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Cloud Services / DevOps / Tech Culture

Business Innovation Across Multiclouds

VMworld panel of tech experts discuss the best ways to speed up business innovation in today’s multicloud and multi-infrastructure world — with pancakes!
Oct 20th, 2021 12:26pm by and
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Software deployments increasingly involve highly distributed and decentralized application development processes across any combination of data centers, public cloud and the edge. All the while, reliability, security or performance cannot be compromised.

In this The New Stack Makers podcast, a panel of technology executives discussed the best ways to speed up business innovation in today’s multicloud and multi-infrastructure world. Over a virtual pancake breakfast during VMworld, VMware‘s annual user conference, they also discussed how to deliver apps and services faster to improve the customer experience.

The guests were Dormain Drewitz, senior director of product marketing for VMware Tanzu; Mandy Storbakken, cloud technologist for VMware; Shawn Bass, chief technology officer for VMware’s end-user computing business; and Jo Peterson, vice president cloud and security services at Clarify360.

Alex Williams, founder and publisher of TNS, and Joab Jackson, TNS editor-in-chief, hosted the podcast.

Business Innovation Across Multiclouds

The process of improving business innovation through software adoption typically involves a reliance on open source tools and platforms, especially for cloud native deployments. At the same time, some organizations may struggle with the perceived risks of realigning their DevOps processes to support business innovation with new open source tools. Making the shift involves a shift in mindset, which among other things, allows for experimentation and accepts failure.

“Fundamentally, when you think about innovation, you have to put psychological safety int0 the conversation — and a lot of that comes down to whether you have created an environment where folks can fail as they’re trying things,” Drewitz said. “If that is not possible, it’s really hard to cultivate innovation, regardless of technology. And so that’s something that just before you get into any of the technology choices that people are making, if you want to think about innovation, you’ve got to solve for that first from a cultural perspective.”


Providing DevOps team members with the tools they need to innovate without fear of failing is also key, Storbakken said.

There’s a discussion around open source and especially in the enterprises, which “is a matter of getting capabilities into the hands of people that are trying new things very quickly, without having to go through a huge buying cycle or to buy enterprise software before they can even try something out,” Storbakken said. “Innovation comes from … giving people permission to try new things.”

There is also a movement “across the industry” from imperative to declarative infrastructure, Bass said. “There has been a shift happening over the last five to 10 years for companies to start thinking of desired state management — what is the configuration we want to deploy to a particular target — and let the capabilities on the endpoint automatically correct that device and bring it to that desired state management,” said Bass. “So, this notion of moving from imperative to declarative is also happening in the endpoint operating system world as well.”

The adoption of new tools and processes to support innovation will almost inevitably involve adapting legacy infrastructure when making the shift.

“You have to think about how am I going to take what I have today, and how am I going to continue to innovate with what I have today?” Peterson said. “And you end up in this situation where you’re building net new in the cloud, and you’re caring for legacy systems, and what you really want is a bridge between the two. And what you really crave is this visibility and the ability to manage from end to end because that’s your world.”

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TNS owner Insight Partners is an investor in: Pragma.
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