Is it the End of Virtualized Cloud?

It’s been almost a decade of Clouding of our view of Enterprise IT, and it has given birth to a lot of innovations making the life of IT users, developers & even IT operators much simpler and more productive. But has that value run its course?

Even though ready to use SaaS applications promoted the world to think about how you consume IT services, the notion of Cloud in Enterprises in the first decade was all about optimizing for virtualization and neutralize the disruption caused by it to the way the underlying infrastructure was managed. One has to note that Virtualization started as an initiative to reduce server footprint and save costs and had nothing to do with driving more innovation in the way you deliver an IT service to the customers.

This IaaS focus in Cloud for Enterprises was fundamental to where we are today, but anybody innovating more in this space is only trying to make something that’s already good, slightly better. Also, this is why pre-packaged converged infrastructure solutions for running mixed workload environments and VM farms should be the only way organizations should do it. (Plug — you should check out Dell’s Blueprints, that provide a wide choice of hyper converged appliances & hybrid cloud systems)

So the cloud was built on a foundation of virtualization, supported by the advances in the delivery of these services through self-service, multi-tenancy, services monitoring, cost visibility definitely helped organizations get more lean/mean and reduce their IT cost structure and improve their time to value on delivering apps to the customer.

But in a way we are back to where we started before in terms of delivering innovation to the customers & users of IT. Application experience matters and I believe we haven’t done much about it in the industry. The application experience need to become center stage again — be it performance, availability, the ability to personalize, the ability to learn from the interactions, will be all that matters.

I believe this is the new era of the Cloud driving by need to Innovate faster through applications than optimizing infrastructure. Platform as a service will take center stage as application architectures are undergoing a massive change — cloud-native, webscale, mobile-optimized, API-enabled, interactive, learning, analytics-embedded. Training every developer & every ops person to adopt the new app paradigms is going to take a while, so I believe highly user friendly PaaS platforms may be key in driving the Cloud pin the next decade!

I’m going to explore this theme more during the year and will share my findings, but I’d love to hear from your experiences too, so share your comments, tweet at @_ganeshp

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