IBM SA announced a range of new cloud solutions during a media function held today at the Saxon, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Werner Lindemann, IBM Sub-Saharan Africa Global Technology Services VP says the company’s strategy over the past few years has shifted dramatically since 2003 to focus on 3 specific areas – Smarter Computing, Business Analytics and Cloud.
“What we are launching today is a culmination of two of these three strategies, smarter computing and cloud.
“We are launching this product for the South African environment,” says Lindemann.
Lindemann says although IBM has been offering private cloud services to customers for the past 18 months, it was limited to customers inside their environment.
“This is the first real enterprise cloud catalogue based solution that we’re taking to the SA market,” he says.
“I haven’t seen something similar in the market yet.”
According to IBM’s Global CIO study involving 2 000 respondents, about 60% of all CIOs (Chief Information Officers) are investigating cloud in their enterprise environment.
Cloud – no hype but reality
Mark Walker, IDC Middle East Africa (MEA) and Turkey Director for Insights and Vertical Industries presented research findings conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC) entitled – “The obscure (yet influential) art of cloud computing in the modern age.”
Walker said the IDC interviewed 2000 people in South African, focusing on cloud computing.
“The questions asked included – what is happening in cloud? where is it going?”
“The purpose of the study was to find out if cloud is the latest incarnation or a reality. In the corporate environment, a lot of the CIOs are very hesitant in terms of adopting new technology, due to the economic situation we find ourselves in,” says Walker.
What is Cloud Computing?
Walker defined cloud computing, from logical engine Wolfram Alpha:
“Cloud computing is a service that provides common business applications online, which are accessed from a web browser, while the software and data are stored on the servers – a style of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources are provided as a service over the Internet.”
What will cloud computing do?
“It will change marketing, it will transform business, it will force organizational change and reshape it forever. “
“Cloud computing is already a reality, it will have a profound effect on business,” says Walker.
According to the IDC 2010 Digital Universe Study, public IT cloud services will grow at almost four times the rate of the IT market as a whole.
“Worldwide revenue from public IT cloud services exceeded $21.5 billion in 2010 and will reach $72.9 billion in 2015.
“By 2015, one of every seven dollars spent on packaged software server and storage offerings will be through the public cloud model.”
Cloud Computing investment
According to Walker, when a new technology goes from hype to reality; you measure it’s usefulness on the size of the real investment happening.
According to industry analysts, 39% of cloud users report that the hybrid cloud is currently part of their strategy, with this number expected to grow to 61% in the near future, concludes Walker.
Cloud Computing challenges
In Walker’s opinion security remains a major issue in limiting the adoption and deployment of cloud computing in South Africa and the rest of the African continent.