Cloud for Africa
COMPUTING| July 25, 2012, 12:58 p.m.
Some analysts and vendors define cloud computing narrowly as an updated version of utility computing: essentially virtual servers available over the Internet. Others go very broad, arguing that anything you consume outside the firewall is in the cloud, including conventional outsourcing. One thing the industry agrees on, however, is that cloud computing is the future of computing.
International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts a five-year annual growth rate of 26% in IT cloud computing services, more thansix times the rate of traditional IT offerings, and that 27 percent of the net new IT revenue in 2013 will come from IT cloud services.
According to analyst firm Gartner, the cloud services market grew 16.6 percent last year, and it predicts that by 2014 cloud services revenue will balloon to USD148.8 billion worldwide. Research company Forrester concurs, predicting that while cloud hype from vendors, the media and other sources will continue to exceed actual user adoption, the various cloud markets and services will start making more sense to business buyers.
Altech ISIS general manager Anton van Heerden says that the company’s understanding of the importance of cloud in the computing and business ecosystems was the reason Altech ISIS began focusing on becoming a cloud services leader during the past few years.
“Cloud services will certainly have a major impact on the IT market over the short term and given the growth potential of cloud services offerings over traditional ones, that percentage will grow very quickly in subsequent years. We are seeing evidence of the growth predictions of the leading international research houses in the increased interest in cloud computing from our customers, proving that our early focus on this area was opportune.”
He adds that this is especially true in Africa, where the bandwidth battle is fast becoming a thing of the past with the landing of the SEACOM and EASSy cables, as well as the BRICS Cable – which is a 34 000 km, 2 optical fibre pair, 12.8 Tbit/s capacity, fibre optic cable system – will be linking Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (the BRICS economies) and the United States. It will interconnect, amongst others, with the WACS cable on the West coast of Africa, and the EASSY and SEACOM cables on the East coast of the continent. This will give the BRICS countries immediate access to 21 African countries and give those African countries access to the BRICS economies.
“African countries have the ability to accelerate the development of the use of new technologies in advance rather than being reactive. Cloud computing can provide an evolution of the way African businesses approach technology.” Van Heerden says. “Cloud computing is a complex and rapidly evolving concept. First, one needs to understand how cloud computing is defined, and how it will evolve. This will enable an understanding of when, where, how and why enterprises should exploit cloud computing services. It will also help with an understanding of the optimum circumstances for deploying cloud computing.”
As a cloud services broker, Altech ISIS concentrates on improving efficiencies across an entire organisation through the effective implementation of cloud-based solutions. The company’s unique approach allows it to evaluate which cloud-computing models, architectures, technologies and best practices its clients should adopt, and to analyse how cloud computing will affect the strategy and direction of IT and the business.
“The cloud offers new delivery styles and options that are industrialised in a value chain that renders on-premises IT systems and expertise as only part of the overall delivery of IT capabilities to the company. Cloud computing allows IT to evolve its existing function as a department somewhere in the building that runs the reports and keeps the lights on in the server room, to a business unit that helps take the organisation to the next level of efficiency,” he explains.
Van Heerden believes that it is inevitable that all organisations will have to eventually to be part of this shift so as to avoid another risk - losing ground to competitors that are taking the risk. However, the move to cloud computing can be daunting for many businesses. As a broker, Altech ISIS provides the expertise to allow companies to make the shift painlessly, offering a complete service from building a specific business case to strategically implementing a solution.
“Potentially every service, every consumer, and every combination of services may need brokerage. Companies need to align the technology with their business strategy; a move that requires specific expertise in order to be successful. We manage all the steps in the process to ensure that our clients obtain the full value that cloud computing offers,” he concludes.
MORE COMPUTING NEWS
Technology drives competitive advantage in West AfricaSage has attributed economic growth in West Africa sub region to developments in the region’s technology landscape. Read More
Networks Unlimited officially launches Mellanox Technologies Open Ethernet SolutionsNetworks Unlimited, a value-adding distributor of converged technology, data centre, networking, and security technology throughout Africa, has hosted the official Johannesburg launch of Mellanox Technologies, Read More
Resolving the data centre disconnectThe disconnect between virtualised applications and physical storage is costing businesses time and money. Read More
CPN could boost Nigeria’s revenue by N4.5b yearlyThe Computer Professionals (Registration Council of Nigeria) or CPN says it has the capacity to boost Federal Government’s revenue with N4.5 billion yearly. Read More
Nokia aims to make Ghana’s ICT market more dynamicNokia says the introduction of its first innovation road show in Ghana is geared towards offering the country’s ICT market the opportunity to benefit from Nokia’s state-of-the-art technologies and concepts to transform networks to be more dynamic, agile and evolving. Read More
M2M technology driving agriculture’s industrialisationThe agriculture and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sectors are heading for a union that is being brought about by natural calamity, economic developments and changes in the ICT space. Read More
Penplusbytes to share experience at 8th ICT4D Conference in Nairobi, KenyaThe Executive Director of Penplusbytes, Kwami Ahiabenu II, will be speaking on promoting effective governance using ICTs at the eighth annual ICT4D conference underway in Nairobi, Kenya. Read More
Dirt to data – The new revolution in agricultureIt is estimated that, through technological innovation, the Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to increase agricultural productivity in Africa by 70% by 2050. Read More
Criticism over Remita borne out of ignorance, says SystemSpecsThe CEO of SystemSpecs, the company behind the revenue-saving Nigerian Single Treasury Account (TSA) system, speaks to Biztechafrica. Read More
MainOne joins global effort to support women in ICTMainOne has lent its voice to the global campaign urging girls and young women to consider careers in the growing information and communications technology (ICT) sector during the International Girls in ICT Day. Read More
FEATURED STORYGovernment should encourage youths in ICT early
Youths should be given more encouragement to develop their ICT skills, an 11-year-old app developer told Kokumo Goodie.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHIBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South Africa
IBM is opening a new IBM Cloud Data Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new cloud center is the result of a close collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom and is designed to support cloud adoption and customer demand across the continent.
COMPANY NEWSThings to ask your MSSP to increase your network’s security
Arbor Networks has drawn up five questions to ask an MSSP to better ensure security throughout your organization.Networks Unlimited officially launches Mellanox Technologies Open Ethernet Solutions
Networks Unlimited, a value-adding distributor of converged technology, data centre, networking, and security technology throughout Africa, has hosted the official Johannesburg launch of Mellanox Technologies,