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Why Africa wants true cloud cover

Why Africa wants true cloud cover

The number of businesses in Africa migrating to the cloud is on the increase and more service providers are bringing out relevant technology to exploit the trend. Leadership at One Channel, a cloud and mobility provider and South African-based Acumatica vendor partner, believe that ERP software is built for the cloud, and by 2020 the prediction is that 90% of businesses will be running True Cloud ERP.

The company stresses that there is a real difference between cloud and true cloud, and the advantages of a transition from legacy ERP to true cloud ERP are clear – linear scalability to accommodate more users and more companies, and secure alignment of teams to business objectives and strategies.

"What people call cloud is often hosted software... what we call legacy software, wasn't built for the cloud. It can be hosted, but the benefits of true cloud is how you measure it... this would be that it runs on any platform, the second big important thing is that it is almost infinitely scalable. It is built for the cloud, so it is designed to run in multi-tenant mode ... most legacy systems have a user license, to add users is difficult and you pay big money, with true cloud there is no user license. Because its cloud it can run off any browser and performance is linear, which means there is no performance degradation," says Bernard Ford, CEO of One Channel.

Ford speaks of misperceptions of the cloud, particularly within the Africa market, that continues to impact on adoption.

"True cloud needs far lower line speed and the perception is that because it is cloud, you need the internet. That is not true, you only need your browser to connect to the server. Pure cloud software is also very secure in the cloud... it runs on a thing called HTTPS on the server, with 256-bit encryption," he adds.

At the Acumatica ERP Summit Africa hosted in Johannesburg this week, Laurent Dedenis, President, Acumatica International said according to the IDC research brought out in 2025, Moving to the Cloud – Africa Survey, 41% of businesses on the continent are preparing to transition to the cloud.

Furthermore, 43% are using public cloud services and 34% are using private cloud solutions.

In an overview of the increasing importance of CRM, Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics in Africa, Dedenis quoted a Gartner Report Worldwide Enterprise Software Markets 2012 -2019- Sub-Saharan Africa which states that within four years, the CRM market will grow by 80% (US$289.8-million by 2019), while the BI and analytics market will grow by 60% US$301.3-million by 2019).

"The trend, based on IDC research, is that African enterprises are turning to long-term cloud strategy," Dedenis stated.

However, the barriers to cloud adoption remain and according to this research, concerns about security and data protection, as well as over the lack of control over data and services rank among the most significant.

Essentially, freedom of choice, data sovereignty and control is impacting more widespread adoption of the cloud.

When it comes to SaaS and cloud solution deployment, decision makers are specifically concerned about integration issues, TCO, lack of customisation, security concerns, and locating specific applications – according to a Forrester Report Cloud ERP: An Adaptable, Consumable, and Flexible Option for Medium-Sized Businesses.

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