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ITWeb, in partnership with IBM, conducted a Hybrid Cloud Survey to examine the state of cloud adoption in South African businesses.

1. What triggers or events led to the adoption of cloud services?
2. What is the company’s overall approach to cloud in the next 12-18 months?
3. Which business priorities will be impacted by cloud adoption?

A total of 339 responses were captured, with respondents including CTOs, CDOs, CIOs, IT Directors, Heads of IT Departments and IT Managers, and included representation across a wide range of industries, although 33% of respondents came from the financial and business sector and 19% came from the banking, insurance and financial services sector. 12% of respondents came from the public sector.

Here are some of the key findings:

  1. 89% of respondents play a role in their organisation’s decision-making process around cloud adoption.

  2. 85% of respondents say they use cloud (public or private) for their IT operations, while 12% aren’t currently using cloud but plan to within the next year or two. Three percent say it’s not on the radar.

  3. The top 3 most important triggers or events leading to respondents either using or considering using cloud services are business demanding more agility and/or speed from IT (59%), modernisation and re-platforming (38%) and functionality or services only found in cloud offerings (31%).

  4. Asked what their company’s overall approach to cloud would be for the next 12 -18 months, 49% of respondents ticked Hybrid Cloud (private and public cloud): we plan to migrate large proportion of workloads on both public and private clouds in a hybrid environment. 17% chose Mostly Public Cloud: we plan to have most workloads on public cloud and only a few workloads on-premise and on private cloud. 14% said their strategy was for Private cloud only: we plan to have all infrastructure and applications on-premise and in hosted private cloud but none at all on public cloud.

  5. The technology considerations most impacting respondents’ move to cloud were prioritised as follows: Security: Critical and regulatory workloads (62%); Manageability: Standardisation (54%); and Agility: Containers (35%). These are followed by Portability: Open-source and Abstraction: Platform approach with 24% each.

  6. The top three business priorities that will be most impacted by cloud adoption in the next 12-18 months are: driving innovation - new digital products, business models and revenue streams (49%); driving distributed work and/or accelerate future of work (49%); and accelerating business process transformation (49%). Transforming customer experience (45%) was also a priority.

  7. Respondents were asked to identify the current stage of cloud adoption for their company.
    • Stage 1: Discovery and evaluation of cloud (18%)
    • Stage 2: Running trials and pilot projects (14%)
    • Stage 3: Using cloud for test and development environment (13%)
    • Stage 4: Initial implementation of production applications (28%)
    • Stage 5: Broad implementation of production applications (27%).

  8. The IT vendors that come to mind when deploying hybrid cloud emerged as Microsoft (81%), AWS (61%), IBM (44%), VMWare (39%) and Oracle (28%).

  9. 32% of respondents say they will have multiple cloud environments to migrate workloads between within the next 12-18 months. 25% say they’ll focus on a single cloud environment.

  10. 35% of respondents say they’re currently pursuing a hybrid strategy involving integrated on-premises systems and off-premises cloud/hosted resources, 43% say they’re looking to/planning to pursue such a hybrid strategy and 23% say they aren’t looking to pursue a hybrid strategy.

  11. Asked to highlight the more important operational challenges that they face or foresee from their hybrid multi-cloud strategy in the next 12- 18 months, 22% of respondents say ensuring consistent security, access control and compliance, 16% say ensuring adequate IT talent and skills availability, 13% say not having a hybrid multi-cloud strategy and 11% say achieving desired business outcomes is a concern.