Global CIO: Bank Of VMware: Its Bold Plan To Fund Your New Applications

VMware says its new strategy can give you not only the technology platform for creating new applications but also the funding to pay for them.
"What they're realizing is that as the device space proliferates, those two functions of the desktop need to get teased apart—we need a new metaphor, a new mechanism for how IT provisions users that can be mapped onto the particular user interface of a particular device. And IT wants to spend their time focused on the mechanism that allows them to equip users, not spend their time on provisioning and managing devices. They want users to be able to move across devices and see the appropriate sets of information—and it's interesting that it's not even just across devices: in many cases it's across security zones. For instance, on this laptop if I'm here inside VMware on the trusted network and want this information it'll be available. But if I take this laptop and go out to an untrusted network, the cache is flushed—I want this information to disappear so you can't get access to it. Then they say, 'If you go and log onto an iPad, then this is what you're going to be able to see.' So there's a lot of interesting challenges to that, but that's sort of the direction we want to move here. If you think to what I said earlier about how do I take my existing applications on a journey, how do I stitch in people who want to rent me resources and applications, and how do I do that through an increasingly heterogeneous device world, and how do I as IT, who are gonna end up holding the bag on this as they go on those journeys—that's what we're trying to speak to. And it is a journey—we don't have it all figured out, but we're trying to gird our loins to figure out what to do here."

Better IT-business interactions: "Part of it is we've gotta help IT, in some sense, put the monkey back on the business. Part of the problem with IT today is that it's managed in a very simplistic way: when you manage IT, it's like a 2% or 1% tax across the top of the organization—you really can't make good business decisions—nobody's really incented to do the right thing. It's sort of like the government's individual departments aren't really incented to do the right thing because we're all just taxed at the top. So how can we make it so that IT can have a much more nuanced and business-like dialogue with their [users] and say, 'Look, not only can we give you all those services, but here's all the flavors in which we can give them to you—here's the various levels of reliability, etc., we can offer to you. We're gonna put the monkey back on your back so you can decide what it's really worth to you—if you want five 9's reliability, we can do that, but here's what it's gonna cost. If you want three 9's, it's gonna be half the cost—so you go decide. It's very hard for IT to do that today, and part of what we need to do is give them the tools to do it—the good news is we're increasingly on the path that'll allow them to do that—to offer what we call 'IT as a Service.' What we mean is for IT to start operating more like an internal service provider, where they can have more of a business-like discussion and associate cost with where it's truly being incurred. In many ways, because of the way IT is governed, they're made to look like the bad guys all the time—and it really is the business that needs to take a lot more of the responsibility of really being accountable for what they're using."

A huge bank's approach: "A very large bank has decided that they're gonna dramatically take cost out of their infrastructure. So they have issued an edict, supported by the CEO, that they're gonna move everything they possibly can into an internal private cloud. So they've gone through an inventory of their applications and they've decided there's about 20% of their applications that are just hopeless—they can't move them for any reason, and eventually they're gonna have to get rid of those applications either by rewriting them or changing their processes so as not to require them. The other 80% of their applications fit into two categories: they've decided that about 60% are critical, so they're going to put them into a private cloud and we'll essentially do hand-management of them—we're not going to turn on the full capabilities that you [VMware] have simply because we're not confident that there might not be some stuff hard-coded into the application somewhere that would cause problems, etc. And then there's the final 20% of the applications where they've said we're confident these are either modern and clean, or they're simply not important enough to worry about, so we're going to put them into another cloud where we turn on your [VMware's] full capabilities, where we let you manage the full underlying hardware. What they're doing is they're using internal pricing back to the business units to try and incent movement down that waterfall—they're making it incredibly expensive to have the old applications run on physical hardware; less expensive to put it in kind of the partial cloud; and very inexpensive to put it into the total cloud. Their goal is to change it from 20-60-20 to, eventually, get it to 0-20-80 over a period of time. This is what they're gonna do, from the CEO on down, and they've said this is what we're gonna do—we're going on this journey."

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GlobalCIO Bob Evans is senior VP and director of InformationWeek's Global CIO unit.

To find out more about Bob Evans, please visit his page.

For more Global CIO perspectives, check out Global CIO,
or write to Bob at [email protected].

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