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The cloud – short-term results but long-term journey

By Riaan Lombard, Director, IP Dimension

Johannesburg, 26 Jul 2022
Read time 3min 50sec
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Following the rapid shift to software as a service (SaaS) applications evidenced over the last two years, we are seeing another strategic cloud move: companies looking to embrace a multi-year strategic cloud-first transformation.

It sounds fancy in words, but this entails a shift in not just the applications they put in the cloud, but also how they structure their IT infrastructure. If the pandemic showed us anything, it is that legacy infrastructure and legacy applications just won't cut it in a new, digital-first, cloud-first and rapidly evolving digital economy.

Winners and losers

The losers in this race are those companies still dead set on shifting tin and applications that simply don’t scale to the cloud. The winners are vendors like Microsoft with Microsoft 365 and Azure and those end-users who are willing to migrate their thinking with their workloads.

But why Microsoft? Yes, as a Microsoft partner, you would expect IP Dimension to want to sell Microsoft. And we feel no shame in doing so. But there are some fundamental economic factors as to why we are backing Microsoft in the cloud race. The first is interoperability. The one thing that the Microsoft cloud has done well is break the proprietary mindset the vendor once had and move to an all-encompassing view of – build it, and you can still host us on it.

The second is flexibility. There are already over 200 applications hosted in Azure. That is 200 reasons to use Azure and 200 ways you can improve your business processes. Couple this with the fact that Microsoft 365 has staked its claim as a de facto standard in how businesses collaborate – and you are not only batting on a winning wicket, but also knocking it out of the park.

Another reason we believe Azure is a winner is because it plays well with others. Considering that conservative South African IT departments are very much within the hybrid or multicloud camp, we need to look at how public cloud instances meld with private cloud ones.

For example, suppose a user is hosting a private cloud (rack) in a Teraco data centre with a cloud service provider. In that case, Azure offers seamless onramps for clients looking to leverage its SaaS solutions.

With Azure, it is no longer an either-or cloud discussion. But a how and when. Knowing full well that the cloud you select will support the business journey you are on, run on the hardware you choose and integrate with your private (and other public) clouds.

The economy of movement

Another critical factor to consider when looking at a cloud partner is the movement economy. By this, we mean those hybrid workers, road warriors and remote offices and how they connect and interconnect across your business (and supply chain) for complete collaboration.

This is not just a Teams discussion. It's an all-encompassing collaboration discussion. Being able to offer access to data, workgroups and applications across an organisation, devices and among all staff can sometimes require multiple software instances. This translates to numerous licences, multiple support tickets and multiple training streams. All of which come at a cost.

With Microsoft 365 and Azure instances, users immediately benefit from a streamlined experience. Not just desktop experience, but billing, procurement and a licensing one too. Another benefit? The skills to support your investment is immediately available through partners like IP Dimension, which has local knowledge, offers superior support, boasts a proven track record and provides integration capabilities and migration services.

Stay the course

Critically, once you have picked your cloud, you need to stay the course. We have all heard it before. The cloud is a journey and not just a destination. So while migration to a Microsoft cloud can offer immediate short-term benefits, it is very much a long-term journey.

So aside from the benefits a business will experience when adopting Microsoft Azure or 365, err on the side of caution and always appoint a partner that can help with cloud readiness assessments, cloud migration roadmaps and cloud security. A winning cloud strategy always involves not just a vendor who ticks all the boxes, but also a well-thought-out migration plan.

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17 Aug
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