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
Gartner's 2015 Hype Cycle for ICT in Africa points to growing importance of digital businessGartner's "Hype Cycle for ICT in Africa, 2015" report identifies over 30 key technologies and describes how they will impact business performance during the next 10 years. Read More
Rlg achieves NITDA certificationRlg Nigeria has been awarded certification from the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) that will allow it to produce laptops and other ICT devices for government agencies. Read More
Botswana Innovation Hub Vendor DayBotswana Innovation Hub will host the Innovation Vendor Day and Exhibition on Tuesday 18th August, 2015 at the Botswana Innovation Hub Science and Technology Park. Read More
Sixty students graduate from Samsung Engineering AcademySixty students this week became the third group to graduate from the Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy in Nairobi. Read More
MainOne’s Tier III Data Centre is first PCI DSS, ISO 27001 certified data centre in NigeriaMainOne’s premier Tier III Data Centre, MDX-I, has become the first Tier III Data Centre operator in Nigeria to achieve both Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and ISO 27001:2013 certifications. Read More
ContinuitySA donates computers to schoolContinuitySA’s Botswana office has rescued the technical impasse that affected Masa Primary school in Gaborone’s phase two suburbs. This is the third such school to get the donation from the organisation and it’s partners in recent months. Read More
Survey: business leaders see transformative technology as trigger for growthGlobal business leaders expect their IT organizations to realize measurable business and competitive advantages from technology transformation reveals a new study from the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network, an international executive change advocacy group. Read More
Robust ERP platforms essential for African companies going globalAs Africa’s mid-sized enterprises expand across the continent and other parts of the world, so should they look at putting in place enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms that will allow them to seamlessly manage multiple legislative environments, currencies and languages, says Sage. Read More
CA Digital Transformation roadshow heads for KenyaOn Thursday 13th August, the CA Southern Africa Road Show will host an event focused on the battle for competitive advantage in the Application Economy at the Sankara Hotel in Nairobi. Read More
Downtime in retail costs millionsRetail businesses today need to ensure that their e-commerce platforms have reliable backup and recovery solutions behind them to avoid downtime and losses running into millions of dollars, says Gregg Petersen, Regional Director, Middle East and SAARC, Veeam Software. Read More
FEATURED STORYYoung innovators shine during pitch sessions
Botswana saw an array of upcoming tech wizards selling their ideas during the Vendors’ Day pitch sessions this week.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHHigh tech homes: Just press play
High tech, digital homes where everything is automated and connected aren’t the stuff of science fiction any longer, says BNC Technology.