[Column] Setumo Mohapi: Finding the right cloud strategy for your business

2021 will be the year defined by business’ attempt to recover, build better resilience and restructure their operations following a tumultuous year of change as a result of the global pandemic.

The ability to adapt to the new world of work and the additional challenges that now lie ahead in 2021 will be the defining factor for those who will maintain business success – and those who won’t.

Although companies had previously set long term goals for their digital transformation, the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital solutions to ensure business continuity and sustainability.

Hybrid cloud has provided enterprises with a trusted and capable foundation to adapt to changing market needs.

In a hybrid cloud landscape, there are five key reasons that amplify the case for adoption:

Hybrid cloud brings agility, business resilience and continuity to the fore

Agility has always been a crucial outcome for most if not all enterprises. The ability to innovate and respond to changing market conditions is vital. Yet the speed, scale, and intensity of the impacts of Covid-19 has exposed certain deficiencies that may not have been considered. In our experience, it is often the case that the infrastructure and services requirements for transformation of the end-to-end network are understated when planning deployments of cloud solutions. The hybrid network that supports hybrid cloud deployments and services must not be the single point of weakness for organisations that require the full-stack capabilities to support agile, yet resilient businesses. The hybrid network must be programmable, flexible and allow for methods of consumption and billing that are standard in the cloud world. 

Hybrid cloud brings security and compliance complexities

As distributed workloads become the standard, and the security attack surface expands and potentially becomes as dynamic as the dynamic hybrid intelligent infrastructurte in the network and across the hybrid cloud environment, the overall response to the new security challenges must be equally up to the task. From conceptualisation and design of IT interventions, integration of OEM solutions, and finally, full-stack operations within the enterprise, organisations have to adopt the mantra  of secure by design, covering cloud, infrastructure, access, application and data security enabling business continuity seamlessly.  In this respect, embedded security moves from being a cost centre to being the critical transformation enabler under shared organisational responsibility.

Hybrid cloud is a driver for cost efficiency                                    

A more efficient total cost of IT operations is the biggest driver of hybrid cloud adoption, and it’s easy to see why. The shift to a distributed workforce model has meant people require access to both data and applications in new, different, and often complex ways – and organisations want to enable that in not only a cost-efficient manner but in a high-performance environment too. SD-WAN has emerged as a more cost-effective way of connecting to the cloud but it’s critical to note that optimising traffic flows across multiple connectivity options requires proper architecture and ongoing analysis and management.

Hybrid cloud simplifies internal operations through automation

It is complex to implement, but hybrid cloud ultimately simplifies internal operations through automation and streamlines the management of IT resources. This increases overall efficiency by reducing the time spent by IT teams on managing supporting infrastructures. To take advantage of hybrid cloud, understanding exactly what works in any given scenario, as well as how and where it can fulfil the needs of a particular business model is crucial. Mixing public and private cloud leverages the best of both worlds, each for different reasons and of course, different workload priorities.

Hybrid cloud offers business and IT leaders the chance to meet changing business demands head- on. While continuity and business resilience are fundamental, improving customer experiences and growing revenues still features highly on the list of business objectives.

You don’t have to go it alone

The role of partners also brings to light not only how much organisations rely on their partners’ skills and expertise, but how they drive greater efficiencies through the provision of integrated and flexible intelligent platforms and automation, led by cloud solutions. With more and more enterprises shifting a majority of their IT infrastructure to various third parties, customers can now fully benefit from the guidance and strategic counsel offered by vendors that are specialising across the OEM ecosystem.

“We believe that no two clouds are the same, and as such that no two implementations or approaches should be identical. Each cloud offering must be developed to serve a specific need and to answer a specific question.”

Setumo Mohapi is the Chief Go-to-Market Officer for Dimension Data 

Dimensions Data and SAP partner to launch enterprise solutions for SMEs and corporates in East Africa, hopes to grow cloud business model

Dimension Data has entered into a partnership with SAP, to offer a new set of intelligent enterprise solutions in East Africa.

Aimed at SMEs, and the corporate market, these end-to-end services will help Dimension Data’s clients leverage the agility and costs advantages of managing SAP applications on existing infrastructure and moving them to the cloud. The solutions integrate intelligent technologies such as machine learning, and artificial intelligence to help manage data from multiple sources, further improving customer experience, people engagement, spend management, manufacturing and supply chain solutions amongst many other business functions.

The partnership comes at a time when SAP accelerates its move towards its flagship ERP software, S/4HANA within the region and which will see the firm cease worldwide support of the current Business Suite ERP solutions after 2025.   

“We’ve had a successful track record in enabling our clients make the most out of their SAP environments in the digital transformation era. Moving forward, we will be a critical partner in migrating clients to the SAP S/4HANA digital platform towards the intelligent enterprise era. A key gap we look to fill is continuous SAP Support services through our Managed Services. We look at helping organizations in Kenya optimize their SAP Solutions through our managed services model which not only supports implemented software but also looks at enhancing the entire SAP modules, that require new implementation or enhancements.” Said Ndung’u Kahindo, General Manager – Solutions, Dimension Data East Africa.

Dimension Data also hopes to grow the cloud business model that will enable customers consume and pay for value on the go, especially around adopting and utilizing new technology in IoT and Machine learning environments.

“SME’s and Corporates are acknowledging that operational efficiency, better decision making and continuous collaboration within their ecosystem brings value. This is not achievable without an integrated, comprehensive ERP. For this reason, SAP and Dimension Data have teamed together to build packaged solutions that uniquely meet the needs of these organizations, across people, processes and technology.” Said Joseph Kairigo, Managing Director, Dimension Data East Africa.

Kairigo added that businesses that do not have ERP Systems suffered disjointed and siloed processes which derail internal productivity and affect customer service in addition to having no insight to make better decisions around business expansion, capital investment and resource allocation.

The launch solidifies Dimension Data East Africa’s last announcement in December 2018 of plans to introduce new Enterprise Resource (ERP) and Digital Business Solutions in an ambitious growth drive for 2019 in partnership with leading global enterprise application vendors.

As a global SAP services market leader, Dimension Data offers a complete lifecycle of SAP-related services spanning consulting, implementations, upgrades, integration, applications management and automated cloud migration services.

According to research firm IDC, the global SAP market is estimated at about USD 200Billion. Dimension Data East Africa estimates the current SAP suite market size in East Africa to be valued at about USD 75 Million, with the potential to reach above USD200 Million over the next five years.

In East Africa Dimension Data serves the Public, Financial Services, Service Provider and Professional Services in addition to the Manufacturing and Commercial services sectors that are expected to achieve significant growth driven by cloud adoption, digital automation and localization of IT applications.

www.dimensiondata.com

www.sap.com