More than 80% of South African IT workers believe that local businesses will be ready to deliver 24/7/365 availability and service delivery to customers and colleagues by 2018, making the next twelve months a crucial period for strategically investing in availability and cloud solutions.

This is the findings of a survey conducted by Veeam Software and announced at its recent VeeamOn Forum Africa.

Over 90% of those surveyed believe that the availability of services and solutions is becoming a more accepted trend in the South African market. This is further underscored by the fact that over 90% have recognised that business continuity, availability and disaster recovery have become business-centred priorities — they are no longer driven purely by technology.

Availability is the oft-neglected buzz word when it comes to digital transformation and yet it is the key to unlocking the true potential of digital. Today, limitations in infrastructure, capability and technology are impacting on its efficacy and potential. To thrive in the digital environment, the enterprise must recognise the importance of investing into solutions that will enable continuous functionality and end user availability.

All the IT decision-makers (ITDM) surveyed agreed that availability has become a more accepted consideration in the South African market.

“Next year is set to be one of the most challenging for the business yet, especially for those enterprises that are looking to deliver the high-end, round-the-clock availability of services and solutions that their end users demand,” says Claude Schuck, regional manager for Africa at Veeam. “By addressing availability concerns, organisations can alleviate some of the pressure, especially if the focus remains clearly on strategic cloud investment.”

To fully recognise the potential of availability the business must invest in the tools and technology that support it. Nearly 40% of South African IT workers agreed that more than 50% of the enterprise business will be hosted in the cloud by 2018 with 60% agreeing that cloud has become a strategic priority. When it came to the drivers of this growth, 65% believe that this is thanks to the availability of local data centre offerings and 50% believe it is the increased choice in cloud providers. For the ITDM, 70% said that the availability of local data centres is driving cloud adoption growth and the same percentage agreed that hybrid cloud infrastructure would be the biggest growth area.

“Investment into cloud and data centre technology that is capable of delivering agility and availability has become a requirement for organisations wanting to embrace digital,” says Schuck. “Hybrid remains a priority as will the shift towards localised data centres and improved accessibility for the enterprise.”