Analytics should drive digital tech

Analytics should drive digital tech

GE Africa CIO offers his perspective on why.

Friday, Dec 15th

'By 2025 80% of IT budgets will be spent on cloud services' - Oracle

'By 2025 80% of IT budgets will be spent on cloud services' - Oracle

Security and regulation have traditionally weighed heavily on the minds of those wanting to move critical business applications and functionality to the cloud. However, this is no longer the case and the rate of adoption (certainly within the SADC region) today is increasing says Derek Bose, senior director for Oracle South Africa and SADC Regional Cluster.

The company adds that while organisations are eager to move their enterprise workloads to the public cloud, many have been constrained by business, legislative and regulatory requirements that have prevented them from being able to adopt the technology.

In November the company launched its Cloud at Customer solution to enable organisations to access cloud applications directly from their data centres.

The offering is also designed to remove data privacy concerns related to where data is stored, which is generally acknowledged as one of the main inhibitors to widespread migration to the cloud.

But things have changed says Bose and security is not the primary challenge to adoption and rollout. "I mean we invest huge amounts of money into making sure that we have enterprise grade security... we are also able to employ the very best experts in this area. Security is becoming less of a concern among customers. The customer wants to know that they are working with a brand that has a good reputation in terms of information security."

With any concerns of security and control of information taken care of, the outlook for cloud service adoption is very positive says Oracle.

"By 2025 80% of IT budgets will be spent on cloud services; all enterprise data will be stored in the cloud and 100% of application development and testing will be conducted in the cloud," the company claims and the outlook is similar for the rest of Africa.

Bose points out that a few years ago, Africa, on a volume basis, was adopting more cloud solutions than South Africa.

"We've seen really good growth year-on-year... today we have over 70 customers using our application cloud services in the Southern Africa region, approximately upwards of 70% of those customers are South African customers, so we have a pretty strong cloud footprint in the region I cover. The more satisfying part of that is the number that go live, of those customers, is just incredible," said Bose.

There is significant investment in the application of cloud-based solution to enhance ERP, HR and CRM functionality.

However, is the required skills base still an issue?

Recently Morne Bekker, NetApp Country Manager said African countries are not quick to adopt new technologies that include cloud solutions in particular, due to a skills shortage and lack of training.

Bose suggests that the level of expertise is such today that there are applied skills at each layer of the solution stack, and the number of points of potential failure, that are skills dependent or skills related, have been reduced.

Solution vendors and service providers continue to emphasise that cloud is central to digital transformation strategies in Africa and providers like Oracle are witnessing significant growth in the space, with more customers going live with cloud-based solutions.

Recently in a presentation on best practices for digital transformation, Jyoti Lalchandani, Group VP & Regional MD, Middle East, Turkey & Africa at the IDC, included cloud as one of several 'innovation accelerators'

According to Lalchandani 86% of South African organisations expect outcomes from digital transformation within the area of process optimisation and/or automation, with 83% saying this transformation will yield benefit in superior customer experience and services.

The presentation stated that by 2019, cloud adoption will reduce infrastructure spend by 25% and by 2020, 60% of all IT infrastructure spending will be for public and private cloud deployments, accelerated by expanded use of analytics in IoT applications.

Lalchandani said that public cloud spending (92%) in South Africa is expanding towards software apps.

ITWeb Africa's Kenya correspondent Vincent Matinde spoke with Serge Blockmans, Sales Director at Oracle, who said: "Industries globally are undergoing major changes in their business model and cloud solutions and particularly cloud applications give companies agility to react to those transformations. In Kenya we are particularly good with regards to network infrastructure that is a major enabler for the uptake of cloud solutions."

At AfricaCom 2017 Liquid Telecom referenced its African Cloud report 2017 in which Jon Tullett, Research Manager of IT Services Africa at the IDC, said: "Across Africa, the cloud has been underplayed, and was slow to take off - often due to lack of infrastructure, data protection concerns, and conservative investment strategies. Now, concerns about security and data sovereignty are starting to fall away in the face of consumer cloud acceptance and the advent of stricter legislation."

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