With more organizations on the march to cloud than ever, new issues present themselves – and cloud marketplaces are emerging as a solution to many of these challenges. In this webinar wrap-up, three cloud experts share their views on how cloud marketplaces are redefining the journey to cloud.
According to a recent Gartner study, the public cloud services market is expected to grow to $266 billion in 2020, up a staggering 17% from 2019. The SaaS segment itself is expected to account for over $100 billion of that amount, and customers are increasingly utilizing cloud-native applications in their day-to-day operations. Long story short: cloud adoption is now mainstream.
However, this widespread cloud adoption brings a new set of core issues. There are challenges that come with planning and implementation of a cohesive cloud strategy. Then there are challenges in transitioning critical applications to cloud; and in managing the shift from a centralized IT organization to the modern DevOps team.
To help resolve all these challenges, a convenient, trusted, and flexible cloud marketplace is needed – a place where customers can quickly discover and deploy validated third-party and open source solutions directly to their cloud environments.
Earlier this month, the VMware Cloud Marketplace team hosted a panel webinar on these topics. Below are the key findings from the webinar.
Cloud Adoption: Challenges & Barriers
We kicked off the webinar with a discussion about the key challenges that customers face when implementing a cloud strategy.
Dave Cook, Cloud Sales Specialist in the VMware Cloud on AWS team, spoke about three common blind spots that can get in the way of cloud adoption:
- Rework: Accurately identifying the effort, timeline, and operational costs in the cloud adoption strategy
- Reskill: Evaluating the need to retrain, reskill, or even hire the right personnel to drive adoption while simultaneously maintaining the existing platform
- Remand: Assessing the aspect of cloud lock-in while deciding which cloud platform to choose. VMware Cloud on AWS, incidentally, drastically reduces the impact of this challenge by enabling customers to utilize a truly hybrid cloud environment across cloud and on-premises operations.
Dustin Albertson, (Sr. Cloud Solutions Architect, Veeam – Product Management Alliances), also spoke about the difficulty in choosing the right strategy and execution plan for cloud adoption.
Then, once the cloud strategy has been chosen, other challenges emerge. Dave and Dustin discussed the key barriers that customers face while implementing a cloud strategy:
- Change: Battling the impulse to stick to a comfortable status quo in their on-premises environments
- Competency: Quickly hiring or acquiring the right skillsets among employees
- Complexity: Integrating across other SaaS or cloud offerings being used in the company
- Compliance: Ensuring safety and security when utilizing a cloud platform or even specific applications on top of these cloud platforms
- Cost: Evaluating the total cost of ownership (TCO) before jumping in – including operating expenses, amount of avoided expenses (such as the power and real estate tied to on-premises) and more
In such a diverse and fragmented environment, customers seek a simple transition to hybrid cloud. They are looking for not only the cloud platform itself, but also a robust ecosystem of third-party solutions that expand the capabilities of that cloud platform.
The Role of a Cloud Marketplace
A true cloud marketplace is an indispensable companion to a customer’s cloud environment. Amit Sabharwal (Partner Alliances, VMware Tanzu) and Dave spoke about the role a cloud marketplace plays. Specifically, it:
- Offers a one-stop shop for customers to discover, manage, and deploy all validated third-party and open source solutions that work with a platform
- Offers a one-stop location for partners to reach all customers of the cloud platform
- Facilitates transparent and trustful interactions between the software vendor and the customer
- Removes the need for customers to manage multiple tools across multiple environments and formats
- Automates management functions such as billing and identity management
Moreover, cloud marketplaces intersect perfectly with the shift in software provisioning responsibility from the enterprise IT organization to the DevOps teams and developers. Today, developers need the flexibility to purchase, launch, and quickly utilize the necessary tools to build great applications in shorter development cycles. On the other hand, IT needs a way to ensure compliance, security, and governance. Cloud marketplaces seamlessly bridge those two needs.
How VMware Cloud Marketplace Empowers Our Customers
At VMware, we assessed these challenges, barriers, needs, and trends while making the decision to launch the VMware Cloud Marketplace in August 2019. Today, hundreds of customers use over 300 published solutions from both open source and third-party publishers.
Dave, Dustin and Amit closed out our webinar with some important points on how VMware Cloud Marketplace empowers VMware customers, discussing how it:
- Expands the capability of the VMware portfolio, by enabling use of top-class, validated third-party solutions
- Supports the VMware customer’s shift from capital expenditure to operational expenditure, which reflects a shift in mentality to agile, flexible, and scalable operations (away from a traditional hardware-centric model)
- Avoids egress charges by allowing customers to use the same third-party and open source applications seamlessly across on-premises locations or in the cloud
- Allows VMware customers to leverage the third-party software licenses that they already own
In summary, VMware Cloud Marketplace helps resolve several key challenges and barriers that customers face on their cloud journeys.