Local solutions make cloud accessible
Local solutions are designed for local infrastructure constraints, and are simple and affordable to implement and run, says Turrito Networks.
South African businesses make the mistake of looking to cloud solutions built for international conditions. Instead, they should look to those built for the local environment, says Brian Timperley, MD and co-founder of Turrito Networks.
Timperley says South African enterprises of all sizes are seeking to benefit from cloud computing. "But cloud in general is only at the beginning of the adoption curve. Businesses now are only scraping the surface of what's possible," he says.
A challenge that may have slowed the rate of local cloud adoption, he says, is the fact that local enterprises tend to want to use big-name solutions built for conditions in the US or Europe. "The problem with these is that they have generally been built for environments with the luxury of affordable, high-speed bandwidth. In South Africa, we still face challenges of latency and relatively high bandwidth costs, and so 'heavy' solutions do not perform optimally here."
Another hurdle, he says, is that, until recently, cloud solutions have been expensive and complex to implement.
Now, says Timperley, local solutions providers are bringing to market cloud services and solutions designed for local infrastructure constraints; these solutions are also intended to be simple and affordable to implement and run. "Of necessity, South African developers have made lighter, simpler solutions, which means the challenges and barriers to entry for South African businesses - especially SMEs - have been reduced."
The key to local cloud success, he says, is to empower the enterprise to host and manage its own enterprise application store, where it has full control and can ensure security of business-critical applications. In addition, the solution should retain the data within the enterprise servers, simply transferring encrypted pixels across the network, to ensure low bandwidth consumption, speed of access and tight security.
"Users just want to consume the applications - they don't want to manage them. Once the enterprise's own application store has been centrally enabled, the IT department can control the data and applications important to the business, running them on the central servers, and only send out pixels or screen information, with the actual processing of data happening centrally. This eliminates concerns about hosting important applications and data on lower-cost, foreign-hosted services, as well as concerns about the security of data hosted in the public cloud. If you don't draw data out of the data centre, and have only encrypted pixels moving across the network, security concerns are allayed.
"We are seeing a lot of development and interest in the space, particularly in the past year," says Timperley. The interest, he says, spans the public and private sectors, as well as smaller enterprises.
"What we are seeing is that, typically, organisations aren't moving everything to their enterprise cloud application stores. They are adopting a hybrid approach, with some applications and data hosted locally and some cloudified. The applications they tend to put in the cloud first are financial applications, legacy applications and industry specific applications that are critical to their particular lines of business. Businesses want access to their most important business functions - like authorising a purchase or a document - wherever and whenever they need it."
Timperley will speak at the upcoming ITWeb Cloud Computing Summit on the technologies and innovation that have opened the door to delivering affordable, enterprise-ready cloud applications to SMEs, corporates and education institutions. For more information about this event, click here.