more applications and solutions that will be deployed in the next five years with analytics, AI and IoT. He added that applications need modern IT strategies and directions. To that end, data centres and cloud solutions must match the needs of existing applications as well as new ones.
The future, as Sanjay and most of the VMware representatives at the VMware CIO Forum in Singapore put it, is all about hybrid and multi-cloud. VMware Cloud offers its customers consistent infrastructure from data centre to cloud environment. VMware’s objective is to provide the flexibility for businesses to decide on how they run their workloads based on their business demands. Ultimately, it is the ability to run workloads on any cloud and data centre be it public, private or edge.
At the media-only panel discussion, Sanjay; Lawrence Goh, Managing Director, Group Technology and Operations, UOB; Andy Roswell-Jones, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst, Gartner; and Duncan Hewett, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Asia Pacific and Japan, VMware; shared their thoughts on the how the future of enterprise IT is about hybrid and multi-cloud.
Lawrence pointed out that the regional connection helps customers to achieve the full potential of the business. To ensure their transactions and operations go through seamlessly, UOB standardised their core systems in the region. They launched a digital bank in Thailand to experiment with millenial customers to see what they want and how they would react to a digital bank.
“UOB is the first bank in the region to adapt VMC. After standardisation of systems, we needed a flexible infrastructure, which was a hybrid cloud strategy. Security is always a concern, but it is important to understand the strategy to achieve this. We wanted to use the cloud in a way that it has elastic compute and resilience. Our infrastructure has to comply with regulatory standards and requirements. VMware is our hypervisor of choice, and it made it easier to access the cloud. We started with the safest workloads and experimented with a test workload. We had to leverage on some parts of the cloud for testing.”
The panel went on and discussed that while having the right digital foundation is critical, security also plays an essential role in developing the right architecture for the businesses so they can ultimately thrive and succeed. Ultimately, it is the ability to run the workload on any cloud, be it public, private or edge and data centre.
Lawrence added that when they adopt cloud, the entire paradigm has to change. For a bank, they can’t compromise on security, which is why they do security by design. To this, Duncan said this is where software-defined networking comes in. Customers are entrusting their sensitive information to organisations, so organisations need to think carefully about what they do with it. Internet separation is one of the ways, he said.
Andy was quick to point out that the reason for many security issues is that people do stupid things. 95% of CIOs say the cybersecurity situation is getting worse. The problem being that in many countries in Southeast Asia, it is treated as an IT issue.
“Cybersecurity cannot be an IT issue. Companies need to create a safety culture. Creating this safety culture in companies takes a long time. We are still teaching people on phishing. This continuous education is important. In most cases, it’s a convenience and cultural problem. But people are [improving] on this. Technical [competency] is important, but it’s not enough.”
Looking at application security, Sanjay pointed out that VMware’s AppDefense is able to identify security risk and protects applications running in virtualised environments. Instead of chasing after threats, an application’s intended state and behaviour is monitored for changes to indicate threats and automatically respond.
As the discussion ended, the panel agreed that managing digital transformation, especially the cloud journey, needs to be consistent. Businesses, in general, want to take that leap into hybrid cloud or even multi-cloud, but they need to ensure they are prepared to deal with it consistently. And this is where VMware comes in.