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Multi-cloud is the future

F5 Networks has unveiled the first Future of Multi-Cloud (FOMC) report focused on Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), highlighting trends that will change the market  over the next five years.

The F5 commissioned report was conducted by the Foresight Factory, which drew on its proprietary bank of over 100 trends and original research across 25 regional markets. It also features exclusive qualitative interview input from influential global cloud experts specialising in entrepreneurialism, cloud architecture, business strategy, industry analysis, and relevant technological consultancy.

“The Future of Multi-Cloud report is a unique vision for how organisations can successfully navigate an increasingly intricate, cloud-centric world. The stakes are higher than ever, and businesses that ignore the power of the multi-cloud today will significantly struggle in the next five years,” said Vincent Lavergne, RVP, Systems Engineering, F5 Networks.

The FOMC report comes at a time of significant cloud excitability.

According to the figures cited in the study, 81% of global enterprises claim to have a multi-cloud strategy in place. Meanwhile, the Cisco Global Cloud Index estimates that 94% of workloads and compute instances will be processed by cloud data centres by 2021. Video streaming and social networking are major contributors to the ongoing rise; Netflix users alone consumed more than one billion hours of video content per week in 2017.

The FOMC report is divided into five sections:

A new era of business innovation

While some FOMC experts disagree on certain aspects of cloud development, the consensus is that those delaying multi-cloud adoption will become increasingly irrelevant.

In the coming years, the FOMC report believes that upfront costs will become less important as cloud vendors continue to demonstrate compelling use cases. Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will be fundamental to driving higher levels of automation and render existing obstructions to multi-cloud obsolete.

“The multi-cloud is a game-changer for both business and consumers. It will pave the way for unprecedented innovation, bringing cloud architects, DevOps, NetOps and SecOps together to pioneer transformational services traditional infrastructures simply cannot deliver. The outlook for the next five years is bright and full of potential,” said Josh McBain, Director of Consultancy, Foresight Factory.

Driving unprecedent agility, efficiency, and cost savings

Corporate cloud literacy is becoming an operational prerequisite as technological progress accelerates in EMEA. With a multi-cloud strategy, enterprises can assign workloads to public clouds that are best suited for specific tasks, including speed, agility and security. If harnessed with intelligence and foresight, the expansive opportunities afforded by the multi-cloud will benefit bottom lines and earn customer trust through service excellence.

“The whole process of digitalisation demands that you have the ability to seamlessly move between different forms of cloud, whether it is on-premises or off-premises or in the private or public cloud,” said Arthur Goldstuck, a FOMC expert and Managing Director at World Wide Worx.

Plugging the skills gap

The FOMC report reveals how available workforces are still trailing technological developments and business requirements. Siloing of existing knowledge or lack of collaboration within businesses may further exacerbate multi-cloud apprehension and unfamiliarity.

“The need for technologically appropriate, value-adding expertise is reaching fever pitch,” said McBain.

“The FOMC report is very much a rallying call for business leaders to tap into the kaleidoscopic potential of youth and promote industry diversity. It also calls on the IT industry to better promote the use of smart, context-driven and automated solutions that can spark attractive new career opportunities, as well as free up existing workforces for more strategic and rewarding work.”

Safeguarding the future and building trust

Today’s attack surfaces are expanding at a staggering pace, with both cybercriminals and their tools becoming increasingly sophisticated and destructive. Concurrently, the spread of multi-cloud architectures, if inadequately managed, is resulting in application sprawls and soaring security complexity.

Against this backdrop, the FOMC report emphasises the importance of being able to quickly develop and deploy scalable applications and services on any platform, anywhere and at any time. Implementing a robust, future-proofed ecosystem of integrated security and cloud solutions helps build end-to-end IT services that give key stakeholders greater context, control, and visibility into the threat landscape.

Coping with compliance

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the most comprehensive and far-reaching piece of legislation of its kind. However, the FOMC report concludes it is not enough in the long term, and that a global standard for data protection is required within five years.

The intricacies of regulating a borderless digital world is one the biggest challenges facing governments worldwide. Swift collaborative action between business and government is needed. Meanwhile, businesses need to stay compliant with existing legislation, which is further complicated by cloud computing’s growing influence.

