Africa’s digital economy has the potential to reach US$180-billion by 2025, approximately 5% of the continent’s GDP, according to market research by the International Finance Corporation and Google and referenced by Vodacom in its announcement that it intends to expand its managed service Cloud Connect offering.
The mobile network operator says Cloud Connect “provides businesses with a secure, private, high performance, high availability connection to leading public cloud service providers, including Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.”
Wale Odeyemi, Executive Head of Strategic Marketing at Vodacom Business Africa, explains the rationale behind the move to expand: “Africa is experiencing a boom in digitalisation. Combined with the disruptions of COVID-19, this is driving many organisations on the continent to seek out the benefits of cloud services. Our Cloud Connect services keep businesses securely connected while providing them with operational agility and access to essential data and software applications to enhance their performance now and into the future.”
Vodacom’s value proposition is to provide clients with the same fast switch-on flexibility of public cloud with their own WAN/network. Bandwidth choice ranges from 50Mb to 1G depending on the cloud service provider, so clients can scale network capacity to maintain performance as business needs change.
The company points to specific functionality including periodic data migration and replication for continuity, disaster recovery and retention.
“The low latency connectivity is also able to support key business applications, including storage, big data, development and interactive applications, fast and in a scalable manner. For example, large data sets are quickly transferable for big data computing applications, and huge media files are streamed in real-time to and from the cloud,” the company adds.
“We are experiencing an exciting transformational period in the enterprise landscape in Africa. As a leading connectivity provider on the continent, Vodacom Business Africa remains committed in supporting businesses to take advantage of our continent’s growing digital economy and recognise real return on investment on cloud technology. To this end, we continue to leverage our strategic partner networks to provide innovative products and services, affordably, seamlessly and securely to our clients,” concludes Odeyemi.
Hybrid cloud popularity
Statistics show an increase in popularity of the hybrid cloud model as the ideal infrastructure model.
According to the third Global Enterprise Cloud Index Survey, released early this year by Nutanix, 88% of South African organisations viewed this model as ideal.
At the beginning of 2021, following the IDC Direction conference, ITWeb reported that according to Wilson Xavier, IDC’s research and consulting director for IT and telecom services in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META), hybrid multicloud will become the norm for most medium and large organisations in the region over the next 12 to 18 months.
Towards the end of last year, according to market research by World Wide Worx in the form of the Cloud in Africa 2020 Report, COVID-19 has raised cloud computing as a priority for businesses.
It showed that 91% of surveyed respondents deemed cloud computing to be “important” in helping with business’ response to the crisis.
According to research, since the outbreak, the technology platform has been used primarily for disaster recovery (91%) and remote working (82%), followed by customer service activities (52%).
Furthermore, eight out of ten respondents (80%) believe that cloud computing has made a significant contribution to governments’ efforts in dealing with the pandemic. The most common uses by governments were remote working (69%), public communications (55%), and crisis coordination (50%).