Cloud models suitable for Africa’s Defense

November 3, 2011

A few days ago, I met a Department of Defence senior IT official in one of Sub Sahara African country.After a two hour talk, he sought my opinion on cloud models and I advised him to consider cloud computing in his country because such a move could cut cost and rationalize data processing environment.Departments of Defence in developing regions like Africa should consolidate their central and regional services and data centres to support a more integrated enterprise services model. Such a move would enable departments of Defence move to a more strategic IT command and control role as integrators, service providers and other third parties manage various service delivery components under through outsourcing contracts.I likened case studies from clients i’ve dealt with in the banking and telecommunications and that is why i’d expect Defence to opt for a private cloud that should be custom-developed to meet the department’s requirements of sovereignty, security, resilience, recoverability and survivability.

This may be designed, built operated and maintained by the Cloud Enterprise Services Providers well known CESPs.However,one thing that has concerned me all along is the ownership of intellectual property and how clients might move off a cloud especially in Africa.What client own and obligations the CESPs have to provide data and specifications enabling another cloud CESP to transform and load the data for residence within his cloud.Deficiencies in Defence’s current IT service delivery model remain my great concern.Existing service level agreements and a lack of explicitly defined business-level outcomes had resulted in architecture, facilities and services that in my opinion are clearly not to Defence standards. I have been dealing with different national Defence IT departments and frankly speaking most Defence’s IT systems management are characterized by an inability to deliver capacity on demand which can be attributed to Defence’s project-orientated delivery model which mainly fail to forecast resource needs or promote planning.I recommended to him that the best contract service providers are Fujitsu.This is because in one case where they are working on right now,the Defence’s monitoring tools have been integrated and standardized.In one of my recent engagements with clients,I realized that Defence’s technology consumption will move from being asset-based to being services or cloud-based for that matter.

Contador Harrison