The era of cloud chaos

The era of cloud chaos

San Francisco - The cloud is, culturally as well as technologically, changeable. The evolution of hardware and connectivity is accompanied by ever new solutions, platforms and management systems. And while organizations increase the number of cloud services to accelerate their business goals, they also face an inevitable increase in operational complexity. From here come strands of innovation such as cloud on edge (also in view, in perspective, of the arrival of 6G, to get to "beat" the speed of light by taking advantage of a decentralized cloud), cloud native which also includes systems of cybersecurity, and the concept of anywhere workspace to adapt to an operational model that has changed following the two years of the pandemic.

An interesting trend is also that of increasingly close integration between realities operating on different segments of the cloud supply chain, as evidenced for example by the recent acquisition (announced, but still to be finalized) of a big cloud computing and virtualization company like VMware by the semiconductor giant Broadcom, for a value of 57 billion euros. On the sidelines of the first global event organized by VMware since the pandemic began, we were told - exclusively for - by the CEO Raghu Raghuram some background and above all what is the cultural vision of a global company through whose services many of our online activities pass and will pass.

Raghu Raghuram, let's start with the most contingent issues: where are we with the acquisition by Broadcom and what is changing for the company?

"At the moment everything is proceeding according to the expected timetable, and at this stage we remain an independent company. We expect to conclude the acquisition process in the autumn of 2023: in this year of work ahead of us there is a lot to do, not only in the process of formalizing the agreement itself but also in continuing to take care of customers as always. , as well as developing new products.

“A small but significant change has been made in the name of our global congress itself, from VMworld to VMware Explore: a strategic choice that is not so much about the size of the event itself but a change of approach, because we believe it is especially interesting for companies to explore how cloud products can be business drivers. Today we are talking about multi cloud services and the so-called smart cloud: the idea is that a single player can no longer do everything, so the ecosystem of partners as a whole becomes essential and strategic ".

Raghu Raghuram, VMware CEO A complex process such as an acquisition brings uncertainty: don't you think your employees and customers may have more doubts about your company?

“All the transition phases involving large companies represent a notable change. But we have a map of what to do that is transparent to both employees and customers. Based on what we see from the 10,000 customers who registered for our event, I can say that we are in a business as usual situation. However, many companies have already gone through acquisitions, so it is a process that I don't think scares that much by now. "

One more thing about the acquisition. What do you think are the most important skills that an CEO and a manager should have to manage such a process? Perhaps technical expertise on cloud services is not in the first place…

“To be honest, the fundamentals of being an CEO don't change much during an acquisition, and my goal today is to keep the company healthy as ever. Then of course a team was created to work on the details of the transaction, a small group dedicated to managing the process.

“Successful leaders must be able to continuously understand the new points of view of their stakeholders, addressing all the Announcements. This is true at any moment, but at moments like an acquisition this need is amplified. At the same time, those who have the responsibility of leading the company must communicate regularly, to explain and contextualize all the choices made during a period that - as we said - is intrinsically a source of uncertainty. It is not only important to keep teams updated on milestones as soon as they can be communicated, but to help teams and individuals understand why their work is even more important during a phase like this ".

A Speaking of vision, what does Europe, and Italy in particular, represent in VMware's strategy?

"Europe is an area of ​​great strategic importance. We have a strong customer base and strong ecosystem, uniquely positioned to deliver multi cloud services across industries. Our 7,000+ employees across Europe, the Middle East and Africa play a key role in working closely with customers and partners to drive transformation and innovation delivering remarkable business results in many geographic areas. diverse.

“In Italy, VMware is at the center of digital transformation and has been for many years. More recently, as a result of the European Recovery Fund that came to the point of the pandemic, Italy has received 191.5 billion euros of investments to restart its economy, and 27% of these investments have been invested in the digital transition of the country. . The strategic role we have, and will continue to play, in this transformation is vast. Let me clarify with two examples: first of all, we have a key role in the security of critical national infrastructures and also in the Italian strategy of the national cloud, providing technology and experience together with our partners. Then we are also committed to the community and we have a series of collaborative initiatives with universities and research centers, including the Noi TechPark in Bolzano, to reduce the digital skills gap in the country ".

Always remaining in There is no doubt about gaps, as we also see these days at VMware Explore 2022, that there is still a huge gender imbalance in your sector: what do you think should be done to reduce it, and what are you doing about it?

“We are working hard to develop people's mentality around everything related to the issues of diversity and inclusion. For example, we updated and continued our training on unconscious prejudices and cognitive biases, aimed precisely at envying and eliminating existing prejudices in the workplace. We have also invested heavily in our diversity, equity and inclusion (Dei) initiatives, including hiring practices - all of which resulted in a 2.1% increase in female presence in the workforce compared to last year.

"Personally and as a company we recognize our responsibility towards diversity, equity and inclusion, convinced that we can have a real impact through commitments and actions supported not only within our company, but also in our communities and in general in the world. Our aspiration is to create a workplace that fosters a sense of belonging and helps people improve their careers, not just in terms of business goals. To achieve this, it is necessary to involve a workforce that is increasingly representative of our customers, partners and the communities in which we live and work. These foundations fill the gaps and enable all of us to do our best, driving innovation, improving society as a whole and - at the same time - strengthening our competitive advantage. ”

You have used the 'cloud chaos expression to define the current context of cloud services, and indicated smart cloud expression as a goal: beyond the lexical choices and slogans, what does it mean?

“2022 is a year of tremendous changes and unprecedented opportunities: the current global environmental challenges, but also the growing complexity of multi-cloud and the radical changes in the way IT environments are delivered , implemented and managed, can be interpreted as discouraging headwinds for organizations of any size. However, this is not the case: the smart cloud is an expression to indicate a way - on the part of companies - of facing the technological challenges that lie ahead, maximizing results through a digital ecosystem that ranges from work management to sales. Whether it is a new reality born in the cloud or an already consolidated player, the point of arrival is an environment that allows to accelerate digital innovation and to obtain all the possible advantages of the technologies available today ".

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