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
Citrix appoints new vice president for EMEACitrix has announced the appointment of Sherif Seddik as Managing Director and Vice President for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Read More
Huawei sponsors students for China study tripHuawei Technologies Botswana recently teamed up with Botswana's Ministry of Education and Skills Development to award a sponsorship for ten ICT students to study Huawei corporate culture and other see the latest ICTs in China. Read More
Second ‘ICTs into learning’ course concludedThe Botswana College of Distance and Open Learning (BOCODOL) has just concluded its second workshop on Integrating ICTs into teaching and learning at its head office in Gaborone. Read More
2nd eCommerce Expo opens in AccraThe second eCommerce Exposition has opened in Ghana’s capital Accra with a call on eCommerce service operators to provide easy and accessible online trading platforms to meet the ever growing demand of the country’s emerging middle class. Read More
Millennium Bim selects Ingenico Group to upgrade its POS fleet in MozambiqueIngenico Group, a leader in seamless payment, has announced that Millennium Bim, the largest bank in Mozambique, has partnered with Ingenico Group to replace its current fleet of point-of-sales throughout the country. Read More
Gartner CIO Survey shows digital business means platform businessCIOs expect digital revenue will grow from 17 per cent in 2015 to 38 per cent of total private sector revenue by 2020, according to a Gartner, Inc. survey of 1,075 CIOs in EMEA. Read More
Ericsson, Worldwide E-Learning Campus invest in ICT skills development in RwandaWorldwide E-Learning Campus (WEC) in Rwanda has launched a partnership with Ericsson to develop professional ICT competencies within the country. Read More
Global mining leaders discuss digitised mine of the futureMembers of the SAP Advisory Council for Mining are meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, for two days of in-depth discussions on the processes and technologies that will support and drive the digital mine of the future. Read More
Ericsson showcases solutions for a smart Africa at Transform AfricaAt the Transform Africa conference in Kigali, Rwanda, Ericsson is demonstrating the transformation that information and communications technology (ICT) and a truly Networked Society can deliver. Read More
FEATURED STORYeCommerce in Africa urged to take advantage of mobile
The Executive Chairman of Alltel has urged operators of eCommerce in Ghana and Africa as a whole to take advantage of the current trend for Africans to trade online via their mobile handsets.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHNigeria needs $25b investment in broadband, says Wood
Telecoms executive Adrian Wood speaks to Kokumo Goodie about investment potential in Nigeria.