Monday, August 31, 2020

African businesses shift to cloud technology

African businesses are shifting to the cloud to organize, process, and present their data. In fact, many companies are using services like cloud-based email without noticing that they are embracing cloud technology.

The cloud enables remote working and service provision, regardless of where employees or organizations are located and since the hurdle of the distance between the customer and the company will be negated, African businesses will have access to a wider market just as workers will search for jobs beyond their national reach.

Patrick Ndegwa, the Business Sales Lead for SEACOM says organizations need to be able to adapt at the same speed as this new technology and take advantage of the opportunities it presents which will ensure business continuity and resilience in the long term.

The opportunities for Africa in cloud computing are immense including the Internet of Things which is set to become prominent as companies automate and optimize more processes as connected ‘smart’ machines are used. Interconnected systems mean that business processes and actual equipment will be linked to ensure ease of access and optimization. 

This has the power to significantly improve efficiency for businesses that can get it right, says Ndegwa. "As we progress into this digital world of work, systems will become more interlinked and intertwined, providing opportunities for companies that are ready to take advantage."

The cloud will also allow business flexibility and scalability enabling growth while reducing unnecessary costs as a result of more streamlined operating systems and access to more markets and a wider range of service providers.

Ensuring the safety and security of the business

The importance of security in this new cloud-connected world cannot be stressed enough. As more data is moved to a cloud environment, businesses that don’t take security seriously become more susceptible to data breaches.

User rights need to be properly managed and the relevant software put into place to prevent cyberattacks and data leaks. In addition to this, each individual accessing a system affects the safety of the wider network, so employee training is vital.

Accessing and managing data remotely will need to become a priority. The constant influx of data that is being collected and stored needs to be organised and used strategically. Regular backups are crucial in ensuring that information is safe and easily accessible should the original data be deemed at risk. This will ensure business continuity and reduce downtime.

Companies that stand to win will be those that partner with cloud providers that can help them put the right security measures in place.

According to research by 2025 all of the world’s data is expected to increase by five times. This data is estimated to be worth around 123.2 billion USD. In addition to this, the mobile cloud services market will be worth an estimated 95 billion USD by 2024. This trend also applies to Africa.

As Internet usage in Africa grows, so does the amount of data created - as well as the value of that data. Accessing these huge amounts of data won’t be the biggest challenge - making sense of it will be. Companies that can collect, collate, and analyze the sheer volume of data generated every day by their customers, employees, and other stakeholders stand to gain a lot. If you aren’t organizing your data and using it strategically, you will be left behind.

As we look to the future, the importance of partnering with a provider that can assist your business in meeting its operational needs to remain a top priority. A forward-thinking cloud partner can help your business plan for the future while making the most of the latest innovative technology.

By APO Group on behalf of SEACOM.

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