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‘How cloud computing can aid SMEs, economic growth’

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Experts in the field of technology have called for fresh investments to drive the adoption of cloud computing in Nigeria.

This is even as they stressed that Cloud computing has the potential to accelerate growth of the about 41 million small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in the country, and to enable rapid governance on the part of the government.

Gathered virtually at a webinar hosted by CyberCloud, themed: “The New Normal: Future of Cloud Computing in Nigeria post COVID19,” the experts submitted that with the coronavirus pandemic still raging, companies must devise means to continue to serve their customers adequately.

To them, one clear cut platform that can be achieved is through cloud computing.
As such, at the webinar, which had over 700 attendees from far and wide, the importance of fresh investment in the sub-sector was emphasised.

Those in attendance included 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, Kasim Sodangi.

They were hosted by the Head, CyberCloud Business, Laurel Onumonu, in Conjunction with MD, Cyberspace Limited, Joe Onwubuya, and VMware Senior Manager, Cloud Business, Dave Funnell.
According to Coker, Cloud Computing is a service that you consume over the Internet, regardless of its location. It’s a service you can subscribe to and consume as you require, you scale as you grow and you pay as you go.

He further said CyberCloud and RackCenter have the capacity to provide all cloud services needed by the government, corporate bodies, and individuals.

Speaking on the development, Anyanwu said Cloud services have always been a part of our lives without us knowing it.

Anyanwu said several people have been using the likes of Google Mail, Yahoo, and so many services that are in the cloud and “we have been enjoying these services for our personal lives without even knowing what we are using.”

He further said ‘’Cloud gives a huge opportunity for us to facilitate innovation with low capital investment.”

Dissecting 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. According to him, one of the guidelines specifically speaks to the retention and domestication of Data Services of the government needs rising from the operation of government and data that is owned by government must be hosted locally.

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.”
Catering to the aspect of a Cloud end user, Osugo said: “Banks have been in the forefront of Cloud Computing.”

However, he said for banks to have the confidence to host and work with local providers, there are certain criteria that need to be met.

He added “Once the government plays its significant role in making sure adequate infrastructures are in place and the entrepreneur, i.e KPMG, VMware assesses the risks and ensures that the skills required to manage these services are also in place, then the sky’s the limit.

Contributing, Funnell said: “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, and trust is key because Cloud Computing is the way to accelerate a business.”

He further said Cloud is an enabler to fast forward to the future, and working with a cloud provider that is reputable can really enable your business.

From his perspective, Onwubuya concluded by urging the attendees to subscribe to the flexible services that CyberCloud has to offer, saying: “Cybercloud can accommodate both the small businesses and big enterprises and can assure you that based on the policies from NITDA; we continue to run a very secure system.”

Bringing the session to a close, Onumonu, highlighted the offerings of Cybercloud, and encouraged all the participants to contact the firm via its social media platforms for answers to the questions unattended to. “We urge you to watch out for more series on Cloud Computing and what it has to offer.”


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