• Home
  • /
  • Business
  • /
  • Load-shedding gives more reasons to move to the cloud, says Turrito Networks

Load-shedding gives more reasons to move to the cloud, says Turrito Networks

Johannesburg, 24 Feb 2015

Electricity supply disruption looks set to become a permanent feature of the South African business landscape, says Louis Jardim of Turrito Networks - but businesses can minimise the impact on their IT by moving as much as possible to the cloud.

"Wise business owners should be planning for unreliable electricity supply as the new normal," says Jardim. "It's not just load-shedding - even without the current strain on Eskom's generating capacity, ageing distribution infrastructure will continue to cause local outages, which are often unplanned. We all need to be operating as if the lights could go off at any moment."

There are three things SMEs in particular can do to prepare for energy disruption, he says. "First, they need to move their businesses into the cloud; second, they need to outsource as much of their infrastructure as possible; and third, they need to develop a mobile workforce strategy."

"The time is perfect for a cloud strategy even without the new incentive of maintaining business continuity through load-shedding," says Jardim. "Moving into the cloud can lower monthly costs, increase productivity, enable always-on availability and actually increase security and stability. For most businesses the most critical applications are e-mail, customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and accounting - and there are already excellent, well-tested and widely used cloud options available for all of those."

Moving systems into the cloud may involve an initial learning curve, says Jardim, "but one of the key success factors is not to go it alone. That's why the second step is to find a skilled, experienced partner for your cloud migration who can seamlessly take over your ICT requirements and manage your infrastructure. Very few small businesses need to invest in their own generators and UPS to keep their servers running, for example - that should all be your partner's problem. A specialist cloud service provider can take advantage of economies of scale to provide high-quality, uninterrupted service, with complete and reliable backups of all your data, without you ever having to touch a server or storage device."

Finally, says Jardim: "you need to develop a mobile workforce strategy. Nowadays there are very few people who genuinely need to be bound to their office desk and phone - with a laptop or tablet and mobile data they can work anywhere. That means your business needn't grind to a halt just because the lights go out - work can continue from home, satellite offices or even coffee shops as long as there's connectivity. Your partner should also help you develop a communications strategy that provides seamless connectivity for all your key business applications, no matter where or when they're needed."

"Every crisis conceals an opportunity, and this is no exception," concludes Jardim. "Load-shedding may be the final factor that pushes some SMEs into the cloud, but they'll discover many other benefits once they get there."