Why businesses can really count on cloud
Migration to the cloud is on the rise, with more businesses adopting cloud solutions to realise the benefits. Cloud is no longer a mystical concept, but a concrete pipeline to a more flexible, cost-effective work environment.
This is according to IT solution and service specialists at Johannesburg-based leading ICT company Elingo.
The progressive cloud-focused company believes the majority of businesses are at least curious about cloud development, solutions and implementation, knowing there are definite advantages - although there is still some level of apprehension.
Kobus Potgieter, Chief Financial Officer of Elingo, says: "The migration from desktop solutions to cloud solutions in the accounting world has been phenomenal. There has been substantial investment in cloud solutions, which drives further migration."
Cloud is the answer to the 'do anything from anywhere' technology question, says Jannie Pretorius, COO of Elingo.
"Real cloud allows services, accessibility and 'yet-to-be-discovered ways of communication' accessible from any location at the most relevant time. It truly is a technology and concept ahead of its time, with the mobile device revolution being just one of cloud's success stories," says Pretorius.
But he acknowledges that some businesses do not yet see the relevance of cloud in their space, "... and that is because the word cloud is simply a reference to a magnitude of possibilities, rather than something specific to that business. A deeper dive is required to see where the value proposition is: reduced infrastructure costs and no more 'upgrades' (because the cloud version of that product is always on its latest release). Moreover, no VPN required while in many cases being completely operating system independent."
Executives from Elingo list advantages associated with migration to the cloud, incorporating services and solutions, as faster turnaround through streamlined processes and delivery mechanisms, flexibility, scalability, being able to shift from a capex to opex finance model, and improved control over resources - especially data.
Businesses can benefit from better holistic security: the security services found in public clouds are more advanced than what many enterprises can afford on-premises, and it's much easier to implement, says Henning Lange, CIO of Elingo.
"The cloud is now politically correct: just a few years ago, the mere mention of putting workloads in a public cloud was practically like punching a co-worker in the face. Those days are over. Now you're considered out of touch if you don't at least consider cloud computing. The number of cloud services and solutions continue to rise and outperform the functionality and availability of existing on-premises solutions," he says.
Pretorius adds: "True cloud offers seemingly limitless scalability as it relies on independent micro services rather than fully featured applications. These services scale up and down based on demand without any impact to end-users, and without any intervention from application providers."
But there are challenges and this is contributing towards the apprehension.
Making a full transition to the cloud can sometimes be challenging, so here is where hybrid cloud solutions will play an important role, adds Lange.
"With a hybrid cloud, companies can transition to the cloud at their own pace, with less risk and at a lower cost," he continues.
Pretorius makes the point that many businesses confuse cloud with hosted. "They could not be more different; the same concerns that exist with an on-premises solution exist for a hosted solution - if done via a provider, it is just hidden but the end product will still be limited in the same ways. Examples could be restrictive scalability, or less functionality than the traditional on-premises version of that solution. It will never be able to realise the potential a true cloud solution offers."
Whatever the challenge, experts at Elingo say the right service provider partner makes all the difference.
"The fast-paced adaptation of cloud requires a partner who can adapt to and integrate with existing systems and legacy technology without any negative disruptions to the business. That means staying focused on achieving business goals," says Sabashni Moodley, Chief Support Officer of Elingo.
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