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Beyond the cloud and into a new, intelligent world order

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Beyond the cloud and into a new, intelligent world order
Ed Gassner, Group CEO of Britehouse

Over the last few years, the business world has lifted its eyes upwards and taken off into the Cloud in search of easier deployment and a decrease in the need for lengthy implementation processes. The focus is no longer solely on digital transformation, although this is still a priority for many. Instead, the focus is now on the Intelligent Enterprise. After all, IE is the link that will bring everything together and facilitate the core of your business to function at the highest level of excellence.

Having been at Britehouse for almost a year now, I’ve seen first-hand the rapid pace at which these developments are occurring and sweeping our industry up, in a flurry of excitement and trepidation. In particular, I want to dialogue about four areas in which there has been the biggest movement of all and on which I believe we should all keep an eye.

1. A move to intelligent edge computing

When we speak about intelligent edge, we mean the analysis and aggregation of data close to where it is captured in a network. You might not think that proximity has anything to do with anything, but the edge is where it’s all happening and can yield deeper insights, faster. Importantly, it’s where the “things” in the Internet of Things (IoT) exist. Living close to the edge means that organisations can leverage this development to minimise latency, reduce bandwidth, lower costs, reduce threats, avoid duplication, and improve reliability.

Historically, Britehouse has partnered with world-class leaders, such as SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft, in order to expertly provide our clients with and implement software-based solutions that form the basis of their core working systems. However, the move to the Cloud and the dramatic step away from on-premise support and professional services has forced digital solutions and services specialist companies, like Britehouse, to undergo a transformation in order to survive this new world order.

With the edge of the Cloud at our feet, our response has been to partner more closely with these industry leaders to create applications that have the capacity to integrate and streamline a support offering and that will also work in the Cloud. The kind of solutions that will bring clients closer to the benefits that the edge has to offer. And importantly, this has meant working with smart people with the strategic intent to create smart apps – as seen in the development of our own IT and apps for our clients and their customers.

This is a crucial step in the right direction, because as clients move away from on-premise support, to the Cloud, they need a partner who can assist them with apps that are fast-to-build, quick-to-deploy, and capable of getting their core ERP into the Cloud.

Interestingly, as complex as these developments seem, this transition hasn’t happened slowly. The sheer speed at which the move to the Cloud has taken place has created significant learning for 2018.

2. Work collaboratively and focus on entrepreneurship

There is a growing emphasis on working more collaboratively and to this end, I have seen a shift in our own approach. We have collaboratively created various applications, including those that run on Cloud platforms, on-premise ERP, and customised applications and have seen just how well this approach has worked. This is particularly obvious in the Microsoft space, where we have existed in a “build together and sell together” world. Similarly, this close relationship exists in both our SAP and Oracle partnerships and we are constantly seeing the fruits of working together for a common purpose.

While we pride ourselves on being platform agnostic, we have remained aligned with SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft in order to work together and build applications for the needs of our clients and partners who use these industry leaders to achieve their goals. We are therefore guaranteed that these applications are certified and sold by those same providers. Moreover, in following this new journey to the edge of the Cloud and beyond and working together to deliver apps to our clients, we have revived the entrepreneurship within our lifeblood.

3. The rise in cloud data centres

Another shift that has disrupted the market again and warrants some consideration is the advent of the new Microsoft datacentres, which are soon to be launched in South Africa. While datacentres are nothing new, having existed in one form or another since the birth of computers, recent application has resulted in a market swept up. In particular, we anticipate increased interest in Microsoft Azure from the market, whom we expect will consider Microsoft as the primary datacenter available. Not only is Dimension Data and Britehouse a globally certified Gold Microsoft Partner, but we have remained a top partner of choice with this industry giant for several years and we are ready for the uptake that market interest has indicated.

Moreover, Dimension Data has developed its own data centre, which is accessible to clients of varying sizes, all the while ensuring a software agnostic presence so as best to serve our clients, regardless of whether they utilise our offering or whether they are on their unique transformation journey. In this way, we are well placed to engage clients who will use Microsoft and other cloud providers as well as on-premise solutions to deliver services into their organisations.

4. Data analytics is here to stay

With all this innovation, what steadfastly remains is data analytics. Data analytics will continue to be a big driver and a great asset to digital companies and their clients. The edge provides analytics capabilities that were formerly confined to on-premises. Arguably, a more collaborative and strategic adherence to this asset will result in selling more of our own IP to our customer base, alongside our SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft global partnerships.

Ultimately, this journey is an unstoppable train barrelling beyond the Cloud and into a new world order that we can either ride into together and deliver apps to our clients in an agile way, or sink below the horizon.

By Ed Gassner, Group CEO of Britehouse

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