Cloud Computing – Why Nigerian Industry Should Build its Castle in the Sky

Although cloud computing is said to be the most disruptive technology of our information age, it is yet to be accepted by both the public and service providers of business solutions. We believe that the African market is still in the Slope of Enlightenment phase of Gartner’s Hype Cycle that elaborates the phases of adoption for an emerging technology (it’s safe to say cloud is still an emerging technology in Africa while the rest of the world has embraced it).

The Slope of Enlightenment phase is characterized by more companies funding pilot cloud projects, while the conservatively minded companies remain cautious and suspicious of cloud solutions and the staging of such projects. In order for the African market to ‘catch-up’ to the other regions such as Greater Europe and the US markets, and ascend to the Plataea of Productivity phase, which is characterized by cloud technologies’ broad market applicability and relevance clearly paying off – a number of things will have to be demystified: –

  1. Cloud is only for SMEs
  2. Companies have to choose one or the other between on premise solutions and cloud-based solution and not a mix of both
  3. The cloud is not secure

With the current 6.8 to 10 percent broadband penetration in Nigeria, the economy still remains a huge market for cloud computing. As enterprises move deeper into the cloud, they can decide what is core to the successful and ongoing operations of their business, and what can be better run as a managed service whenever and however the need arises – thus setting aside ICT practitioners from day-to-day systems maintenance, some of which is rooted in legacy systems and legacy processes.

With the cloud solutions from SAP, the day-to-day management of ICT then becomes a question of managing Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) rather than maintaining hardware and securing the back door. In other words, the cloud aligns ICT processes more closely with business goals, freeing key staff to work on innovations that aid in the growth of that business.

In the current economic situation in Nigeria and in fact, the rest of Africa, virtualization of servers, applications, desktops, storage and other components of the enterprise infrastructure can be a core component of the shift towards the Plataea of Productivity phase.

AIRBNB, Alibaba and Uber, who have been cited as confirmation digital disruptors, are designing a new world that leverages technologies to change their respective industries. The facts about cloud computing are understood by two-thirds of large enterprises, leaving one third unsure of the benefits of one of the most significant changes in the ICT landscape. For many enterprises, a private cloud should be the closest match to their goals, but the journey to the cloud is a step-by-step one that begins with virtualisation and ends with moving mission-critical applications into the cloud. However, many enterprises fall at the hurdle of security, while others see applications as a natural fit, but are less sure about their hardware infrastructure.

TTCS’s skilled ICT strategists are exploring the potential benefits of cloud computing and virtualisation, such as virtualisation of storage and the data centre, alongside managed services in the cloud. Many enterprises recognise that ‘cloud computing’ – software, infrastructure and platform delivered as on-demand services – can offer strategic advantages in terms of scalability and cost effectiveness so that systems can scale dynamically to accommodate spikes in demand rather than be built for usage scenarios that rarely arise.

We believe that companies must navigate the complexities of digital transformation without disrupting day-to-day business operations. With SAP cloud solutions, we can provide a framework to do just that. The model company approaches have been tried and proven. They’re effective in delivering faster time to value, predictable results and business transformation, all this done by way of a PILOT of our BusinessByDesign, SuccessFactors, Hybris and Ariba solutions.

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