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More SA firms pursue hybrid cloud strategies, says IBM

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Around 84% of surveyed South African C-Suite executives are either pursuing or planning hybrid cloud strategies,

This is according to a new IBM study conducted by research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), which reveals the majority of surveyed South African C-Suite executives believe hybrid cloud strategies are vital to their organisation's future.

According to the study, C-Suite executives in SA are prioritising the implementation of hybrid cloud strategies to benefit from flexibility, cost savings, testing and development, as well as disaster recovery.

Over 500 C-Suite executives were polled across 12 industry sectors − including highly-regulated industries, such as government, telecommunication and banking − in SA, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia.

It highlights a significant shift towards hybrid cloud (private cloud, public cloud, or on-premises), one year since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw businesses of all sizes across the country adopt remote work strategies.

The study asserts that further adoption of hybrid cloud strategies is required to help organisations transform their operations using emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence.

Similarly, a report released by Dimension Data last week found South African firms have increased their hybrid cloud adoption in the past year.

Higher hybrid prioritisation

The IBM-IDC study showed the stages of the adoption journey the global executives are in, with 32% currently pursuing hybrid cloud strategies, while over 60% are in the planning phase.

C-Suite executives polled in SA pointed to their strategic business requirements for adopting hybrid cloud over the next 12 months. Just over half of the local executives expect flexibility and significant cost savings from implementing a hybrid cloud strategy, while 58% view cloud as useful for conducting testing and development before moving their business-critical workloads to a production environment.

Thirty-seven percent of South African C-Suite executives view hybrid cloud as a solution to any potential disaster recovery requirements their businesses may have.

Additionally, the South African executives see hybrid cloud as an important step towards application modernisation or developing cloud native applications – 67% of the executives stated the ease of application deployment in adopting hybrid cloud in their businesses, while 41% want to leverage the operational benefits.

"It is evident hybrid cloud strategies are becoming core to digital transformation journeys and increasingly prioritised in SA to help revolutionise business models,” says Hamilton Ratshefola, GM of IBM Southern Africa.

“As organisations in SA transform their operations, hybrid cloud will continue to be adopted to provide flexibility and efficiencies, and improve the bottom line.”

The hybrid cloud model’s growing prominence stems from its agile architecture, notes the report, which allows businesses to manage multiple clouds designated to meet current and incremental business requirements, data and workloads in a secured and governed manner.

A hybrid cloud landscape may include the combination of one or more on-premises infrastructures, internally managed or outsourced private clouds, public clouds from multiple providers, and even the infrastructure for legacy and most modern Internet of things and edge systems − all running simultaneously to fuel the digitisation needs of the enterprise.

“The IBM study conducted by IDC highlights the evolution of a hybrid cloud ecosystem in which organisations would choose a deployment option (private cloud, public cloud, or on-premises) depending upon the total value of that deployment option.

“Vendors that offer flexibility to seamlessly operate across multiple clouds will have an edge over others,” says Harish Dunakhe, IDC research director for software and cloud in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa.

“It is clear there is strong awareness of the benefits that organisations can leverage from hybrid cloud. As the awareness grows, we expect enterprises to encourage adoption across their organisations to fully benefit from hybrid cloud.”

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