Cloud offers 20% saving on IT spend

Cloud migration is typically driven by business demand, cost-savings and IT efficiency. However, to realise the full benefit of cloud migration, business leaders must understand the real business benefits for moving an application to the cloud.

One Channel CEO Bernard Ford says companies that have already migrated the majority of their business systems to the cloud save on average more than 20 percent in IT spending as a percentage of revenue and the benefits of Cloud will continue to increase.

According to a new report from Gartner, public cloud-services technology revenues are projected to grow by more than 50 percent worldwide in the next three years, to about $355-billion in 2022.

It predicts that the global public cloud services market is set to reach $266.4 billion, representing a growth of 17%, up from $227.8-billion in 2019. Software as a service (SaaS) will remain the largest market segment, which is forecast to grow to $116-billion next year due to the scalability of subscription-based software.

The second-largest market segment is cloud system infrastructure services, or infrastructure as a service (IaaS), which will reach $50-billion in 2020. IaaS is forecast to grow 24% year over year, which is the highest growth rate across all market segments.

Gartner says this growth is attributed to the demands of modern applications and workloads, which require infrastructure that traditional data centres cannot meet.

“Some people have a perception that the Cloud means a single Cloud. However, to really take advantage of the Cloud, you need to understand that there isn’t going to be just one Cloud, but many of them,” he explains.

As the world of Cloud evolves, it’s important to distinguish between siloed Cloud environments versus a multi-cloud approach. When people say they are moving all their business systems to the Cloud, they are essentially referring to the Internet where information will be accessible anytime, anywhere.

“However, with the concept of a multi-cloud world, it goes a step further. Although Cloud services all run on the Internet, they are often siloed. Cloud environments such as Microsoft Office 365, SalesForce and Zenefits provide critical services to businesses, but they don’t easily interact with one another,” he says.

This leaves companies trying to piece together various Cloud environments, and essentially creating a version of the former on-premises world, but in the Cloud. In the former on-premises world, businesses would purchase a range of applications and then be faced with getting them to talk to each other.

Integration was the misery of many an IT department’s existence, as was customisability and adaptability. While the Cloud could make it easier, organisations may still wind up in the same silos as before in the on-premises world.

Ford says one of the exciting things that happened early on in the Cloud computing era was that a set of open standards were defined. “These standards dictate the way pieces work for an individual application, but they also dictate how one application talks to another. This is what is known as cloud interoperability and is critical for businesses to not end up in a siloed Cloud environment.”

Choose the right platform for the future. Businesses that have moved their systems to the Cloud often use a wide range of applications. This is now starting to create real challenges with regards to scale, interoperability, cost-effectiveness, and integration.

For businesses that want to be strategic and mitigate these issues, one of these applications needs to be selected to be at the centre of this multi-cloud world. It would make sense to anchor this in one that’s the most critical for business namely ERP.

“You might call this a tiny bit self-serving, but I would offer up that an ERP system truly is the system of record for a business. If other systems stop or break, the business can generally move on. If the ERP system breaks, you can’t order or ship products or bill your customers. Things stop so thinking about your ERP Cloud strategy as the centre point of this multi-cloud hub is something I would strongly recommend,” he adds.

Ford says companies that embrace the multi-cloud world are set up for success, they are light years ahead of their competitors, because they have chosen to centre their entire business around one main ERP platform that easily integrates into other Cloud environments.

The IT department doesn’t stress when the CIO recommends a new Cloud application that the ERP system must integrate into. The CFO has one less major headache to deal with, as the cost effectiveness of the ERP platform enables the business to put their money where it matters most.

“Finally, their customers are happy because they can count on a business that is always taking orders, shipping on time and making their buying experience the best in the industry, creating customer loyalty like never before,” he concludes.

www.onechannel.cloud

[South Africa] Local partner role is critical to cloud success in Africa

While cloud technology presents a significant opportunity for enterprises to innovate as if they were potentially start-ups, the time and approach some are taking to make this decision could ultimately cost them. This is according to Guy Zibi, principal analyst, Xalam Analytics, who was a keynote speaker at Hype, vendor neutral cloud infrastructure provider, Routed’s recent event series.

In his sessions in Cape Town and Johannesburg, Zibi says that there is no doubt that the African cloud is here: “While customers are going digital at an alarming rate, competition is increasingly amorphous and more agile. There are also thousands of start-ups looking to disrupt. Traditional rivals are becoming more agile and are leveraging new technologies, making the African cloud complex and varied,” says Zibi.

He says that this has led to many enterprises playing a defensive strategy, now looking at how to leverage technology to grow revenue: “This is predominant in consumer-facing businesses and has led to growth of mobile applications and a rise in the use of analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).”

This, he says, is while data volumes grow, budgets get tighter, economies slow down, and unpredictable power supply, cyber-attacks and a heavier regulatory burden all make the landscape more challenging.

How organisations approach the cloud largely hinges on what and where they are, according to Zibi. Is the market cloud-ready? How important is technology in the production chain? What is the quality and cost of connectivity?

“In Africa we are seeing selective cloud usage, which includes a mix of basic and critical workloads onsite and a mix of full-blown migration. The latter includes lift and shift; re-platform; replace/rebuild and rearchitect,” says Zibi. Interestingly, he says that the financial services sector is the most progressive in Africa, having moved to a combination of off premise and public cloud.”

Migration patterns in cloud-ready markets have been amplified by the arrival of hyperscalers, which is evident in the acceleration of the financial services sector. While rebuild/replace is not seen as a viable option, lift and shift together with rearchitecting seem to be dominating cloud migration.

