Nigeria's 41 million small and medium enterprises, SMEs may have to ramp up more investment in cloud technology to grow quickly and attract major support of big players in the global market.
This sums up the resolution of a wide range of experts in technology business who gathered at a webinar hosted by an indigenous service provider, CyberCloud, recently. The participants believed that with coronavirus pandemic still raging, cloud appears the most effective technology for Small and medium businesses to continue serving their customers adequately.
Cloud computing is the use of various services, such as software development platforms, servers, storage and software, over the internet.
The theme of the virtual meeting was "The New Normal: Future of Cloud Computing in Nigeria post COVID19"
The webinar, which attracted over 700 attendees from far and wide, was hosted by the Head CyberCloud Business, Laurel Onumonu, in conjunction with MD; Cyberspace Limited, Joe Onwubuya and VMware Senior Manager Cloud Business, Dave Funnell.
Professionals in technology sector who attended the webinar, including the Director General, NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa, MD; RackCentre, Ayotunde Coker, Partner Technology Advisory, KPMG, John Anyanwu, CIO First City Monument Bank, Collins Osugo and National Coordinator; NITDA, Mr Kasim Sodangi agreed that cloud tech is the new normal and called for fresh investments to drive the adoption of cloud computing in Nigeria.
Attendees representing different sub sectors of the Nigerian economy backed up their call for cloud technology by highlighting how the services have helped their businesses and operations.
Giving example how Cloud Services are utilized by the government, Sodangi said as far back as 2013, NITDA issued a guideline for National Content Development in IT, with one of the guidelines specifically speaking to the retention and domestication of Data Services.
The aim of that guideline is for the data from the operations of government to be hosted locally not only for security but also for economic purposes.
He further stated that "Cloud services will sufficiently improve how services are delivered in Nigeria and change the face of the public sector if it is understood and implemented as it ought to be.
Also Anyanwu said that Cloud services have always been a part of the lives of the SME operators without their knowing. He contended that the issue was how they could professionalise, monetize and use it to structure and grow their businesses.
According to him, "several people have been using the likes of Google Mail, Yahoo, and so many services that are in the cloud without even knowing it. What we are saying is that they should apply same in their businesses, apparently in a more professional way. Cloud gives a huge opportunity for small and medium businesses to facilitate innovation with low capital investment," he added.
Corroborating him, MD Rack Centre, Ayotunde Coker said Cloud services are those consumed over the internet, regardless of the location. He added: "It's a service you can subscribe to and consume as you require, scale as you grow and pay as you go. For instance, CyberCloud and Rack center have the capacity to provide all cloud services needed by the government, corporate bodies and individuals.
For Osugo, the banks can help facilitate the usage of cloud computing but all other stakeholders must be alert to their responsibilities. He said: "No doubt, banks have always been at the forefront of Cloud Computing and still have the confidence to host and work with local providers. However, in the nature of banking operations, certain criteria must be met.
Once the government plays its significant role in making sure adequate infrastructure are in place and the entrepreneurs like the KPMG, VMware accesses the risk and ensure that the skills required to manage these services are also in place, then the sky's the limit" .
Advising end users on how to maximize the benefits of cloud services, Funnell said: "Cloud Computing is the way to accelerate a business but trust is key. So, interrogate your cloud provider because not all cloud providers are equal and can deliver the services you require. "However, the certification Vmware provides Cybercloud, should help build the element of trust for your business".
From his perspective, the MD, Cyberspace Limited, Onwubuya said: "Cybercloud can accommodate both the small businesses and big enterprises and can assure that based on the policies from NITDA, we continue to run a very secure system."
Copyright Vanguard. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com)., source News Service English