Jan Zadak, Senior VP of Enterprise Business and MD of HP EMEA talked to ITNewsAfrica.com about cloud computing trends and the changes happening in African enterprises.
ITNewsAfrica.com: How is cloud computing evolving in 2011 in Africa, in your opinion?
Jan Zadak: The biggest challenges we are facing this year are, firstly, to separate the hype surrounding cloud services from the actual deliverability of these services and secondly to address the robust technical infrastructure needed to be able to access the clouds. In South Africa particularly, companies are moving towards building that infrastructure and this brings major improvements in the data centers departments. At an experimental level, CIOs (Chief Information Officers) have already developed pilot projects.
ITNewsAfrica.com: How is cloud computing affecting corporate structures? Do you see a massive change happening in African enterprises, for example?
Jan Zadak: I have seen different enterprises involved in cloud services implementation as a new way of service delivery. Cloud architecture enables companies to look beyond the IT component. In the global corporate environment, cloud services have moved to integrate logistics, supply chains, business processes. The role of the CIO has evolved to a senior leadership now.
ITNewsAfrica.com: Is this a common ground for SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises)?
Jan Zadak: What we often find is that SMEs don’t enable the same cloud implementation as large corporations do. While enterprises focus on private clouds, SMEs move the response to outsourcing to an external cloud. It’s a very different approach.
ITNewsAfrica.com: HP has recently launched an HP Hybrid delivery solution aimed at enterprises and governments – is hybrid architecture the answer to a faster cloud adoption?
Jan Zadak: Hybrid cloud architectures will prevail in the next years, as companies incorporate internal clouds, internal infrastructure and applications with external clouds to translate in one consistent service level agreement. HP is designed as a hybrid service delivery to provide IT as a service and accommodate the clients’ needs. It is not much about releasing a new service, but a natural evolution of what we already provide, taking further cloud security, availability and ease of integration.
ITNewsAfrica.com: Do you expect cloud computing services to be highly regulated by governments, in the African region, in the following years?
Jan Zadak: I do believe so. Especially in highly-regulated industries (banking, healthcare), the service has to be complaint with the legislation. Moving data raises security and legal challenges. We are working alongside The European Commission to help standardize the legislation that needs to accompany cloud implementation. The African solution is going to be based on international standards.
By Denisa Oosthuizen