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Research and advisory company, Gartner, predicts that integrated infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings are driving the next wave of cloud infrastructure adoption, stating that by 2022, 90 percent of companies will purchase cloud technology from an integrated provider. 

Speaking at Datacentrix’ recent Mining Indaba event, which took place at Zebula Lodge in the Limpopo province, the company’s chief digital officer, Rudie Raath, explained to the 90 mining delegates that there are a number of contributing factors to this growth. “These figures are fuelled by the benefits of reduced costs, enhanced accessibility (focused on anywhere access for the workforce of tomorrow), secured data, effective collaboration, and scalability. 

“Hybrid multicloud adoption is a driving force for 2019, as well as other growing cloud trends, including backup and disaster recovery, serverless computing, data containers, cloud security and artificial intelligence (AI) platforms.” 

However, despite all of the perceived benefits that cloud can deliver, why are enterprises finding it to be a slow and costly process? 

Raath explained that there could be a number of potential stumbling blocks when it comes to going the cloud route. “Cloud service latency can be an issue, and connectivity can also be challenging, particularly when it comes to the potential disruption of cloud services and increased data accessibility risks. In addition, some companies struggle with deciding what to keep on-premise and what to move to a third-party public cloud supplier, and then how to successfully run a hybrid cloud environment, with all of its added complexities.”

A Teradata survey on the state of analytics in the cloud found that many companies, particularly those running hybrid cloud environments, have found it challenging to integrate their public cloud and on-premise tools and applications, with 30 percent of respondents reporting that they had experienced difficulties in connecting legacy systems with cloud applications.

In this vein, a Dimensional Research study affirmed that 62 percent of respondents found their cloud migration projects to be more problematical than expected. Those surveyed also said that they should have performed more pre-migration testing (56 percent), set a longer project timeline (50 percent), hired an in-house expert (45 percent) and increased their budgets (42 percent). 

“These issues aside, there is a general consensus that the downside of cloud technology is heavily outweighed by the benefits to be had.” 

Raath then offered practical advice to organisations wanting to make the move to the cloud. “These research results emphasise that realising the benefits of cloud takes careful planning,” he said. “This should start with understanding and documenting why you are considering the adoption of cloud technology, and educating yourself by reading case studies based on similar organisations. Next, your current platform performance must be assessed (thus creating an infrastructure baseline) and a full data integrity check performed. This information can then be stored in a configuration management database (CMDB), providing a clear means of understanding your company’s critical assets, how they relate to one another, and which workloads are better suited for the cloud.” 

The subsequent step is to connect to the cloud architecture in a secure, redundant and tested environment, before going ahead with workload migrations and a final cut over, Raath explained. 

“As a cloud solution provider, Datacentrix is able to help its customers to get to grips with how cloud can be applied to their unique environment. There is no ‘rinse and repeat’ – each organisation is different, and we need to look beyond the technology itself to find out how to assist you in delivering better value, leveraging new technology, being more efficient, and enhancing service levels.” 

For more information on the recent Mining Indaba, or to download Raath’s presentation, please visit https://www.datacentrix.co.za/miningindaba2019.html