By Iniel Dreyer – In an increasingly agile IT world, change happens quickly, and backup and storage solutions need to be able to keep pace.

While on-prem solutions offer a more controlled scenario in terms of planned costing, the capital layout, planning, and investment required can be high, and the need for both physical and cyber security, adds to this. In addition, it is all too easy to under or over-provision because of the pace of change.

Cloud solves these challenges, giving the required flexibility and agility to consume on demand, but this can lead to spiralling costs that can easily get out of control.

To find the right balance and the optimal solution for their needs, the channel needs to bring insight and an in-depth understanding of solutions and customer requirements to help customers walk the fine line between agility and cost.


There’s no one size fits all solution

When deciding on cloud versus on-prem, there are pros and cons to each and they need to be weighed up to find the right solution. The opex-capex (operational expenditure/capital expenditure) factor is often one of the most significant, as an on-prem solution requires upfront capital investment as well as investment in time, resources and physical space to store the hardware, which escalates the cost.

Cloud options become operational expenses that reduce these requirements, but as mentioned, the costs can spiral out of control if data is not managed correctly.

Cloud is often well suited to new projects, where businesses do not want to overprovision storage and backup requirements that are currently unknown. Online businesses and e-commerce sites that have large peaks in demand but only for short periods are also good candidates for a cloud solution, as it will scale up to cater to the peak and then scale back down.

This is instead of a business requiring masses of additional capacity at all times for these short bursts of increased demand.

On the other hand, on-prem solutions are needed when there are specific legal considerations that cloud providers cannot cater to. There may also be workloads that are highly sensitive to latency, in which case, the reliance on the network speed of the cloud could prove problematic.

Data sovereignty remains a consideration, although less so since most hyperscalers have a presence locally now, and there are also physical and networking security factors that may make on-prem the preferred solution.

There is no one solution that fits every business, so the individual use cases need to be examined to determine the best way forward. It is not necessarily always best to simply shift into the cloud, especially throughout Africa where the cost of data and stability of networks remains a challenge.


Expertise and insight are the key

In this increasingly complex and ever-changing landscape, resellers and channel partners need to invest the time and effort required to keep abreast of new developments.

To help customers, resellers must understand the solutions that are available and how they can help to solve customer challenges. In today’s world, it is all about finding the best solutions based on the business needs and maintaining a relationship to ensure ongoing success; and providing customers with the best solutions and services to meet their business requirements.

There are solutions for all scenarios, but it is up to us as managed services and channel partners to understand customer expectations, be more in tune with customer requirements, and build the solution stack to meet this.

At the end of the day, what matters to the customers is  how the solution is solving business challenges and pain points. We need to embrace this, provide the required insight, and offer the depth of expertise and understanding required to fulfil this need.


Iniel Dreyer is the MD of DMP South Africa