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
Pamoja’s cloud service ecosystem taking shape in AfricaPamoja, a leading cloud services and content aggregation business entity in the SEACOM stable, has entrenched the value of its service in East Africa and officially made this high-growth region its base. Read More
Seagate ships world's first 8TB hard drivesSeagate Technology has announced it is shipping the world’s first 8TB hard disk drive. Read More
Myth-busting the cloud for SMEsThere are still a few myths that prevail about the risks and benefits of cloud computing, says Ivan Epstein, co-founder of Softline and CEO of Sage AAMEA. Read More
Sage CRM is Umsinsi Health Care’s engine for growthUmsinsi Health Care, a distributor of medical products, has enhanced customer service and streamlined its business processes by implementing Sage CRM as its customer relationship management platform. Read More
Africa risks ‘new digital divide’According to the WEF Global Information Technology Report 2014, a more solid ICT infrastructure and improving the framework conditions for innovation and entrepreneurship will be crucial to avoid the emergence of a new digital divide in Africa. Read More
VMware delivers new innovations for the open, agile, secure software-defined data centreIndustry’s most complete software-defined data centre portfolio helps customers slash CAPEX by nearly 50 percent and improve IT productivity by 100 percent or more. Read More
Gartner: CIOs must embrace digital ethicsThe need for CIOs to consider digital ethics has become paramount as the pace of technology change accelerates, says Gartner. Read More
The blueprint for BYOD successJust like mobile analytics, big data, the internet, and social networks changed the way companies do business, so the adoption of mobile devices has become a catalyst for change in corporations and SMEs, says SAP Africa. Read More
Orange, GESCI to train teachers on ICTs in educationOrange has partnered with the Global E-Schools and Communities Initiative (GESCI) to support e-learning and integration of ICT in education. Read More
FEATURED STORYSafaricom-Equity battle for mobile banking hots up
Equity bank's entry to the mobile banking and telephony industry is still hanging in the balance with London-based global association of mobile operators (GSMA) calling for independent audit.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture
In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.