“Eventually, today’s tech-conscious consumers and customers will only want to be associated with the most trustworthy data handlers. There is now a big opportunity to differentiate with best practice and service delivery, particularly in the context multi-cloud’s potential,” said McBain.

Infrastructure variables can also impact on multi-cloud uptake, including the availability of data centres and bandwidth reliability. For example, the FOMC report found that Middle Eastern and African business tend to have different multi-cloud configurations than most Western markets.

“Every country has got very specific dynamics around the embrace of cloud. The phrase that we use is ‘cloud is not a country’. The benefits are experienced very differently by different markets,” Goldstuck explained.

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Eugene Kaspersky posts from 2050

In his imagined blog entry from the year 2050, the Kaspersky Lab founder imagines an era of digital immunity

In recent years, digital systems have moved up to a whole new level. No longer assistants making life easier for us mere mortals, they’ve become the basis of civilisation — the very framework keeping the world functioning properly in 2050.

This quantum leap forward has generated new requirements for the reliability and stability of artificial intelligence. Although some cyberthreats still haven’t become extinct since the romantic era around the turn of the century, they’re now dangerous only to outliers who for some reason reject modern standards of digital immunity.

The situation in many ways resembles the fight against human diseases. Thanks to the success of vaccines, the terrible epidemics that once devastated entire cities in the twentieth century are a thing of the past.

However, that’s where the resemblance ends. For humans, diseases like the plague or smallpox have been replaced by new, highly resistant “post-vaccination” diseases; but for the machines, things have turned out much better. This is largely because the initial designers of digital immunity made all the right preparations for it in advance. In doing so, what helped them in particular was borrowing the systemic approaches of living systems and humans.

One of the pillars of cyber-immunity today is digital intuition, the ability of AI systems to make the right decisions in conditions where the source data are clearly insufficient to make a rational choice.

But there’s no mysticism here: Digital intuition is merely the logical continuation of the idea of machine learning. When the number and complexity of related self-learning systems exceeds a certain threshold, the quality of decision-making rises to a whole new level — a level that’s completely elusive to rational understanding. An “intuitive solution” results fromthe superimposition of the experience of a huge number of machine-learning models, much like the result of the calculations of a quantum computer.

So, as you can see, it has been digital intuition, with its ability to instantly, correctly respond to unknown challenges that has helped build the digital security standards of this new era.  

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M-Net to film Deon Meyer novel

A television adaptation of Deon Meyer’s crime novel Trackers is to be co-produced by M-Net, Germany’s public broadcaster ZDF, and HBO subsidiary Cinemax, which will also distribute the drama series worldwide. 

Trackers is an unprecedented scripted television venture and MultiChoice and M-Net are proud to chart out new territory … allowing local and international talent to combine their world-class story-telling and production skills,” says MultiChoice CEO of General Entertainment, Yolisa Phahle.

HBO, Cinemax, and M-Net also launched a Producers Apprenticeship programme last year when the Cinemax series Warrior, coming to M-Net in July, was filmed in South Africa. Some other Cinemax originals screened on M-Net include Banshee, The Knick and Strike Back. 

“Cinemax is delighted to partner with M-Net and ZDF in bringing Deon Meyer’s unforgettable characters and storytelling—all so richly rooted in the people and spectacular geography of South Africa—to screens around the world,” says Len Amato, President, HBO Films, Miniseries, and Cinemax.    

Filming for Trackers has already started in  locations across South Africa and the co-production partners have been working together on all aspects of production 

Deon Meyer, whose award-winning crime novels have been translated into more than 20 languages, with millions of copies sold worldwide, serves as a supervising screenwriter and co-producer; British writer Robert Thorogood (Death in Paradise) is the showrunner. The team of South African writers on the project includes the Mitchell’s Plain playwright, screenwriter and director Amy Jephta (Die Ellen Pakkies Story) and local writer/directors Kelsey Egen and Jozua Malherbe. 

The cast for the six-part miniseries includes Ed Stoppard, Rolanda Marais, James Alexander and Thapelo Mokoena. 

Trackers will make its debut on M-Net 101 in October 2019 and will also be available on MultiChoice’s on-demand service, Showmax. The six-part drama series is produced by UK production company Three River Studios as well as South Africa’s Scene 23. 

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