Ensuring the right cloud solution fit
IT landscapes are increasing complex and volatile. Moving your IT to a cloud-based ecosystem and focusing on digital transformation requires a holistic view of all aspects to ensure a solution is the right fit and data is secure.
This is the view of Collin Govender, VP of sales and service management at T-Systems South Africa. With over 20 years of experience in the IT industry, Govender is passionate about the way the cloud can transform business. His experience on both sides of the fence - as a customer and as a vendor - has given him an intuitive and comprehensive understanding as an adviser.
Govender will be addressing delegates at the ITWeb Cloud Summit 2017 about the cloud environment; as well as how to strategically transition to cloud and transform within a secure environment.
He says it is often difficult for companies to quantify exactly what is required and to commit to long-term contracts. He is a strong believer in flexible contracts with a transparent cost schedule and the ability to pull the plug if the service does not meet expectations or if requirements change.
"As with home renovations, transitioning to cloud can take a long time and costs can go higher than expected. Vendors need to help customers plan and budget with a fixed price and guaranteed outcome. Customers moving to SAP HANA have an idea of how much this costs and the steps involved for the full transition. They should be assured of what they are in for in terms of CAPEX and time. If problems are encountered, the vendor should take up the cost or overruns.
"The crux is for vendors to gain a full understanding of a client's IT environment from the start, and the solution needs to be packaged to include seamless solutions of risks, security and compliance. Thereafter the relationship is based on trust and quality; if customers have the ability to cancel the platform if it is not working for them, you can be assured the vendor will do all in his power to ensure smooth working, no outages and continual security updates," he says.
He believes this approach is fundamental is retaining clients. Often users do need hand holding in the initial stages and a vendor who will partner with them in getting staff up and running with the new system. This includes advice in educating employees in how to prevent security risks within the organisation through proper workflow processes.
In terms of trends, Govender says he has seen start-ups embracing cloud and digital transformation from the start as they are not beholden to legacy systems. There is less concern about security, but customers want the flexibility to pay as they grow.
Middle-tier companies are adopting Amazon Azure for the favourable price point and agility. Banks consume a lot of optional services, mostly for the peripheral services they provide. The healthcare sector is concerned with changes to the regulatory environment and doesn't want to make a big upfront investment. Vendors need to be flexible in how they package solutions and this often means new procurement models.
T-Systems says it has worked hard to encompass all this advice into its offerings. The company has developed a new promise for cloud migration - a guarantee of 20% total cost of ownership reduction in the SAP landscape and rapid digital transformation under the Cloudifier offering. Cloudifier takes a three-phase view of cloud migration: design, transform, and operate. At the end of this cycle, T-Systems guarantees sustainable transformation.
"We take our brand promise seriously. I would advise users to ensure that they can tick of as many of the provisions I've mentioned as possible before committing to a vendor. Most importantly ensure that everything is contained in the service charge," he says.