Cloud Computing trends in Africa

Posted on July 2, 2015 12:01 am

Cloud computing is changing the business and social landscape across Africa and the continent is now awash with public cloud providers.Choice abounds for African customers looking to outsource computing infrastructure to the cloud.Working for a cloud company offers the potential to be exposed to every aspect of technology and choose the right path to follow. The cloud consists of three layers: infrastructure as a service – IaaS, software as a service – SaaS, and platform as a service -PaaS. The IaaS layer includes computers, servers, storage, network connectivity, and other hardware. The more visible software applications at the upper layer, the SaaS layer, are delivered as customer-facing services. With so many options on hand, cloud is fast becoming part of the standard enterprise IT diet. But what should customers prioritize when choosing a provider? Cloud computing once necessitated moving Africa data offshore, exposing it to laws outside its jurisdiction.

Locally-hosted offerings might now calm nerves over these issues, yet the only assured benefit of an onshore cloud is application performance as the legalities over access, and some providers’ need to replicate data offshore for back-up still linger.The cloud is changing lives daily, and, as this happens, it’s become a great opportunity for the next step in technology and business careers.Commercial enterprises and government agencies have become big consumers of cloud services, and they are offering a multitude of services in the cloud to eager consumers who are hungry for the latest innovations.Onshore is the best option where it’s available. Latency is reduced, which provides better performance. Plus, there is some level of assumed comfort from knowing the data is in the same jurisdiction.As Contador Harrison believes, reality is a topic for the lawyers.The most fulfilling careers are lifestyle jobs, meaning Africa population live and breathe work. People who live in the Sub Saharan African region are constantly connected and use the Internet and mobile phones as an integral part of their daily lives, which means the gap between work life and personal life is already being narrowed by technology.

Cloud computing is the hub where the latest technology is being developed and integrated with modern lifestyles in Africa, from the most innovative online commercial companies in Nigeria,South Africa and Kenya among other countries, the cloud is where most connected and vibrant social media platforms are.Cloud services and infrastructure are expanding in every direction, and, as they do, so are career opportunities. In African countries, new cities are springing up, built with the most modern communication networks and wired up as smart cities. The cloud is at the centre of these advances. Intelligent infrastructure will continue to expand, and local and national governments are using the wired city model to make life easier with smoother transportation and more efficient and cost effective utilities. The governments are opening up their services to connected citizens, getting them to contribute to the development of smart cities and collaborate in their planning.Cloud companies in Africa are benefitting from their own technologies.I know some companies in Tanzania and Zambia that are offering human capital management applications that also use those same capabilities in the recruitment, development, and retention of their own staff, as well as ability to engage prospective employees on social media.

In one case in Dar Es Salaam Tanzania, the company was able to select great candidates, had the smoothest on-boarding procedures, and career-tracking systems that helps guide personnel along the optimum path for training and development.Selling cloud is about dealing with how people use technology, not just tech deployment.One need to be social, mobile, and possess ability to respond to customers working in the fast-paced cloud environment.Also developing skills required to assess customer needs and match those with the most appropriate solutions is important. The best cloud sales people understand their customer’s perspective, and use business analytics and problem-solving skills to complement their sales, marketing, and consultancy roles. Cloud sales professionals can become part of an extended team of people who are working together to devise and deliver cloud strategies that have a transformative impact on their customers. Cloud careers open up an environment of creativity and diversity, and offer a lead role in shaping the future of business as part of a dedicated, motivated workplace.

Contador Harrison