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African CIOs lead the charge: embracing multicloud, fortifying against ransomware, and driving sustainable IT

By Alex Russell, Regional Sales Manager, SADC for Nutanix.

Alex Russell, Regional Sales Manager, SADC for Nutanix.

In the dynamic landscape of African IT ecosystems, a clarion call resounds among CIOs and technology leaders. What are their aspirations for 2024? What challenges keep them awake at night? And where will they channel their investments? In a single breath, they seek innovation, guard against data breaches, and pledge their support to modernisation, security, and AI.

Ransomware: A looming threat

Let’s confront the spectre of cyber threats head-on. According to the sixth annual Enterprise Cloud Index by Nutanix, ransomware and malware stand as the foremost challenges in application and data management for global respondents. Over 42% of surveyed decision-makers recognise the criticality of fortifying defences against these digital assailants. This recognition is not merely theoretical; it’s a visceral acknowledgement of the potential devastation wrought by ransomware attacks.

The impact of ransomware extends far beyond mere inconvenience, with 71% of affected organisations reporting days or weeks of operational downtime. It’s a harrowing reality that underscores the urgency of proactive defence measures. Consequently, 78% of organisations are doubling down on protective solutions, embracing real-time monitoring and data support mechanisms to ensure swift recovery from cyber onslaughts.

Embracing multicloud flexibility

On a brighter note, African organisations are embracing a pragmatic approach to IT deployment, epitomised by the ascendancy of hybrid multicloud models. This nuanced strategy allows CIOs to tailor their infrastructure to meet diverse workload requirements across cloud, edge, and on-premises environments. With 90% of respondents adopting a “cloud smart” stance, the trajectory towards hybrid multicloud is set to double within three years, reflecting a strategic pivot towards flexibility and performance optimisation.

In emerging economies like South Africa, where forex availability and exchange rate stability are paramount considerations, hybrid cloud-enabled service providers offer a lifeline, ensuring predictable operating expenses and mitigating financial volatility in the pursuit of digital transformation.

Unlocking innovation through modernisation

Amidst the clamour for innovation, modernising IT infrastructure emerges as a linchpin for unlocking transformative potential. Yet, the journey is fraught with challenges, from migrating database workloads to containerising applications. While 37% foresee hurdles in running AI applications on legacy infrastructure, the allure of modernisation lies in its promise of heightened agility and enhanced visibility into data assets, essential for driving innovation and sustaining competitive advantage.

Sustainability: A mandate for IT leadership

Against the backdrop of global sustainability imperatives, African organisations are stepping up to the plate, with 98% supporting relevant initiatives. It is pivotal in advancing sustainability agendas, from waste reduction to carbon emissions tracking. Over half of organisations have modernised IT to bolster their sustainability credentials, signalling a collective commitment to environmental stewardship.

Navigating the digital frontier in 2024

As we gaze into the digital horizon of 2024, African IT leaders stand poised at the crossroads of innovation and resilience. Their journey is characterised by a relentless pursuit of flexibility, security, and sustainability, underpinned by bold investments and strategic foresight. The road ahead may be fraught with challenges. Still, with determination and collaboration, African organisations are primed to conquer the digital frontier and emerge as beacons of innovation and resilience in an ever-evolving landscape.

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