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Accelerate transformation by consuming and operating IT as a Service

Sep 20th, 2019 Edit post

Almost every enterprise today is taking advantage of cloud computing in some form or other. The ‘As a Service’ world, where software, platform, infrastructure and more are offered on a pay-as-you-use model, offers business benefits that are simply too significant to pass up.

However, few of these enterprises are willing to adopt a “cloud-only” approach, says Faith Ditlhong, Business Development Manager for PointNext at Axiz, SA’s leading value-added ICT distributor.

In some cases, she says they are reluctant to lose all the capital they have already invested in their current systems, and still want to gain the maximum return from those investments. In others, they are concerned about adopting cloud technologies that might see their most sensitive information being stored off-premise and out of their immediate control, raising issues of security and sovereignty.

“As a result, businesses are turning to mixed environments that incorporate public and private clouds, as well as their own core systems,” Ditlhong adds. “This is known as a hybrid IT approach.”

But even the hybrid IT approach is not without its challenges, she says. “In terms of the on-premises element, the difficulty lies in ensuring it can be deployed with the same ease and financial model of the public cloud, yet still retain traditional governance and control.”

She says Axiz understands its customer need business agility, to be able to move faster and align with business requirements. “They also need to reduce IT costs that are aligned with business benefits but are constrained by capital budget. Being able to control performance, security, compliance and data is also key, as is the ability to fuel innovation, allowing IT teams to focus on activities that boost innovation rather than simply keeping the lights on.”

A traditional IT approach requires CAPEX, long procurement cycles, evaluation of technology, technical staff and skills, project management and test environments. “Few companies have the resources in terms of time and money to be able to employ or train staff on all products and solutions, and this can pose a challenge in the provisioning and operations of IT infrastructure,” she adds.

In addition, most organisations do not have the budgets to build on-premise infrastructure.

This is where Axiz, through HPE GreenLake’s ITaaS, or ‘consume and operate IT as a service’ solutions, is helping its customers, says Ditlhong. “These solutions offer a consumption model on-premise, flexible procurement, high scalability, and remain under the control of the business. In this way, there is no upfront capital expenditure, businesses can pay as they use, and over-provisioning is reduced. IT costs are aligned to the demands of the business, and the business still has control of its infrastructure.”

However, she says converting a traditional IT organisation to ITaaS takes careful and thorough planning. Each step must address business goals, including running workloads on the best-fit platform, protecting the organisation’s data, providing security and governance, keeping costs under control and improving the relationship with the business.

Organisations embarking on an ITaaS journey are typically concerned about several issues. “Firstly, the right mix is a continual adjustment and tradeoff around performance, costs, compliance and IT governance. Next, continuous growth and capacity demands have presented difficulties with regard to meeting business needs quickly with existing IT. Moreover, IT cannot carry on requiring large chunks of capital to support business growth.”

Finally, Ditlhong says operating IT has become too complex and expensive, with too many resources devoted to basic operations and fewer focusing on innovation. “IT must explore all options for its operations, instead of continuing to spend a staggering 80% of its resources on mundane activities that add no value to the bottom line.”

HPE Pointnext ITaaS, brought to South Africa by Axiz, addresses all these challenges, she says.

By 2022, HPE has announced plans to offer entire portfolio as a service. Building on over a decade of leadership in pioneering a new model for delivering on-premise IT as a Service, HPE will continue to scale HPE Greenlake to reach new market segments, new use cases, and leverage its world-class partner ecosystem to accelerate growth. HPE is now extending the HPE GreenLake portfolio to the edge, by today announcing a new Network as a Service (NaaS) offering from Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.

The new offering incorporates the breadth of Aruba networking offerings that includes enterprise Wi-Fi, edge switching, security, end-user analytics, end-user experience validation and other tools. HPE GreenLake for Aruba provides customers with new procurement and consumption options that deliver more flexibility and choice in how they obtain and support their network infrastructure.