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
Botswana women missing from ICTThere has been a rallying call for women in Botswana to consider a lifetime participation in the Information and Communication Technology if the sector is to realise any meaningful growth as well as a fair gender representation. Read More
Globecomm, Tanzania Support Foundation take computers to rural schoolGlobecomm announced today that it has donated desktop computers to a school in the Tanzanian village of Selela to aid the mission of the Tanzanian Support Foundation to help small communities become more self-sufficient in education, healthcare, hygiene and clean water. Read More
The Network is dead. Long live the network!Your network is vastly bigger than the Internet itself, says Infoblox. Read More
Schneider Electric’s off-grid solar and backup power inverter/charger now in southern AfricaSchneider Electric Solar Business, a global leader in solutions for the solar power conversion chain, has released its off-grid solar and backup power inverter/charger, the Conext SW, in the southern African region. Read More
Phase3 seeks digitally enhanced life for special needs kidsWest Africa’s largest independent fibre optic infrastructure and telecommunications services provider, Phase3 Telecom, has urged stakeholders in the ICT industry to offer children living with disabilities a good quality of life through the deployment of assistive technology. Read More
Kenya, China partner to grow ICT skillsGlobal technology company Huawei, in partnership with Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Technology, has dispatched to China the first beneficiaries of the “Huawei Seeds for the Future” Internship programme. Read More
Big trends for 2015Industry experts share their thoughts on the innovations that will impact business next year. Read More
ASUS appoints Andre Goosen as Country Service ManagerASUS, the Taiwanese technology innovation brand, has appointed Andre Goosen to the position of Country Service Manager, a new role created in line with ASUS’ increased focus on after sales service. Read More
iWayAfrica managed service solution launched in KenyaPan African telecoms operator, Gondwana International Networks (GIN) has announced that its iWayAfrica business has launched a managed infrastructure and services solution in Kenya. Read More
Kenya Ports Authority first to deploy Pamoja’s RUBiQ cloud platformThe Kenya Ports Authority is the first institution in East Africa to adopt the RUBiQ Cloud-based governance, risk and compliance platform. Read More
FEATURED STORYPWC: Optimism abounds but a bumpy journey ahead for some
PwC’s ‘Capital Projects & infrastructure in East Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa,’ report says infrastructure spend in the region is projected to reach $180bn per annum by 2025.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.