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The South African market for converged systems holds significant potential for technology vendors looking to operate in this space, according to market intelligence firm IDC. The research firm's figures for South Africa show that enterprise expenditure on convergence is expected to grow from 3.9% share of enterprise infrastructure spend in 2012 to 12.8% in 2016, which represents a four-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40.3%. South African enterprise IT organizations are coming under significant pressure due to the growing complexity of the country's business environment and the continual shift in demands that it entails.


IDC continues to see massive growth in devices, users, virtual machines (VMs), and data occurring in both large and small businesses operating across every industry segment. While these trends create many new long-term opportunities for organizations that have the internal resources to seamlessly incorporate these new developments into their businesses, in the short term, these same organizations are clearly applying significant pressures on their datacenters. Importantly, many users are finding that their traditional client or server architecture is not able to scale effectively and economically. At the same time, organizations are realizing the importance of shifting IT spending from maintenance to innovation. Presently, many IT departments spend approximately 70% of their time and resources on system deployment and management, and the market has been in need of new modular infrastructure platforms that are capable of supporting applications connected to a large number of users and devices.


There are a number of drivers for converged systems across the market today," says Ronaldo De Santana, senior research analyst for systems and solutions at IDC South Africa. "We also believe that the organizations most ready for convergence are best defined as those where IT struggles to keep up with high rates of change in the business or those with high rates of virtualization usage where 70% or more of all applications are virtualized. Organizations are struggling to control operational expenses and generally see the major benefit of converged systems as fewer management tools and improved IT staff efficiency, improved utilization of IT resources, lower total cost of ownership, improved business agility, and lower datacenter facility/power and cooling costs."


Converged systems are designed to address the new realities in the IT market space: data center consolidation, workload consolidation, outsourcing workloads to service providers, and support of multi-tier, end-to-end workloads running on blended, integrated systems. The converged infrastructure and integrated systems market space is still relatively new to end users across major industries and verticals, hence it will take time to see which vendors will be leaders in this new and evolving space. Added to that is the fact that data centers are also evolving, hence this change represents an opportunity for converged systems. There will be winners and losers and IDC believes that vendors that do the best job of meeting the need of core datacenter workloads will be the most successful. Still there will be challenges as the market initially resists standard SKU-based converged systems and instead looks for customized niche entry points, which make deployment efficient and economical.




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