In the June 2, 2008 copy of eWeek the cover story is an interview with VMware CEO Diane Greene. It is a good interview and worth the read but one thing in particular struck out to me. In the article she says two things.
Last quarter, we had 15 emerging countries that had triple digit growth. When I go to India and China and meet with the customers, these people are in a hurry. They are building and modernizing their countries, and they are skipping all the steps that the modern-day countries went through…
…small companies will buy our software and then immediately standardize on it. They move very quickly….[It’s a much slower process for] large enterprises because they have such large IT groups with such established ways of doing things.
These statements are exciting and concerning all at the same time. While it is great that there are so many companies not being weighed down by the infrastructure most legacy enterprises have, it is also scary that they are ‘skipping steps’. I understand that she does not mean that they are not doing things correctly but by default they are missing parts. There are things that people are still figuring out like security for example, that “old” companies have figured out in the physical world. Just because they are not mature in a virtual world does not make them less important. Virtualization is an exciting time and a huge game changer for many companies but there is a fine line that must be realized. One of the largest drivers for the virtualization vendors it to get it adopted in widespread production. This is happening in some places, but in environments where they have been through the pain of the physical world they realize there are real concerns that must be addressed. Most of these issues still exist in the virtual world and many have a new twist. Vendors are moving very quickly to address these issues but it is still developing. The exciting part is that innovative companies can use the power of this technology to come up with new solutions, in a better way, that will make virtual more attractive than physical.