We’ve all experienced it before – one moment you’re dreaming peacefully and the next you’re plummeting through the air before ‘landing’ with a heart-stopping jolt back in bed. They say we often dream about falling when we feel overwhelmed or out of control, which is probably why it’s such a common experience.
It’s natural for people to fear what they feel they can’t control.
And it’s precisely this fear of lack of control which is keeping many South African companies from completing their journeys to the cloud.
In fact, around 60% of businesses refrain from using more hosted IT infrastructure because they are concerned about security and compliance. This was what Dimension Data discovered when it surveyed 1503 of its clients across the world, including South Africa. According to the survey, a further 50% of businesses are put off by the cost of the investment and 48% because of the complexity of managing multiple IT environments.
Do you know what you consume?
We know realistically that already most companies are operating in the cloud, and in most cases, the CFO or CIO simply doesn’t know what their company is consuming. They have no idea about the risks involved or who is accessing their private information.
Because they have no visibility, they can’t manage their transition to the cloud and if they can’t manage it, they can’t understand the cost involved and will overshoot their budgets. We know based on our survey, that when it comes to hosted cloud infrastructure, around 38% of businesses’ services are unmanaged.
In short, the very factors that they fear being unable to control, such as cost and security, are already in play.
Hybrid cloud is already a reality
To complicate the matter further, most companies are already hybrid as opposed to vendor-specific.
The majority are using Microsoft Office 365 in some or other format, all are employing a web hosting service provider and every business is looking to move its ERP function to the cloud in some shape or form. And the list of examples could go on.
No doubt, it makes sense for companies to want to operate in a hybrid cloud environment. Who wouldn’t want to be able to build their ideal IT environment by handpicking the best-of-breed solutions available?
But, while 29% of the companies which partook in Dimension Data’s research said they use different cloud environments to migrate workloads or data between these different environments, at least 29.81% of organisations also said that there is little to no interoperability between these cloud environments.
Silos create complexity
As such, a scenario arises in which there are many silos of information – silos which create a lot of complexity.
But, what many companies may not realise is that the platforms to help them seamlessly manage all of these silos – seen and unseen – already exist and have done so for years.
Dimension Data has a platform called Service Layer which has already been on the market for seven years. Essentially it is a collection of reusable software components which serve to develop, integrate, automate and orchestrate the managed services Dimension Data delivers. This also means it is able to integrate multiple clouds, bringing them together with all of the organisations’ other service elements in one very secure environment.
Bringing together best-of-breed
In this way clients can build their IT environment of choice, using whichever cloud provider they want. Coupled together with Service Layer is our Managed Centre offering which gives clients visibility across all of their managed services. While Service Layer is the intelligence, Managed Centre is the display.
Because Service Layer is a micro-services architecture, it allows us to onboard clients very quickly and add new features as when and they are needed.
With this solution, we’re also able to drive economies of scale, meaning that operating in a hybrid cloud environment is more affordable than most clients might imagine.
In essence it’s a platform which enables companies to respond quickly to market demands and changes, and to deploy value at speed.
At the end of the day there is very little reason for companies to fear transitioning to cloud – and even hybrid cloud – environments. Whether you’re looking at optimising your operations, lowering costs, or securing your business – there is significant value to be found in the cloud.
It’s simply a matter of ensuring that you implement the right measures to give you back control.
By Jay Reddy Solutions Executive, Dimension Data Middle East and Africa