In light of the lockdown caused by Covid-19, businesses were forced to have their staff work from home (WFH).

In turn, employees, and the businesses they work for have been more susceptible to security risks, as they accessed data at the edge. Working from home in 2020 and beyond has mainly depended on cloud computing applications that help employees to efficiently accomplish their tasks, making cloud computing an unsung hero during the pandemic.

Cloud has risen to the task of maintaining business continuity and keeping businesses connected throughout the past year. However, customer requirements have changed in recent months due to accelerating digital transformation strategies for businesses across the region.

Needless to say, that some businesses encountered financial strain during the pandemic and that the optimal use of capital for investment in infrastructure became of paramount importance. “Every organisation’s cloud journey is different – with its own balance of security, scalability and agility requirements; and in the world of private, public and hosted cloud, things move fast. What’s smart today is outdated tomorrow. That’s why we’re here, to help customers find the smarter approach,” says Jim Holland, GM: Africa at Lenovo Data Centre Group.

“Reduction of downtime, improved efficiencies, power optimisation and reduced complexity in managing environments are the new normal and these criteria are going to be non-negotiable going forward,” explains Holland.

IT strategies need to be redefined and systems need to perform optimally and while some customers take on a hybrid cloud strategy, others might bring their infrastructure back on premise in order to reduce costs, manage data more efficiently and to optimise expenditure.

Inherently designed to handle unpredictable demand, cloud, whether public, private or hybrid should support the demands made by any and every work environment. How much cloud-based digital work is implemented and adopted depends on cloud providers.

Lenovo’s data centre division offers edge computing capabilities, smart infrastructure solutions, security capabilities for corporate data and virtualisation solutions and by partnering with Microsoft, Nutanix and VMware Lenovo can offer new hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) solutions, aimed at simplifying the management of data centres and services. The result: flexible building blocks that replace organisations’ legacy infrastructure because the new solutions combine common data centre hardware using locally attached storage resources with intelligent software.

The point here for Lenovo is to equip their client’s business with agile and preconfigured edge-to-hybrid cloud solutions. Lenovo’s offerings intend to streamline the deployment and management of data and in turn help organisations achieve greater productivity and agility within IT teams.

Partnering with the leaders in hyper-convergence solutions, Lenovo hope to be the partner of choice to customers, end-users, resellers, distributors, and software vendors, alike. Lenovo partnered with Microsoft on the Lenovo ThinkAgile MX Azure Stack HCI Edge and data centre solutions, allowing businesses to rapidly deploy a hybrid cloud infrastructure.

Lenovo’s partnership with Nutanix developed Lenovo ThinkAgile HX HCI solutions which brought about the opportunity for businesses to run their virtual desktop workloads and maintain consistent performance (in the same 1U form factor), with up to 50% fewer servers. And finally, Lenovo’s collaboration with VMware, saw the release of ThinkAgile VX HCI Solutions which improve agility and reliability for SAP HANA database deployments.

But what should enterprises be looking for?

Each business and its needs are different, and it takes groundwork, patience and a personalised cloud strategy to identify performance needs, gaps, compliance requirements and hardware infrastructure.

Cloud partners should accommodate the ecosystem of the business and not the other way around and with the continuous volume of data generated, it is also imperative to understand the growing need for Edge to cloud solutions.

In order to implement the right cloud solution for a business whether public, private or hybrid, questions arise around where data is stored; is data protected and how; systems and tools to prevent cyber-attacks and data breaches; what emergency processes are in place; how do you comply with data law across different regions; what are the costs involved; and what are the termination policies.