A report released by cloud software provider, Nutanix, has revealed that in 2020, 50% of businesses in South Africa moved with speed to adopt hybrid cloud, a combination of a private cloud and one or more public cloud services.
The data was released in the company’s third global Enterprise Cloud Index survey, which shows how South African companies compare with the rest of the globe regarding their hybrid cloud adoption in 2020.
According to the report, South African organisations are still transitioning to a hybrid cloud infrastructure.
As transitions do not happen overnight for most organisations, legacy applications may justify keeping older infrastructure for a time or require re-platforming skills that organisations may not have access to, stated the report.
According to the report, Hybrid cloud is the ideal IT operating model for most respondents in South Africa and elsewhere, with most IT respondents (88%) locally and globally (87%) reporting that the hybrid cloud is the ideal infrastructure model for their organisation.
South Africa is ahead in decommissioning or evolving its legacy datacentres. Only 14% of respondents locally reported running traditional non-cloud-enabled datacentres exclusively compared to the global average of 18%.
Penetration in South Africa is expected to drop to just 3% within the next five years, while the use of hybrid cloud is expected to increase by 31% over the same period, says the report.
IT shops in South Africa favour private cloud and hyperconverged infrastructure, with local respondents reporting that they are running more applications in private clouds (38%) than public (29%) than their global counterparts who report a slight preference for public clouds.
Nutanix says, this may explain why South Africa is also ahead in hyperconverged infrastructure deployments, with 57% indicating that they have either fully deployed or are in the process of deploying it. Another 33% plan to do so in the next 12 to 24 months.
Comparatively, over two-thirds (69%) of global ECI respondents running hybrid cloud said they are also operating or in the process of deploying hyperconverged infrastructure; by contrast, 40% of those running mixed-model infrastructures and 50% of those running traditional said they too will roll out HCI.
The report notes that a strong customer focus is driving infrastructure changes in South Africa, and 62% of respondents cited the ability to better support their customers as the reason to move to cloud-enabled infrastructure, compared to a 46% global average.
Interestingly, while cost savings were less important globally, more respondents in South Africa selected it as a factor (51%) than any other country polled (the second highest being the UK at 45%).
The global pandemic has also raised IT’s profile, and accelerated cloud adoption as 82% of South African respondents said that COVID-19 has caused IT to be viewed more strategically in their organisations.
As a result, 60% reported an increase in hybrid cloud investment compared to 46% globally. Local respondents specifically stated that their top priorities, because of COVID-19, are implementing 5G (61%), improving IT infrastructure (55%), improving business continuity (54%) and work-from-home capabilities (53%).
Commenting on the research findings, Rowen Grierson, Sales Director, Sub-Saharan Africa, Nutanix said, “The data speaks for itself and is a firm testimony to what we see unfolding in the local market. That is that private clouds that marry themselves to a hybrid or multicloud universe are the preferred future infrastructure for African businesses.”
“If we consider the data, the next five years in Africa will be an exciting time for IT and the cloud. While we still face challenges such as data sovereignty, compliance and a sparse public cloud footprint, we are turning this to our favour as we lead the charge in hybrid cloud adoption,” concludes Grierson.