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A Ready Business operates smoothly, using the latest technology to ease and improve business practices. Paying attention to these important issues means cost saving and competitive advantage in the long run, says Vodacom’s Managing Executive of Business Solutions, Ermano Quartero.

Cloud managed services allow companies to focus on their core business, rather than time-consuming IT operations, upping efficiency and productivity. Ahead of the MyBroadband Cloud & Hosting Conference, taking place in Johannesburg on 25 May, Quartero tells us why embracing the cloud is a business imperative.

‘Businesses must be ready for the new digital era,’ he says. ‘Increasing use of social media and online mediums, as well as the advances of the Internet of Things and Machine to Machine technology, mean that it’s essential for the applications you use to be agile, and for the infrastructure to be flexible. The cloud is ideal for this.

‘Moving to the cloud and outsourcing the management of your infrastructure means you can focus on your core business and innovation.’

No longer optional

Quartero compares the growth in cloud technology today to the time ten years or so ago when businesses realised they would have to move onto the internet. ‘It’s not about if businesses will move to the cloud – it’s just a question of at what pace and in what format,’ he says. ‘Without a doubt, every business needs a strategy to move into the cloud.’

With, he estimates, 40% of big businesses already moving a substantial portion of their infrastructure to the cloud, it’s already very much mainstream.

The issue of security

One perceived stumbling block that some businesses owners and CIOs see to moving to the cloud is security. In reality, says Quartero, security is one of the biggest advantages of the cloud. ‘Your cloud provider takes care of security and takes the burden off IT departments. Providers like Vodacom have large data centres that are secured with state-of-the-art technology, and they invest huge amounts in ensuring data is secure.’

Size matters

When choosing a cloud provider, says Quartero, it’s essential to go with reliability and size, and with a partner with the requisite deep level of understanding and  large-scale investment in infrastructure.

Vodacom is SA’s largest telecomms company by customer size and part of the global Vodafone Group, which gives Vodacom unparalleled access to resources, says Quartero. Vodafone is a global cloud player.

Furthermore, Vodacom has recently partnered with IBM, the world leader in analytics and software, to deliver South Africa and Africa’s first world-class data centres.

‘The partnership with IBM is very important because two very large global brands have come together to deliver an end-to-end service – if you are embarking on the cloud journey for your business, you want to do it with two world-class players. With this reputation, IBM and Vodacom can’t afford to let customers down – it really is an easy decision for a CIO to make,’ he says.

The data centres are the first managed cloud centres in Africa, and, like other centres around the world, consist of a primary and a redundant centre. That means if the primary data centre goes down in an emergency, the redundant centre acts as a backup and business can carry on as normal. This is absolutely key, he says.

Learn more

Quartero will be on a panel talking about cloud managed services at the MyBroadband Conference on 25 May at Gallagher Estate. Vodacom will also be showcasing its solutions and capabilities at the conference, where experts will be available to speak to customers.

The conference will look deeper into vital issues affecting business right now: hosting, data centres, cloud computing, virtualisation, hosting infrastructure and connectivity.  

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