Hybrid cloud approach for data management
The arrival of multinational data centres has seen many local companies already migrating much of their data and virtual machines (VMs) to the cloud. Given the pressure to become a digitally transformed organisation, the next phase of adoption will revolve around a hybrid cloud approach for data management, data warehouses and analytics solutions.
To this end, companies, especially larger ones, have embraced a hybrid cloud approach when it comes to data management. But it does not stop there. Both multi-cloud and hybrid on-premise strategies have gained momentum as decision-makers hedge their bets across multiple service provider environments. Whether it is AWS, Azure, or Google, businesses are increasingly comfortable in using certain applications in certain provider setups.
Having said that, the foreseeable future will still see some applications remaining on-premise. This is especially the case when it comes to older, proprietary solutions that are not easy to migrate. However, companies have become comfortable in splitting their technology real estate across cloud and on-premise environments.
Question of sovereignty
One of the most significant concerns around data migration to the cloud revolved around its sovereignty. And because the local multinational data centres did not have the entire product stack available immediately, these issues did not disappear overnight.
So, even if companies could now have their organisational data hosted locally, it would still be encrypted and travel offshore for processing or analysis. Fortunately, the local availability of PowerBI towards the end of last year has now addressed this issue with all data now domiciled in the country.
But questions regarding the rest of Africa remain. Nigeria and Ghana, amongst others, are still resisting a complete cloud transformation because of questions around data sovereignty. It now comes down to some markets being more willing than others to go the cloud route, especially when questions remain around where their data is hosted.
Even so, the companies who are making the move will place greater demand on data centres, especially for the streaming and real-time analysis of hosted data. This is in stark contrast to the traditional batch-based processes run at the end of the day, week, or month.
Still, there remains multiple ways of dealing with data in the cloud. If the organisation goes the ‘as-a-service’ route, its data can be completely curated and looked after. It is automatically backed up and elastic, so it speeds up the more data is used. Of course, this is the more expensive choice. Alternatively, companies can opt to have their VMs in the cloud. In this scenario, they are still responsible for managing their own backups and ensuring their cyber security needs are taken care of.
Irrespective of the option chosen, now is the time for businesses to take advantage of the cloud. For South African organisations, the sovereignty issue has been addressed. And latency, another traditional bugbear, has been solved thanks to the increased pervasiveness of fibre.
The shift must therefore start happening where it is not just VMs and apps being hosted in the cloud but all the organisational data assets. This will make it accessible so all employees will be able to analyse it across the organisation. And having this done with the high-performance computing capabilities of multinational data centres, businesses will be able to deliver a much faster return on investment.
This article was originally published on Intelligent CIO. Click here to view it.
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