October 01, 2020

What does a cloud-connected Africa look like?

By Marius Burger, Chief Information Officer at SEACOM

With a region as large and as vast as Africa, it is difficult to imagine a fully connected continent where every individual can harness the power of cloud computing. Yet many of us are already using cloud-enabled technologies every day. From cloud-based productivity apps to collaboration services, the cloud is seamlessly integrating into our daily lives.

A future where a healthy cloud ecosystem is supported by integrated and innovative technologies is much closer than we think.

Enabling business continuity and growth

Given the current remote-working environment, the value of cloud computing for local organisations can’t be emphasised enough. Apart from its geo-agnostic nature, the cloud is the best fit for today’s business landscape because of its scalability, flexibility, and consumption-based charging model which can save your business money.

It’s the ability to rapidly implement and adapt in the cloud that makes cloud-based solutions so valuable in our current business environment. By driving efficiency and ensuring that employees are productive while working from home, cloud automation focuses workloads into the correct resource pools.

In turn, cloud services promote more streamlined operating systems and provide access to more markets and a wider range of service providers, helping companies reduce unnecessary costs and enable cost-effectiveness in the long run.

Connecting data centres to customers

As the demand for digital services continues to increase, the need for more processing power also grows, with extra data centres setting up shop in our backyard. And, as more hyper-scalers position themselves in South Africa and throughout the continent, our technology industry is forced to find new solutions that will satisfy this hunger for the bandwidth and the cloud. More sophisticated network architecture is required so that ISPs can find smarter ways to manage and orchestrate traffic between data centres and end-users.

That’s where SEACOM’s infrastructure solutions come into play. These solutions deliver direct, high-speed, dedicated, and secure connectivity via resilient east and southern African networks, allowing businesses to embrace the cloud and enhance their own digital transformation.

Thinking ahead

A fully connected Africa will have intelligent networks built on a foundation of stable and reliable facilities. In other words, the networking equivalent of a park-and-ride system with satellite navigation, ensuring traffic flow in peak hours and drivers finding the best routes to their destinations.

Reaching this desired connected state means a few critical things for our continent. Firstly, our connectivity will be on par with that of more developed countries. Secondly, it’ll enable any business to use the cloud and tap into the benefits cloud computing unlocks. Thirdly, cloud capabilities will be able to be deployed closer to end-users, resulting in an increased uptake of cloud-based services for consumers.

Most importantly, however, a cloud-connected Africa could mean more job opportunities for parts of our population that previously couldn’t access work. And for a continent with high levels of poverty and unemployment, this is a massive win.

If governments, businesses, and entrepreneurs embrace the opportunities that the cloud provides, Africa could distinguish itself by using the cloud to drive growth and add value. All that’s needed is a forward-thinking cloud provider like SEACOM. Find out how we can assist your business in planning for tomorrow.