The term ‘digital transformation’ is widely used and can be interpreted in a seemingly endless variety of ways. However, there is broad agreement when it comes to the core idea – essentially a shift from using technology simply to overload existing processes, to making digital technology the backbone of the business and using it to drive new and improved processes. 

There is also consensus on the need to align an organization’s IT infrastructure with business requirements as the first step towards digital transformation, with most turning to cloud computing as the best way to achieve this. The cloud, however, exists in many forms and over the past few years there have been major shifts not only in technology but also in approaches to utilizing the cloud to best achieve digital transformation goals. 

The journey, not the destination 

One of the biggest changes is the realization that digital transformation cannot be viewed as a one-off project. Rather as an ongoing process that requires constant fine-tuning as new technologies and supporting services evolve. Especially when it comes to cloud computing, which in turn continues to transform at an ever-increasing speed. 

In the beginning, for example, there were very clear distinctions between shared public platforms like AWS and Microsoft Azure and private clouds, where customers deploy and manage their own infrastructure. The former were sold largely on the promise of the ability to switch from CapEx to OpEx funding, as well as access to limitless on-demand scalability. The latter appealed to those with less risk, especially businesses in heavily regulated sectors such as banking and insurance who want to control every aspect of their IT operations. 

 The lack of integration between these first-generation clouds led many businesses to think they had to pick one – public or private – and stick with it, but that’s no longer the case. The distinctions between public and private clouds are blurring to the point where it has become possible to not only mix the two together, but to deploy multiple clouds to meet the needs of specific applications and move those workloads between clouds more and more easily. So much so that in a recent global industry survey, more than half (57%) of large enterprises (5000+ employees) named hybrid multi-cloud as their best model for IT, and that number is predicted to rise to 80% over the next three years. 

A typical example of such a business is Societe Generale, one of France’s leading investment banks, which began building a Nutanix private cloud in 2015. Since then, the bank has continued to expand, scale and evolve this investment. The Nutanix-based cloud now manages more than 45,000 VMs on over 1,000 nodes and is a key part of the bank’s ambitious digital transformation plans. As Hary Ramenason, Head of Cloud Infrastructure As A Service, explains:  

“Cloud computing is driving digital transformation everywhere. Especially in a business like Societe Generale, where the cloud has become a factory, the living heart of our operations, deeply impacting how we work and how we deliver services to partners and customers. As we continue to scale and evolve our Nutanix private cloud, we also aim to take advantage of innovative public cloud technologies as part of a broader hybrid multi-cloud approach to IT in the future.” 

IT should be hybrid by design 

Regardless of the size or type of business, a hybrid multi-cloud approach to digital transformation is what most organizations now prefer. But that doesn’t make it any easier, not least because support for hybrid cloud operations remains a relatively low priority for many platform and service providers. 

Yes, it is possible to move virtualized workloads from public cloud to private infrastructure and vice versa, but these processes are rarely straightforward and difficult to automate. The same goes for connecting applications to storage, networking and other shared services, which in turn may reside in different clouds or, worse, locked into legacy platforms that are even more difficult to integrate. You may have thought that storage was gone, but it’s not. They’ve just moved to the cloud. 

“We opted to build a private cloud with Nutanix, believing it would allow us to dynamically scale our infrastructure, providing ease of use and lower operating costs,” adds Ramenason. 

“It didn’t disappoint, and neither did Nutanix, which has proven to have the technology, expertise and vision we need to help us with our hybrid cloud plans for the next phase of our digital transformation journey.” 

It’s not difficult to manage all of these platforms, applications and supporting services, and it’s not hard to find the expertise needed to ensure the security and continuous availability of a hybrid multi-cloud infrastructure. This is where Nutanix can help with a cloud platform that is hybrid by design, so it can be deployed anywhere – locally, in data centers or public clouds with full interoperability between these implementations. 

What’s more, the Nutanix cloud platform allows enterprises to migrate workloads between clouds without recoding, and provides full visibility and centralized management of every aspect of the hybrid infrastructure as a whole. 

Nutanix can also provide hybrid automation and security management tools that can run across multiple cloud platforms. Similarly, when it comes to database integration and management, Nutanix offers a single hybrid DBaaS (database as a service) solution that can work with all leading database platforms, again, across a wide range of cloud platforms. In addition, for companies looking to develop modern cloud applications, support for a wide range of Kubernetes container platforms has recently been added, as well as integrated data services and tools that allow developers to deliver infrastructure as code (IaC). 

This is why more and more companies are choosing to partner with Nutanix to not only modernize their legacy infrastructures, but also to better execute their digital transformation plans and find the upside of their cloud investments. 

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By >> Sammy Zoghlami, EMEA Senior Vice President Nutanix 

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