Kathy Gibson reports – South African enterprises are starting to adopt hybrid cloud and within five years it will be the predominant IT model.
This is the word from Rowen Grierson, regional sales director of Nutanix sub-Saharan Africa, sharing the results of Nutanix’s third annual Enterprise Cloud Index (ECI), which polled 3 400 IT decision-makers across multiple geographies, including South Africa.
“Whether or not a single IT model ends up being the one and only infrastructure, it’s clear that companies in South Africa and elsewhere have embarked on a journey to ramp up hybrid cloud,” he says.
The steps they need to take involve commissioning tradition, non-cloud enabled datacentres as they move to private and public cloud, which they will then integrate into a cohesively managed hybrid cloud environment.
The journey to hybrid cloud has been affected by the industry and macro trends, both pros and cons. Nearly half of South African respondents reported that they were short on the IT skills necessary to manage hybrid cloud environments (46%) and one-third lacked expertise in cloud-native and container environments.
In terms of what IT infrastructures ECI respondents are using exclusively today, those from South African fell generally in line with global averages.
In South Africa, it is clear that enterprises are moving to a hybrid cloud, and this will be the dominant model within five years.
Cutting costs is no longer enterprises’ top motive for modifying their IT infrastructure.
Respondents’ primary concerns are increasing speed to del bus needs (53%), flexibility to meet dynamic business requirements (60%) and better support for customers and remote workers (62%).
Organisations are looking to change for many reasons:
* Better support for customers (62%);
* To increase flexibility to deliver business needs (60%);
* To increase speed to deliver business needs (53%)
* To gain better control of IT resource usage (51%);
* For cost savings (51%);
* To support remote working (50%);
* It’s part of the executive strategy or mandate (42%);
* Security is a priority and the current model is not secure enough (37%);
* To avoid lock-in from a single vendor (36%); and
* Important applications will not easily run in third-party cloud environments (34%).
A massive 88% of organisations are considering the hybrid cloud model as the ideal operating model, and global IT teams are planning substantial infrastructure changes.
They are taking it one step at a time, however. First steps include leveraging private cloud and hyperconverged infrastructures, and decommissioning non-cloud-enabled datacentres.
“There is no way to get to the hybrid cloud world if you are still running old environment”
HCI is seen as the foundation or stepping stone to hybrid cloud – and only 5% of South African companies don’t plan to deploy it. 26% already, 31% in the process, 19% in the next 12 months; 14% in 12 to 24 months; 5% will be deploying but not within 24 months.
Application agility is a key driver to hybrid cloud. In South Africa, 29% of enterprises are not running more applications in public cloud, and 38% are running more applications in private clouds. For global organisations, there is a bigger move to private cloud (34%) rather than private cloud (31%).
For 20% of organisations in South Africa and globally, their strategy hasn’t changed, and 12% of local companies are now running more applications on-premise, compared to 15% globally.
“It is also clear that remote work is here to stay,” says Grierson.
Just a year ago, only 16% of South Africa companies had no employees working from home on a regular basis, compared to 27% globally.
Today, this has dropped to just 5% of local companies with no employees working remotely (7% globally).
Within the next 12 months, this number will be about the same: 4% in South Africa and 8% globally. It will edge up slightly in the next two years, but certainly to nowhere close to 2019 numbers,
Enterprises around the world have made new cloud investments as a direct results of Covid-19.
In South Africa, 60% of companies have invested in hybrid/multi cloud, compared to 42% in EMEA and 46% globally.
Meanwhile, 49% have invested in private cloud in South Africa, compared to 34% in EMEA and 37% globally; and 37% of local companies have invested in public cloud, against 43% in EMEA and 47% globally.
Just 10% of South African organisations have made no new cloud investment, compared to 12% EMEA, 10% global
The future priorities as shaped by Covid-19 for South African companies are:
* Improving IT infrastructure – 55%;
* Improving work from home capabilities – 53%;
* Implementation of 5G – 61%;
* Improving IT operational efficiencies – 50;
* Deployment of hybrid/multicloud solutions – 43%;
*Improving business continuity plans – 54%;
* Improving disaster recovery – 47%;
* Automation – 45%;
* Implementation of edge computing – 31%; and
* Cost-cutting exercises related to IT – 40%
“If you look back over time, you will see that every seven to 10 years or thereabouts, there is a massive event that changes everything,” Grierson concludes.
“The reality is that the only constant in life is change; there is always going to be something.
“2020 was a reality check for organisations to start planning and putting yourself in a situation where you can quickly change in a changing environment.
“It is a good reality check for companies to start doing this a bit smarter.”