SA must move faster to hybrid multi-cloud, says IBM

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Mark Hancox, director, IBM Global Technology Services, IBM South Africa.
Mark Hancox, director, IBM Global Technology Services, IBM South Africa.

Globally, enterprises are embracing a hybrid multi-cloud strategy, which is the foundation of what IBM regards as ‘Cloud Chapter 2’.

This is when artificial intelligence (AI) moves from the lab into the main sequence of the business, and enterprises bring core, mission-critical workloads into the this new chapter of digital reinvention.

In the EMEA region, SA is ahead in terms of its Cloud Chapter 2 thinking processes, but the country must move faster to catch up with the global pace.

This is according to IBM’s Mark Hancox, director of Technology Services Southern Africa, and Bishu Panigrahi, Global Business Services managing partner South Africa, speaking to ITWeb ahead of an IBM Cloud Services Executive Forum in Johannesburg.

“In the ‘Chapter 1’ phase, much of the innovation in IT was driven by consumer technology such as smartphones and the consumer experience, including new apps and digital services that drove early adoption of cloud computing. Chapter 1 also saw narrow, disparate experimentation in building AI applications for the enterprise,” says Panigrahi.

“In Chapter 2, companies are making this journey to AI and cloud, not because they can, but because they must. Hybrid multi-cloud is the foundation of becoming an AI company,” says Hancox.

“Digital evolution is complex work and requires huge changes to workflows, which require infrastructure that is built for change: hybrid cloud.”

Hybrid multi-cloud environments present the challenge of managing operations and delivery of services in an ecosystem where platforms are connected, but operate in different environments. Despite the challenge, the speed at which enterprises must deliver value is becoming more important than ever.

Panigrahi says: “What we are seeing is that in South Africa, enterprises such as banks are ahead of many other regions in the world in terms of their move to cloud. Most have some sort of strategy in place, are engaging with platform vendors, and deciding what workloads to move at a very strategic level.”

However, other entities, such as the public sector, have been far slower to transition.

One reason for this may be the complexity of architecture required for a hybrid multi-cloud environment, and the potential impacts of the move on operations and business risk.

“So you need a very good strategy, and the necessary skills and capabilities to do it the right way and be successful in the first attempt,” says Panigrahi.

Learn more

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

Stakeholders will discover how IBM’s Red Hat acquisition and landmark 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.

The event will feature Aki Anastasiou, host of Technobyte on Radio 702 and Tech Busters on CNBC Africa, and experts such as Anthony Butler, CTO, distinguished engineer and blockchain leader, Middle East and Africa Global Business Services at IBM, and Quentin Geldenhuys, chief technology officer, Sub-Saharan Africa region at Red Hat.

The Executive Forum will outline Cloud Chapter 2, how to advance cloud initiatives and how to benefit from the world’s only fully open hybrid multi-cloud platform.

For more information, click here.

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