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Long road to optimised hybrid multi-cloud world

By Tracy Burrows

Johannesburg, 13 Apr 2021
Read time 2min 40sec
Craig Holmes, technology leader at IBM South Africa.
Craig Holmes, technology leader at IBM South Africa.

The hybrid multi-cloud is the future, but most organisations in South Africa have a long way to go before achieving a successful, optimal hybrid multi-cloud environment.

This is according to speakers at a round table discussion hosted by IBM recently.

Craig Holmes, technology leader at IBM South Africa, said that while South Africa lagged slightly behind many developed countries, it was still fairly progressive in terms of hybrid cloud adoption.

“Deploying a single cloud doesn’t give you choice and over time a single cloud proves more expensive. Being able to deploy workloads where they are best suited will ultimately drive more value to the organisation in terms of flexibility, availability and cost savings. However, only around 20% of workloads in South Africa have actually moved to cloud at this stage – most are still running on-premise,” he said.

Holmes said under 30% of the respondents in the recent ITWeb Hybrid Cloud Adoption Survey had a holistic, well documented hybrid cloud strategy. “Most organisations are still defining what that strategy is, although 49% expect to move to multi-cloud in the next 12 to 18 months,” he said.

“We believe the next five years will still be dominated by discussions on how to take workloads onto the cloud. IBM’s view is that on-premise will gradually morph into private cloud, public cloud and dedicated, industry specific clouds,” said Holmes.

We believe the next five years will still be dominated by discussions on how to take workloads onto the cloud.

Craig Holmes, IBM.

Hamilton Ratshefola, IBM country general manager, said an IBM study in MEA had found that organisations were currently pivoting around six key imperatives: the rise of the contactless economy, the reimagining of work, the need for resilient supply chains, a need for improved operational efficiency, the reinvention of business models for the digital economy, and the need for sustainability.

“Cloud is the foundation of digital transformation,” said Ratshefola.

He noted that organisations could approach a cloud strategy in either a segmented manner or a comprehensive manner.

“Many organisations making their journey to cloud started with leveraging cloud’s efficiencies to lower costs. Others are using the cloud for speed and customer experience responsiveness – and those who had these digital front-end systems during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic won customers. Another approach is comprehensive transformation.”

A cloud platform strategy cannot be designed in isolation, he said. "Ideally, it happens in concert with a data governance strategy, an application modernisation strategy and a mobile strategy among others, because all of these are now interrelated.”

IBM highlighted its focus on enabling the move to hybrid multi-cloud with Red Hat OpenShift – an open, hybrid cloud platform; as well as IBM Cloud Paks for data, business automation, Watson AIOps, integration, network automation and security; and IBM’s newly-launched industry specific clouds built to align with industry compliance requirements. These include the IBM Financial Services – banking cloud; IBM Telecommunication cloud, and more to be launched in future.

* This round table was a follow-up to ITWeb's Cloud, Data Centre and DevOps Summit 2021.

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