Saturday, November 25, 2017

AWS, Google, Microsoft ‘no longer a pipe dream’ for African businesses

Continent bulks up on infrastructure to drive cloud adoption as digitalisation accelerates, yet, caveats on collaboration remain.

The rising demand for cloud services is accelerating across the African continent which has propelled the expansion of providers such as AWS, Google and Microsoft in the region.

According to Michele McCann, business development manager, Teraco, in Africa, there is a growing need for more collaboration as the aforementioned players enter the market.

She said: “This is especially relevant to content players like Microsoft, Google and Amazon. These companies are here now and no longer a pipe dream.

“This is a great opportunity for the continent to learn about infrastructure strategies from the best.”

McCann highlighted that Africa’s cloud journey, which starts in the data centre, saw a strong push in the last five years due to massive global content providers investing in Africa.

However, she has also warned that this sudden increase in infrastructure in advance in technology, has resulted in a significant lack of resources and little understanding of the market and how to benefit from existing investment.

McCann said: “It has become apparent that cloud is no longer the answer to all strategies.

“Cost, resilience and time to implement an interconnection between environments are now fundamental, when previously it was rather a case of large capacity pipes serving a single privately owned data centre.”

It is for this reason that McCann said enterprises have started to review their peering and IP ownership strategies.

“Previously, organisations would outsource everything to a network operator in the form of transit or MPLS type network design and this has had to change,” she said.

The executive also launched a warning to the enterprise sector, saying that if the industry wants to succeed going forward now is the time to review existing infrastructure and network strategies and consider a more highly connected, virtual approach.

McCann said: “It is important to know where savings can be made and to consolidate so that the business is ready for the next online era.

“This has been around for a long time, its only new to Africa.”