Gitex Global 2022: VMware shows the way for cloud transformation

The company demonstrates how to accelerate cloud transformation, empower hybrid workforce, and help customers innovate faster and drive their transformation plans


Joydeep Sengupta

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Ahmed Auda, Vice-President and General Manager, Middle East, Turkey & North Africa, VMware
Ahmed Auda, Vice-President and General Manager, Middle East, Turkey & North Africa, VMware

Published: Sat 15 Oct 2022, 3:47 PM

Last updated: Mon 17 Oct 2022, 11:10 AM

VMware is a leading provider of multi-cloud services for all applications (apps), enabling digital innovation with enterprise control. The company is headquartered in Palo Alto, California. It has regional offices in Dubai, Riyadh, Doha, Cairo, Istanbul, and over 730 employees in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) region.

At Gitex Global, which ended in Dubai on Friday, VMware had a strong focus on customer innovation and demonstrated how attendees can accelerate cloud transformation, empower the hybrid workforce, and connect and secure their apps, enabling them to innovate faster and drive their transformation plans.

VMware also had a presence at Global DevSlam, a transformational project by the UAE government to help coders become strategic enablers of the UAE digital economy, which ran alongside GITEX at Dubai World Trade Centre.

At DevSlam, VMware showcased its Tanzu portfolio, a modular, cloud native application platform that enables vital DevSecOps outcomes in a multi-cloud world.

Khaleej Times spoke with Ahmed Auda, Vice-President and General Manager, Middle East, Turkey & North Africa, VMware, on the sidelines of the biggest technology event in the Middle East.

Edited excerpts from the interview:

How are organisations in the region performing in terms of their digital transformation journey?

It varies significantly between organisations; some are more advanced than others in their adoption of digital solutions. In general, in the Middle East region, the majority of medium to large organisations are in the process of adopting digital solutions but still have a long way to go, and in any case, digital transformation is very much a continuous process. While many organisations are good at implementing specific projects, they are not always effective in terms of connecting the dots and designing and implementing a more holistic transformation plan.

What are some of the key challenges organisations face as they transform?

One of the main challenges is that today’s digitally enhanced world has accelerated the distribution of people, information and technology. Today, the average organisation is running roughly 500 applications to drive their business, and those apps are distributed across clouds. While this has delivered new and exciting opportunities for how we work and live, it has put huge pressure on information technology (IT) departments, developers, and security teams who must deliver the digital services people now expect. Given the scale of growth and development in the Middle East, it is vital for all organisations to bring simplicity to their digital systems and ensure that IT is an enabler of innovation and progress.

What are some of the stumbling blocks that organisations commonly run into when trying to transform?

Among the main challenges organisations face that can stall projects is a failure to ensure different teams within an organisation are aligned on the purpose of both the organisation and the transformation project. Recent research from VMware underlines this point: While apps are key drivers of the modern digital economy, and of crucial importance to business leaders, barely a quarter (26%) of the top skills featured in developer vacancies are business-related, and at least 49% of all listings fail to include a single business skill as one of their top 10 requirements. This is according to a European-wide analysis of the top developer job listings from VMware, in conjunction with job intelligence platform Jobfeed, by Textkernel.

What can we take away from the research mentioned above?

One of the learnings is that it is vital for business, developer, and IT teams to work together far more closely. It’s a cultural shift whereby teams should know each other and communicate daily. Further, organisations should also place more importance on developers with business skills to complement their coding abilities. Recruitment efforts must also specifically target developers who can communicate the value of apps to business leaders, given the number of job vacancies continues to grow. These changes are vital if enterprises are to embed apps at the centre of a truly digital-first business strategy.

Which technologies will be the biggest disruptors in the next few years?

In terms of disruptive technologies, Cloud, AI, Machine Learning, 5G and Edge computing will continue to converge and drive immense opportunities. It’s vital for organisations to tame complexity now and embrace a multi cloud approach, which done properly will better equip them to innovate and tap into the potential of the other disruptive technologies.

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