South Africa’s IT industry is growing fast and that growth is being driven by enterprise spend on cloud services and digital transformation.

Of course it’s not the only thing that’s growing the industry. Gartner reports that sales of consumer devices are also a contributing factor.

But given that “cloud services” are mentioned as a driving factor that warrants a chat.

There are various cloud models to choose from but increasingly, hybrid solutions are the popular option.

A hybrid cloud model leverages the best bits of both a public and private cloud solution. Unfortunately, this comes with the complexity of both and T-Systems South Africa’s Specialised Sales Executive, Grant Somerset says that something firms often overlook are the skills needed to get the most out of a hybrid model.

“Companies typically don’t have skills across all of the clouds, and If you consider the amount of services in each cloud service provider’s portfolio; it’s massive. So, it’s almost impossible to have skills across all the different platforms. This is where the partner model becomes particularly important,” says Somerset.

As an example, let’s look at Azure – because it has a presence locally and it’s first in the phonebook. Azure is comprised of a multitude of solutions and within those solutions, are even more solutions.

Picking the wrong solution can be a costly exercise and given the rapid pace at which technology evolves, the skillset in your organisation may not be up to the task of managing a hybrid cloud environment.

Of course it’s not unusual to want somebody from within your organisation to manage everything, but this can lead to issues further down the line.

“Organisations must carefully consider where the need to develop skills inhouse and for everything else, decide where they will obtain the right skills from. An experienced partner should already have an established skill set across the major public platforms as well as an established private platform and management tools that they can leverage off,” explains Somerset.

As you get au fait with a hybrid cloud, there may be new opportunities your business wants to pursue. More importantly, there may be value you are yet to unlock and there, a partner with deep understanding of the technology can be unlocked.

“Other than that, you will also need cloud architects and cloud security architects, as well as other skills to manage the normal platform operations-related elements. A good partner can help identify what you need and also give you options in the short term to access those skills while you’re still developing them within your organisation,” adds the T-Systems executive.

Most importantly, adopting the cloud means change. There is unfortunately no other way around it. Processes, systems, workflows and even applications will change and as a business owner it is vital that you be open to that change.

“Not everything has to be a 100 percent fit anymore. If you’re going to the cloud thinking that everything has to be 100 percent fit and customised, then you will never realise the true value that it delivers. Trying to figure this out on your own is a task of proportions and as such, a partner can help with this journey,” says Somerset.

It goes without saying then that if you’re on a cloud journey, a knowledgeable partner is about as valuable as the technology itself.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]
Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.