FEATURE : CLOUD SOLUTIONS a host of data analytics , graphic design , accounting , HR and sales management programmes has allowed remote employees to continue work as if they never left their company offices . Similarly , remote developers continue writing code and building applications in cloudsupported containerised environments , while AI-backed internal and customer-facing applications keep humming along because they are built and managed in the cloud .”
He noted that quantum computing will be key as it aims to solve complex problems even the world ’ s most powerful supercomputers cannot solve . “ The need for data privacy is becoming even more critical and IBM now offers the most holistic quantum-safe approach to securing data available today and to help enterprises protect existing data and help protect against future threats .
Ratshefola added that hybrid cloud and AI are the two dominant forces driving Digital Transformation . “ These technologies are promising to meet the needs of clients wherever they may be on their transformation journey . Companies rarely start from scratch and they often have complex workloads , apps , messaging , data and transactional systems to consider as they build for the future . Hybrid cloud and AI are the basis for competitive advantage in this environment – they determine how quickly one can pivot to new market opportunities , how well you serve your clients , how much you can scale and how fast you can respond to a crisis like the one we are facing today ,” he said .
Laurent Garcia , EMEA Cloud Business Leader , Cohesity , said the current global situation and the weak economy just gave cloud adoption a boost – including the Middle East . “ One of the things that we are seeing is that enterprises are looking at all of their spending and that includes IT , so they want to ensure that technology spending is driving the most business value ,” he said . “ One thing that ’ s come out of the current crisis and into the post-COVID world is a renewed emphasis on Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery . We cannot have those discussions without service providers and cloud infrastructure because it enables those things to happen .”
Drivers of cloud adoption
Al-Zoubi explained that there are a few major drivers of cloud adoption in the region : scalability , agility and security . He added that cloud-based solutions are working to enhance overall productivity and visibility for organisations across industries . “ IT teams can automate management and provisioning of cloudbased services to simplify operations , save time and help reduce costs . High scalability eliminates the time needed for purchasing and deploying additional infrastructure .
“ Enterprises that need to innovate and pivot quickly often turn to cloud services . At the same time , some companies have data centre assets and applications which cannot be easily migrated . Other data may be subject to regulatory requirements that prevent that data from residing in public clouds ,” he said .
As a result , noted Al-Zoub , companies often pursue a hybrid cloud architecture , where some data and applications reside in companies ’ own data centres and some data and apps reside in public clouds .
“ Sectors such as oil and gas are seeing increasing prevalence of cloud solutions , to remotely observe and maintain fields and production units . Data in the cloud can be leveraged to identify potential areas requiring maintenance ahead of time , to limit outages and keep production at a steady pace ,” he said .
Al-Zoubi added that in healthcare , cloud adoption is helping to future-proof hospital infrastructures , where the rapid uptake of bandwidth-rich clinical applications , such as telehealth , digital imaging and remote monitoring require agile digital systems to enable secure sharing and storage of data , as well as greater operational efficiencies .
“ In education , cloud services are empowering educators to create connected classrooms , quickly deploy virtual learning applications that enhance engagement and enable teachers to individualise learning , based on performance data and each student ’ s personal learning style ,” he said . “ Cloud security is helping IT staff reduce risk , via more scalable and up-to-date threat intelligence solutions , while cloud-based collaboration technologies are
Hamilton Ratshefola , Country General Manager , IBM Southern Africa
www . intelligentcio . com INTELLIGENTCIO AFRICA 47