In the “Key Adoption Drivers” post, I covered what the main drivers for virtualization adoption are and in the “Virtualization Journey Stages” post we saw how the virtualization journey evolves along three main stages that are characterized by:
- Different type of applications being virtualized (IT infrastructure, test and dev, business applications, databases…)
- Level of organizational and process maturity
- Different business value delivered
The three stage framework represents the first axis of the virtualization journey adoption:
Business Value Evolution
One of the most interesting findings from our customers interviews was how the value proposition that virtualization delivers evolves across the journey. Mind you, I am talking about what customers told us, not what VMware marketing says.
At the beginning of the journey (IT Production), it is all about cost efficiency around server consolidation, space, power and cooling savings.
When customers enter into the Business Production phase and they start virtualizing business applications and production databases, the value proposition is all around better quality of service and business continuity. This shift is sudden and dramatic. It is like cost savings from consolidation is taken for granted at this stage and customers switch their focus on faster provisioning, better capacity management, reliability and process automation for their business applications. This is where features such as High Availability (HA), Fault Tolerance (FT) and SRM become important.
At the right side of the journey, it is all about business agility. Customers are on a path to virtualize as much as they can of the IT environment so that they can scale up the benefits derived from virtualization and achieve more process automation, faster time to market, and dynamic allocation of resources to cope with varying demand. This is the stage that gets them closest to running a private cloud. More on this in later posts.
The Second Axis of Adoption: the VMware Product Stack
The journey also evolves along a second axis: the VMware Product Adoption that is which functional areas of the VMware product portfolio a customer deploys overtime.
There are five main functional domains in the VMware product portfolio (pre-SpringSource acquisition):
- Infrastructure Consolidation (ESXi and core vCenter)
- Application Development Quality and Efficiency (Lab Manager)
- Cost Effective Availability and Disaster Recovery (SRM, HA and FT)
- Desktop Security, Mobility and Support Efficiency (View, Workstation)
- Virtualization Efficiency and IT process Automation (DRS, Lifecycle Manager)
The core platform with ESXi and the basic management capabilities of vCenter provide the foundation for hardware abstraction, consolidation and CAPEX savings along the whole journey. To unlock the higher level business value of virtualization, customers need to adopt and deploy the upper layers of VMware product stack.
SpringSource add some very nice application management and monitoring capabilities with Hyperic, a lightweight development framework (Spring + Tools) and a lightweight run-time container (tc Server).
Although adoption stages and product adoption are somewhat related (e.g. customer who virtualize mission critical applications tend to aggressively deploy features such as HA and FT), each customer will follow their very own path in deploying the different functional areas of VMware’s product stack. The path mainly depends on what their business triggers are (e.g. running out of data center space, hardware refresh, security compliance on the desktop) and their business priorities.
Business Triggers to Business Value Framework
As part of our customer journey project, we built a taxonomy to map triggers to functional areas, to capabilities to business value. This is how we help customers define the custom journey that best maximize business value returns based on their set of triggers and concerns.
To do so, we first enumerated all the business triggers that are relevant to virtualization; then we mapped which product area addresses each business trigger. From there, we listed all the capabilities and the business values that each product area delivers.
This is the high level view of triggers-to-business-area mapping by stage:
And the related capability and value mapping
In the next posts, I am going to show how we use this framework to build a customer adoption journey and then how we calculate the ROI across the different business value categories: Cost Efficiency, Quality of Service and Business Agility