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Array of local Cloud services will spur faster digitisation of SA Inc

The launch of various local Cloud platforms is a defining moment in the digitisation of companies and governments across the continent.

Microsoft recently announced that its Microsoft Cloud would be delivered from data centres in Cape Town and Johannesburg. This follows the news that T-Systems SA and Huawei will bring Open Telekom Cloud (an Open Stack public cloud platform) to local shores; and other providers preparing to establish their own datacentres around the country.

15th May 2017 – Opinion Piece, Peter Reid, Head of Intervate

 

Local organisations can now access some of the more advanced, computing-intensive fields – in areas like artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and connected sensors – which were previously not viable due to the costs of massive data volumes flowing to faraway Cloud destinations.

With direct access to these powerful and scalable Cloud tools, local firms can confidently commit to bold digitisation strategies – refurbishing and rebuilding systems in local Cloud platforms, architecting and designing with greater flexibility and becoming truly Cloud-ready businesses.

Perfectly positioned

With an over decade-long close relationship with Microsoft, and as the winner of multiple Microsoft awards, Intervate is naturally excited about the possibilities that Microsoft’s local Cloud will bring.

We’ll now be able to create applications that leverage the unique features of Azure – from advanced business intelligence and analytics, to their SQL database that includes embedded machine learning, performance optimisation and cyber-security defences.

Intervate is perfectly positioned to help local organisations get the most out of their Cloud migration journey – accelerating innovation, boosting entrepreneurship and helping to tackle some of our country’s most important problems.

Now, we can expect to see new businesses springing-up, new skills development programmes emerging, and heightened levels of innovation. Imagine the opportunities for the likes of facial recognition technology, real-time language translations, or sophisticated telemedicine services, for instance.

We’ll leverage the very best in Cloud platforms, to develop uniquely African solutions that solve our uniquely African issues.

No reason not to migrate

While many large SA firms have started migrating certain applications to hosted environments, fears and uncertainty around data sovereignty issues often prevent enterprise-wide Cloud transformation. Driven by new data and privacy legislation, many organisations have taken a conservative Cloud view.

In the Microsoft realm, for instance, while local firms may have already been using tools like Office 365 and Azure, the data has always resided in another part of the world.

But with global-class Cloud platforms available in SA, these concerns around data sovereignty and records management will quickly evaporate – allowing local organisations to accelerate their Cloud strategies. Within the Public Sector (where these concerns are even greater) we can expect to see a new wave of enthusiasm for Cloud-enabled e-Government plans.

From a technical perspective, local Clouds will address the issue of latency. With overseas data centres, latency is in the region of a couple of hundred milliseconds (at best). Now, we can bring this down to just a few milliseconds, and use dedicated lines to take full control over the connectivity linking your branches to the data centres.

This makes the world of difference if you’re crunching through vast volumes of data, and providing services that require real-time information flows. From stock exchanges to connected cars, the ability to bring latency down to virtually zero is a huge benefit.

As more and more global and local Cloud players commit to building South African Cloud environments, customers have greater levels of choice. And depending on your existing IT landscape, and your business strategies for the future, you’ll be able to pick and choose the platform that best suits your needs.

It will be exciting to see the effects on our digital economy, as local businesses take advantage of these new Cloud platforms, and go ‘all in’ with their digital transformation aspirations.

Intervate helps enterprise take pragmatic, step-by-step approach on “Journey to the Cloud”

Cloud-based architecture continues to be a top point of discussion within the IT industry, and enterprises have either taken the first steps on their journey to the cloud, or are currently examining the possibilities.

7th April 2015, Press Release, Peter Reid, Head of SharePoint Solutions

However, while for smaller companies migrating to the cloud is a simple task, for the enterprise it is a substantial process that requires significant time and investment, and simply moving the entire architecture into the cloud is not a viable option. These organisations need to take a pragmatic view of exactly where cloud migration makes sense and produces business transformation, and where traditional on-premises solutions remain the best option.

In light of this growing challenge, Intervate, a T-Systems company, will be hosting the “Journey to the Cloud”, an event designed to break down the mammoth task of cloud migration into a more manageable framework. A number of global industry thought leaders will share insight into cloud technologies for enterprise and how organisations can begin their cloud journey or capitalise on existing cloud investment, as well as real-world examples of moving a large, complex organisation into the cloud using a hybrid model.

“We believe that enterprises can gain enormous benefit from migrating certain functionality to the cloud; however, deciding which functionality and how to go about doing so can be a daunting task. A hybrid environment is often the most beneficial approach, but lack of knowledge and information can prove to be a significant stumbling block. The Journey to the Cloud aims to help businesses understand the potential of the cloud for their business, break up the journey into manageable steps, and understand how the right partner can help them to achieve their cloud ambition optimally,” says Peter Reid, SharePoint Solutions Head at Intervate.

At the event, Uriel Rootshtain from Microsoft will deliver an introduction of a hybrid approach to the cloud, the cloud from a Microsoft perspective, as well as the benefits of the Microsoft stack in the cloud. Reid will share his insights on the journey to the cloud, the first steps organisations should be taking, and how to break this down into an easy-to-understand framework and steps to begin the migration.

Brian Wilson from Intervate partner, WiredLight, in the United Kingdom, will be presenting a customer case study that demonstrates first-hand experience of moving a large, complex organisation to a hybrid model. He will be addressing the how, when, where and what not to do when considering the move to hybrid, including legislation, practicalities, governance, bandwidth constraints and more. Presentations will conclude on the topic of the future of the cloud, how this is changing the world we live in and what this means for business right now.

“Those attending the Journey to the Cloud will gain a working knowledge of what is happening within the Microsoft cloud space and the state of the market. The main goal of the event is to help businesses gain a sense of the framework and structure they need for their journey, breaking it down into simple ‘bite-size’ chunks to simplify this often daunting task. In addition, attendees will be given the opportunity to interact with thought leaders in the industry, a valuable exercise for any business on the cloud journey,” Reid concludes.

The Journey to the Cloud takes place at the Davinci Hotel and Suites in Sandton, Johannesburg on Wednesday, 15 April 2015 and the African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel in Century City, Cape Town on Friday, 17 April 2015.

For more information or to register for the event, please e-mail Talia: taliaf@intervate.com.