Seacom: African cloud set to take off
COMPUTING| Sept. 10, 2012, 1:55 p.m.
The African market is likely to embrace the cloud rapidly, now that infrastructure such as undersea cables and national networks are in place, says Seacom.
Albie Bester, GM of SEACOM’s cloud aggregation subsidiary, Pamoja, says that to experience the true benefits of cloud computing, oganisations need to be able to mix, match and integrate cloud services from different providers - including private clouds from their own IT departments - seamlessly and easily.
Bester says that many cloud providers and end-user organisations are still thinking about cloud services in much the same way as they thought about application service provider (ASP) offerings.
In other words, they believe that any application simply hosted in a data centre and offered across a network connection is a ‘cloud service’. This is not the case since true cloud computing has many other defining characteristics, one of the most important being openness to integration with other services.
Another defining attribute of genuine cloud computing is that it is scalable and elastic. Companies need to be able to turn on more services or processing power and provision more users when they need to. The core infrastructure should allow one to swap to a different service or infrastructure when necessary.
Says Bester: “In a genuine cloud model, it should be quick and simple for the customer to add value to a cloud service by adding ancillary services from other providers. Any service provider that does not offer its customers this level of flexibility is not offering a cloud, but an island. Enterprises must have the freedom to consume cloud services in the way that matches their needs.”
Cloud computing has the potential to change the way IT is perceived in organisations, Bester notes. Instead of being a facilitator of hardware and software, the IT department can become an enabler for better business.
For this to happen, IT organisations need to think about the cloud in a more mature manner, embracing it as a strategy to enable business agility into the future rather than using it as a tactic to save money, Bester says. The cloud is not about saving a few rand a month, but rather about adding long term business value.
“The cloud is not just about providing services companies already have more cost-effectively, but also about providing new solutions that enable business growth. It should be open-ended enough for companies to quickly provision new users and services when they need to respond to an opportunity or change in the market,” he adds.
From enterprise customers’ point of view, they want cloud services that are secure, easy to use and that meet their compliance goals, says Bester. What they don’t want is the complexity of managing and integrating multiple cloud providers and services. The cloud services they buy should not have arbitrary limitations – for example, restrictions on usage in certain countries – and they should provide a consistent look and feel wherever they are used.
Bester says that the African market is likely to embrace the cloud rapidly, now that infrastructure such as undersea cables and national networks are in place.
“With the connectivity ready, the cloud is the quickest way to African companies to provide sophisticated solutions and services to their employees and companies. Companies heading for the cloud should make sure they're partnering with providers who can support their needs for flexible and open solutions into the future," he concludes.
MORE COMPUTING NEWS
Innovative BAC Stand gets an A++ at BTE Fair 2015Botswana Accountancy College (BAC) which recently unveiled two new industry technology courses received top accolades among several other international awards for their exhibition stand at the Botswana Tertiary Education Conference and Fair 2015 (BTEF). Read More
@iLabAfrica to stage kids’ ICT boot camp@iLabAfrica, Strathmore University is organizing a 9-day Holiday Boot Camp for Primary and High School Students from 7th April 2015 to 17th April. Read More
Light sensor market to grow 16% by 2016Samsung, Apple and Chinese OEMs will drive revenue in the light sensor market to grow 16 percent between 2013 and 2016, according to a new report from IHS. Read More
Nairobi to host regional digital fairNairobi is set to host the second annual East Africa digital Marketing Summit & Show, an annual event designed to bring together key players in the digital marketing space from the East African region. Read More
Is Africa ready to facilitate large-scale satellite deployments?With the advent of High Throughput Satellite (HTS) services within Africa’s connected business environment, the question of what happens with the remainder of the satellite supply value chain is relevant. Read More
VMware unveils vCloud for NFV with Integrated OpenStack to accelerate service innovationVMware, the global leader in virtualisation and cloud infrastructure, today debuted VMware vCloud for NFV, an integrated Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) platform that will combine VMware’s production-proven virtualised compute, networking, storage and management solutions with integrated OpenStack support. Read More
Continual service improvement: key to tackling top ITSM challengesA lack of understanding of ITSM and its impact on business hindered its effectiveness in 2014, says Marval Africa. Read More
Advanced analytics and telecoms – a power combinationTelecommunications and advanced analytics are a symbiotic duo that can help fast track African development and revolutionise business, says LGR Telecommunications. Read More
Cameroon college gets affordable, quality Keepod devicesTeaching and learning have since dramatically changed and improved at the College Socka Bongue in Cameroon thanks to the supply by Keepod of 650 computing devices and 26 laptops, with each device costing as little as US$7. Read More
FEATURED STORY2bn priced out of internet access
A new report from the Alliance for Affordable Internet shows that the price of broadband remains prohibitive for billions in developing and emerging countries, with women and rural dwellers hardest hit.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHVillagers get solar training at Barefoot College
The Botswana Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) has seconded seven semi-illiterate mostly Ngwatle villagers for a six month solar electrification training course at the famed Barefoot College in India.