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Choose your cloud game

The cloud game has changed. It is no longer a question of what it is, but instead when and who businesses should turn to to manage their cloud investment.

The conversations around the cloud have changed, business is no longer asking what it is, but rather when they should implement, who should they turn to and how can they manage their businesses technology investment while in the cloud. Business needs to pick its own cloud game.

This was the message delivered at the Westcon SA roadshow hosted at the Park Inn, Sandton Johannesburg this week to audiences from both the company’s reseller partner base, as well as a host of corporate business customers looking for answers on how to approach the technology cloud.

‚The cloud is for all businesses, no matter the industry, the size or the operation. It is the virtual progression of technology beyond the boundaries of your own physical bricks and mortar to that of an environment where it is managed, hosted and monitored for you by professionals or in a geography outside of your own,‚ says Jacques Malherbe, CEO of Westcon SA.

‚I don’t believe that the cloud will change the way people will do things, I do think it will change the way we approach things, much like social media has changed the way people talk to each other. The cloud brings all things together and presents an opportunity for all of us to better understand the role and need for technology,‚ he adds.

According to Malherbe the focus on the cloud has presented technology companies across the value chain with a unique advantage. Vendors might need to be creating it, resellers selling it and distributors distributing it, but everyone needs to understand it and be talking about it.

The message he brought to the audience is that they need to pick a game, business needs to decide how they want their cloud to look and technology businesses must ensure that they are able to deliver on this.

The drivers behind the birth of cloud computing are numerous but some of the most business centric of these include the need to reduce energy consumption, asset usage, complex provisioning and the integrity and availability of information. Other factors include the changing face of the empowered user, realtime information and collaborative information as well as economic pressures.‚

‚It seems so simple and it really should be. The cloud is about better management, improved productivity, better return on technology investment as well as a lower total cost of ownership for business,‚ he adds. ‚The cloud was born out of a maturing IT Market as well as the fact that the nature of the consumer has changed. We live in a smartphone, tablet driven environment that itself indicates that the device in the hands of the individual is changing the behaviour of the person who possesses it.

‚The beauty for those looking to conduct their business or take their business into the cloud as well as cloud service providers is that there is already seamless integration between these smart devices and the cloud. This means that the user experience and adjustment to the cloud is minimal.‚

Looking at the service offerings within the cloud Malherbe says there is a shape and type of cloud designed to fit all users, businesses can take advantage of a private cloud, public cloud, hybrid cloud and community cloud, each of which caters for the express needs of the customer. All of which are provided by either a cloud builder, cloud services reseller or cloud provider.

‚Cloud computing is not going to change the world as we know it, but what is changing is how we access and consumer ICT services. We don’t want a phone we want the dial tone. Yes we want services but we want automatic access to all of the services our ICT infrastructure provides as well as available in the digital universe,‚ he says. ‚Where the real change comes in is that with the cloud and cloud computing businesses will be pressed to rethink key strategies and go-to-market plans and everyone will be compelled to embrace new business models and learn new technologies.

‚Perhaps more importantly, and more relevant right now for the business person as well as IT, is that both now need to find their place in the world of cloud computing,‚ states Malherbe.


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