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Seismic shift challenges business, IT

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Bishu Panigrahi, global business services managing partner South Africa, IBM.
Bishu Panigrahi, global business services managing partner South Africa, IBM.

The rate at which organisations are now moving business-critical applications and data to the cloud and digitally transforming their businesses signals a seismic shift on a scale that has not been seen since the mainstreaming of the Internet, says IBM.

“This is a massive upheaval and a rapid rate of change, and it is challenging both business and IT,” says Mark Hancox, director of technology services Southern Africa at IBM.

IBM calls this phase Cloud Chapter 2, in which organisations have moved low-hanging fruit such as Web applications and customer-facing applications to the cloud.

However, those early applications accounted for only around 20% of workloads. As disruptors challenge traditional players, organisations are now migrating the next 80% of their workloads – including legacy systems, mission-critical workloads and critical data – to the cloud.

“There’s a right way and a wrong way to approach this phase,” Hancox says.

IBM advises that organisations moving to Cloud Chapter 2 need to embrace a hybrid multi-cloud approach that allows them to manage multiple clouds from multiple vendors with consistent management and security protocols, using open source technology.

“With systems and applications across up to 15 different clouds on-premises, private and public, organisations are quickly faced with huge complexity of architecture,” says Bishu Panigrahi, global business services managing partner South Africa at IBM.

“The front-end application might be in the public cloud, core processes in a private cloud, and middleware in another cloud, so you could find yourself delivering business processes across multiple clouds and players.

“To control this environment, manage complexity and – crucially – avoid business risk, organisations need to have the right strategies, skills, capabilities and tools in place.”

At the same time as organisations are shifting their workloads, they are investing in digital transformation and next-generation technologies to gain a competitive advantage.

“The move to the cloud is not just about the infrastructure,” says Panigrahi. “It is also about how this enables you to optimise your core business processes and data, and maximise technologies like automation, machine learning, artificial intelligence and blockchain to enable the business to differentiate and become a disruptor. These are all game-changers in the IT ecosystem, and cloud is the catalyst.”

IBM has positioned itself to help customers weather the seismic shift, with its $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat earlier this year, setting in place the foundations for the open, hybrid cloud platforms and toolsets of the future.

IBM has also upskilled its 350 000-strong global workforce, and invested in IBM Garage, a global centre for high-impact, client-centric innovation for cloud and cognitive solutions, and the IBM X-Force commercial security research and support teams.

Learn more

IBM Cloud Services is set to host an Executive Forum in partnership with ITWeb in Johannesburg on 5 November.

At the event, stakeholders will discover how IBM’s Red Hat acquisition and new open platforms will future-proof their cloud and overall IT strategies, with the architecture, tools and strategies for migrating to and optimising the hybrid multi-cloud environment.

For more information, click here.

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