Africa is on its way to realise massive technology growth and increased connectivity, fuelled, in part, by the adoption and application of cloud solutions. Driven by mobile applications and economic aid, amongst others, there are increased rates of adoption of cloud within government services, education and other key sectors.
At ITNewsAfrica’s Innovation Dinner focused on Real-world cloud adoption, hosted on 05 September in Johannesburg, ICT industry leaders, market analysts and business operators delved into the dynamics of cloud solution adoption globally, but particularly within Africa and South Africa.
Grant Morgan, General Manager: Cloud, Dimension Data Middle East & Africa, confirmed that the company has witnessed a 20% month-on-month compounded growth in terms of cloud solution adoption.
In many cases, in South Africa, this is because the trade environment for companies is so painful that decision makers realise that operations are not as effective as they could be and they seek a viable alternative. In other cases, management is eager to leverage off opportunities that cloud offers.
To illustrate these benefits, Morgan referred to several case studies in which multinational operations have gained significant value from an investment in cloud solutions.
One example is Coca-Cola, whose Japanese manufacturing facility required a mobile app for order entry and sales force automation.
The requirement was first communicated in early August 2013. “I can tell you that last week the app was live and operational. This was all done from South Africa, we had the app skills and combined with infrastructure services instantaneously,” said Morgan.
In addition to cloud benefits, the relevance of hardware was also raised as an important component of the cloud discussion.
Bora Taser, Senior Cloud Solution Architect, Middle East, Turkey & Africa at Intel Corporation, said, “Five years ago when we were talking about the cloud, we focused purely on the enterprise, on servers, on consolidation and on virtualisation. Customers did not have enough skills sets on virtualisation technologies. But today, smart devices mean a lot and have a major impact on your business today.”
Big Data is there and is placing a great deal of pressure on companies in terms of data security and the need to protect and maintain data integrity, regulate use and much more Taser added.
He mentioned that by 2015, 50 billion devices will be connected, which will drive requirements from a consumer and business point of view.
“What we say is to try to move to cloud rather than trying to keep the lights on the whole time, in other words, try to lead the business, rather than just support it from the background,” said Taser.
Intel predicts that the cloud will be federated by 2015, meaning that every customer who uses cloud services should be able to move their verticals from service provider to service provider and do so without any issues – a more flexible cloud services and adoption model.
Automation will play a key role in the development of cloud towards the realisation of this model and the cloud journey.
Chris Tredger – Online Editor