The year that will be….2018.

In my previous post, I reflected on the year that was 2017. Now I want to look ahead to all the wonderful opportunities that await us in 2018. Here are my top 6 predictions (top 5 is so 2017) for the African IT industry.

1.      Public Cloud hyper growth: In 2017 Microsoft announced that a local datacentre will be available in 2018, AWS has already launched a Direct Connect solution in both Johannesburg and Cape Town with strong expectations of a datacentre announcement imminent. These announcements have the potential to nudge the fence sitters while simultaneously providing a clear message to resellers in the market, either you are in on this action or you will miss out. I believe the message will be heard in 2018.

2.      The rise of the Public Cloud MSP: Fact: Customers want to move to public cloud. Fact: They still want a partner to hold their hand and ensure success. 2018 will see many traditional MSP’s adding public cloud to their portfolio and provide this managed service regardless of the location or supplier of the service.

3.      Enterprises will seek internal cloud brokerage solutions: In 2017 we saw the start of these requests coming through. The need to manage multi-clouds, global SaaS solutions, budgets, bill backs, access and governance, all from a single system has become a real need in most large organisations. This presents a great SI opportunity.

4.      My DevOps team is bigger than yours: As digitisation becomes a necessary business imperative, companies have two choices, outsource or build the capability within. Many will build their own DevOps teams to tackle the “Mode 2” of the bimodal IT model. This will be the aspect that will create and maintain competitive advantage. Digitisation is no longer a nice to have, but an essential to stay in business.

5.      AI and Machine Learning everywhere: As companies develop their own digital tools, both for the customer and internal use, the real value will be in what we do with the data. With the use of readily available decision-making algorithms from the likes of AWS and Microsoft, the ability to embed intelligence into these apps is becoming easier and easier for regular developers instead of AI experts.

6.      Security everywhere: The more connected we are, the more personalised the services become, the more data we share. This opens up many new security vulnerabilities and these will need to be circumvented. The security opportunity is massive, it’s huge, it’s gonna be fantastic!

So we are in for a fantastic IT ride in 2018 and of course, it’s all in the cloud so make sure you are in it. Happy New Year and see you in the clouds!

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