Open source supports client choice of cloud, enterprise systems

2nd August 2019 By: Schalk Burger - Creamer Media Senior Contributing Editor

Enterprise open-source multinational SUSE is benefiting from the emphasis on client choice and control over software and hardware systems, whether in the cloud or on premise, says SUSE South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa country manager Grant Bennett.

There is rising demand for cloud and enterprise information technology (IT) services and products, which is augmented by the availability of cloud offerings, but also a simultaneous focus on client choice in a very competitive market.

There is a general trend to reduce on- premise infrastructure and move business processes and applications to cloud systems to reduce payments on infrastructure and the cost structures of businesses, he says.

“Many businesses are increasing their cloud infrastructure because they want to be able to consume services, whether on premise or in cloud environments, on a subscription basis. Additionally, more businesses are using open source for their critical business systems, owing to operational and cost benefits.”

Businesses are also becoming more comfortable with consumption-based models and the maturation of the everything-as-a-service environment is leading to greater adoption of cloud infrastructure and services.

“As the cloud has evolved significantly in recent years, companies are realising cost and efficiency benefits. While the cloud once required a fairly complicated change in business process, it is now easily deployable and highly available for business-critical applications and systems.”

There is also a better understanding of the level of availability and resources various business processes need. This allows companies to have different cost structures for different processes, underpinned by suitable service level agreements, and without impacting on operations, adds Bennett.

He highlights that most IT companies worldwide have some involvement in open-source development, innovations and communities. SUSE’s 25-year partnership with enterprise resource multinational SAP has allowed SUSE to have open-source developers in SAP’s Waldorf campus focused on co-development.

“This has benefited SAP and SUSE, because the ability to integrate with on-premise, hybrid and cloud environments has contributed to SAP being the most used enterprise resource management and accounting suite in South Africa, Similarly, the in-memory analysis architecture, SAP Hana, is suitable for use in hybrid or public cloud environments and dramatically improves the performance of analytics systems.”

According to a recent online digital transformation poll conducted by SUSE, 64% of respondents are proactively working on their digital strategy, while 20% are interested in making the transformation, but are unsure of their strategy. Further, many newly founded small businesses in sub-Saharan Africa are using public cloud-based enterprise business suites from their inception for all their operational needs, he says.

The acceptance and growing use of open source outside cloud and data centres are part of the move to greater choice and flexibility for clients. This includes moving data and workloads into and out of cloud environments – as well as using services – when required, he explains.

Bennett highlights that SUSE takes an indirect, partner-led approach to sales, focusing instead on hardening new open-source innovations and developments and making them enterprise ready and secure.

This enables companies to tap into fast-paced innovations and improvements provided by the global open-source community.

“We also provide consulting and advisory services for clients and in collaboration with our sales channel partners. This enables clients to have a trusted adviser or partner on hand who understands their environment and gets information and advice about applicable systems and the latest innovations.”

SUSE expects trends of open-source-enabled business and infrastructure systems and client control over their own environments to increase in importance and relevance.