Global hyper-scale cloud service providers Amazon Web Services and Microsoft will soon be opening their datacentres in South Africa, and while no one could confirm the time frame for Microsoft, the cloud services market is expected to grow.
However, businesses are urged to first understand what their priorities are and what they want to achieve with their journey to the cloud before embarking on migration, according to tech professionals speaking at the ITWeb Cloud Summit 2019 in Bryanston, Johannesburg.
Opening the Summit, Arthur Goldstuck, CEO of World Wide Worx, said the rapid evolution of cloud and cloud services makes it possible to 'plug-and-play' a complex global enterprise.
He said looking ahead it will be possible for any business with limited technical expertise to enter the 'cloud matrix' and mix and match components to suit their operations.
"It will be possible to start-up a business from anywhere at anytime ... you won't be starting up a business, in the future you will download a business."
Dave Funnell, Manager, VMWare Cloud Provider Business, Sub-Saharan Africa, said definitions of the cloud vary from business to business and depends on who is asked, but the essence of the cloud is that it is an enabler to make the delivery of IT services to the business "slicker and faster".
Funnel l said a faster response to the needs of businesses is among the top reasons for enterprise migration to the cloud, but the main reason is the reduction of IT costs – while at the same time research shows that cost is the top enterprise pain point.
He added that the with the arrival of hyper-scalers, the expectation is that business owners could be making use of multiple clouds and there will be increased interest in the 'datacentre-as-a-service' management model.
This removes a lot of the management and skill factor concerns, which maximises resources and addresses cost considerations.
"Ninety-two percent of VMWare customers say consistency of architecture between private and public clouds is important."
Funnell said the cloud is not a one-way journey. "It is a model you are going to have to move towards."
The approach to cloud needs to be a strategy, not a destination, he added, and the notion that one can simply move 'everything', all responsibilities and issues into a single cloud, and that will be fine' is not the case.
"You still need governance, you still need security and to manage performance," said Funnell.