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Nigeria’s cloud market poised for adoption

COVID-19 has exposed Nigeria’s market to the advantages that cloud can offer a business, and there is a shift in mindset to embrace the cloud operating model (including from on-premise to colocation), with security now front-of-mind for organisations and businesses.

Laurel Onumonu, AGM & Head Cloud Business Unit at Lagos-based Cyberspace Limited.
Laurel Onumonu, AGM & Head Cloud Business Unit at Lagos-based Cyberspace Limited.

This is according to Laurel Onumonu, AGM & Head Cloud Business Unit at Lagos-based Cyberspace Limited.

Onumonu spoke during VMworld 2020, hosted recently and virtually by VMware, and said Nigeria’s cloud landscape is opening up and gaining momentum, with more interest from businesses in leveraging the technology.

VMware executives said from a broad market perspective, while the overall response to cloud services and adoption does depend on the size of the business and region, the general objective is to become cloud ready.

At VMworld 2020, the company unveiled Virtual Cloud Network innovations that it believes will help customers create a modern network that better supports current and future business initiatives.

“With advancements across the VMware networking and security portfolio, customers will be able to more effectively manage the rapid shift to remote work, deliver traditional and modern applications faster and more securely, and reduce the cost and complexity of connecting and protecting the distributed enterprise,” the company added.

According to VMware businesses today, and the IT and application development teams supporting them, are racing to adapt to a new normal. Application architectures are more modern and cloud native; on premises datacentres are extending to include multi-cloud and edge compute environments; and the work environment is no longer a single campus or branch, but rather anywhere an employee can connect to the Internet.

This new reality introduces complexity that the network of the past 20 years was not designed to address.

“Customers tell us they want the same level of automation they have in the public cloud across their entire environment. But while they can automate some parts of their network, other parts such as firewalls and load balancers still require manual tickets for provisioning. That’s why partial automation is an oxymoron; it’s a half-built bridge that does nothing to get customers to where they want to be,” said Rajiv Ramaswami, chief operating officer, products and cloud services, VMware.

“The VMware Virtual Cloud Network delivers the automation and economics of the public cloud across every element of the network and spanning the entire distributed enterprise at a time when agility and cost matter more than ever.”

VMware will deliver new Virtual Cloud Network innovations across three areas – automation that enables the public cloud experience; modern application connectivity and security services; and solutions that re-imagine what’s possible in network security.

The company also announced Project Monterey—a technology preview focused on evolving its architecture for the datacentre, cloud and edge to address the changing requirements of next-generation applications, including AI, machine learning and 5G applications.

VMware is also announcing that it is collaborating with ecosystem partners to deliver solutions based on Project Monterey including Intel, NVIDIA and Pensando Systems and system companies Dell Technologies, Hewlett Packard Enterprise(HPE)and Lenovo.

“Organisations are introducing increasingly sophisticated applications from cloud-native to machine learning to streaming apps that are distributed and data intensive,” said Ramaswami. “We’re announcing Project Monterey to help customers address the shifting requirements of next-gen apps. By re-imagining the architecture of the datacentre, cloud and edge, we expect to offer customers the freedom to run these apps in the best environment.

Cloud computing relevance

According to the Cloud in Africa 2020 Report, released in early September by World Wide Worx, in partnership with F5, Dell Technologies, Digicloud Africa, and Intel, COVID-19 has pushed cloud computing to the front of decision-makers minds.

The study maps out latest cloud trends across continent, including South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and Malawi.

It showed that 91% of surveyed respondents deemed cloud computing to be “important” in helping with business’ response to the crisis.

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%).

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