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Cloud has become a business leadership decision

By GARSEN NAIDU, general manager of Cisco Sub-Saharan Africa



In the early months of the pandemic, organizations had to adapt quickly to meet highly unpredictable changes. For many, cloud was the critical enabler of this new agility and the only way to meet the rapidly shifting demands of customers and employees. 

Yet, how many business leaders can honestly say they understand the business implications of their company’s cloud strategy? Speaking with many South African organisations, it seems they have made a partial move to the cloud, but often only planning for the actual migration, not necessarily ensuring that investments are in line with business objectives. 

Garsen Naidu, general manager of Cisco Sub-Saharan Africa

Cloud has been one of the key transformational trends in Information Technology (IT) in the past years, yet we still see many businesses which don’t have the right processes, structures, and knowledge in place to define what the right cloud strategy is for them – and understandably so.

So, is cloud something business leaders need to care about and if so, how should they approach it?

It takes leadership

At Cisco, we believe that the process of formulating a cloud strategy – and eventually the actual move to the cloud requires a new approach, that combines technical understanding, visibility, and most importantly, leadership.

IT is an important part of the process and ensures the right technical principles are considered, but the same is true for finance, legal, procurement, HR, and many other functions in the organization.

3 steps to success in the cloud

  1. The first thing is to look past the buzz words and take an analytical lense to define the right cloud strategy, including the choice for a public, private or hybrid cloud approach. The latter combines the use of an own, on-premise data center (or private cloud), with public cloud resources and has grown in popularity in recent years.
  2. At this point, it is likely that you will need outside assistance to get complete clarity on your way forward, including what the impact on business is – in terms of expenses, opportunities and complexity.
  3. IT specialists around the globe increasingly recognize that without business context, they are drowning in complexity and the sea of data. According to recent research from Cisco AppDynamics, 96 percent of technologists say the ability to monitor all technical areas across their IT stack and directly link that to business outcomes is now essential. This creates a pressing need for full-stack observability with added business context to help manage the IT estate, cut through the data ‘noise’ and observe what matters most. Having the right observability platform enables technologists to prioritise and deliver the best impact for their organization.