“Rehosting is growing within financial services as well as in retail, however the public sector and industry are slower. It is this reluctance to consider viable alternatives that could impact the outcome and success of cloud migration across several industries,” says Zibi. 

He says that there is room for locally-attuned platforms in Africa: “While it is good to see global market leading cloud platforms in Africa, it is highly likely that several markets and sectors will be highly-dependent on local providers. Managed Service Providers (MSPs) will play an important role in cloud migration but they must evolve.”

Dave Funnell, VMware Senior Manager: Cloud Provider Business, Sub-Saharan Africa says that the growth of applications is driving Cloud adoption, with a different destination depending upon the lifecycle status of the application. This is leading to a hybrid multi-cloud world, with the requirement for cloud services not just from the hyperscalers, but also hosted private clouds. Having recently presented Routed with Africa’s first VMware Cloud Verified accreditation, he says that these Cloud platforms provide customers with a valuable proposition: the easiest and lowest risk pathway for migration to the cloud.

“The reality is that it’s a hybrid cloud future with multiple cloud providers. The majority of applications being migrated to the cloud are ‘lift and shift’, so why expend the time, cost and energy to migrate over months and years to a hyperscaler, often with unpredictable results. Rather perform a rapid and confident migration to a private cloud, whether delivered by a hyperscaler or a localised provider, such as Routed. This is why all six major hyperscalers, including AWS and Azure, have partnered with VMware and explains the growth of localised cloud provider partners, who deliver services tailored to their client’s requirements. As more enterprises adopt a cloud first strategy, I expect the private cloud market to grow in lockstep with the native hyperscale requirement, making the role of companies like Routed and other MSPs, critical,” says Funnell.

www.routed.co.za

www.xalamanalytics.com

[Column] Sandra Crous: Making the right decision to benefit from true Cloud applications

Many people often confuse the similarities and differences surrounding both web hosting and cloud computing. While many believe that cloud and hosted services are the same, this is not the case. Yes, they are both hosted off-premise and can be accessed remotely through an internet connection, but that is where it begins and ends.

The most significant difference between the two is the true cloud’s multi-tenancy, which involves the sharing of resources and costs among a large cluster of servers, enabling economies of scale and allowing infrastructure to be of numerous machines, with better peak-load capacity and improved utilization.

The biggest benefit of true cloud software to customers, says Sandra Crous, Managing Director of PaySpace, are the speed of development of new modules and features. To be able to rollout new features daily instead of two to three times a year, has made cloud software extremely popular. Adding to that, we also do not have to use manual testers to test our software, all updates are tested in real-time using automated testing methods. By using robotic processes, our teams focus on product innovation instead and giving our customers the benefit of being at the forefront of technology.

Cloud servers enable organisations to enhance IT performance without the crippling costs associated with the capital outlay to buy and manage dedicated infrastructure. They are ideal for businesses whose workloads and demands vary, as they offer on-demand utilities, multi-tenancy capabilities with uninterrupted scaling, and features that adapt along with your business.

“Customers do not have the hassle of maintaining software and upgrading hardware, and no intervention is needed from IT to maintain the solution,” Crous explains. “Nor do they need to handle security, as the provider handles this function, including SSL encryption, vulnerability tests, and ensures the availability and performance of the software.”

So, what does this mean for customers? According to Crous, it means access to your most critical Payroll & HR data in a risk free, always up to date, secure online environment accessible from anywhere in the world, with the knowledge that you will never have a product with static features.

Another great benefit, she says, is the consumption-based billing, because customers pay for what they use. It can be instantly scaled up or down, with zero hassle.

In terms of performance, the very nature of the multi-tenant architecture makes it far more agile for the different parts of the technology stack, so optimum speed and reliability can always be guaranteed.

When it comes to providing end user service, having one instance enables the multi-tenant cloud provider to deliver more efficient and effective service and support, including troubleshooting and problem resolution, because all customers are on a single version she adds.

At PaySpace, “we have a single instance, multi-tenant platform, that consolidates payrolls and HR data across 43 countries in Africa. We offer intelligent workflows and guidance in the product, second to that, customers can also make use of our knowledge base, giving them access to tutorial video content and tools.

The cost benefit of using intelligent Cloud Payroll & HR software is the reassignment of resources on more strategic functions instead of arduous manual processes.

With PaySpace, the “No app required” method for employees and managers, allows them to gain real-time and secure access to their personal data or action-specific HR processes on any smartphone and tablet.  Moreover, data is automatically backed up in a secure environment, Crous concludes.

Sandra Crous is the Managing Director of cloud-based payroll and human capital management software, PaySpace.

[Column] Jason Penton: Offshore platform development growing as South Africa looks to play cloud catch-up

As cloud entered its teen years in 2019, South Africa remains a late adopter of what is globally an established technology. Jason Penton, co-founder, Jini Guru, a cloud platform builder, says that in the 13 years that cloud has been around, the technology landscape has changed almost beyond recognition.

“Globally, cloud will continue to impact the next decade, but with more focus on newer technologies such Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT).  These markets have generally been engaging in cloud for five or more years, which is why they are looking ahead. Cloud is still very much a chosen technology and enterprise companies globally are looking to the next generation cloud model to see what it could bring to the business,” says Penton.

2025 is the year predicted for this new approach, which will essentially give these companies access to new technologies such as AI, blockchain and Internet of Things. But Penton says locally, the landscape is much different. 

“South Africa’s adoption rate is much slower as enterprise businesses remain overly cautious of a full migration to the cloud. Instead, platform technology is bridging this gap. We are seeing increasing interest in developing new platforms while enterprise debate migrating legacy systems,” says Penton.

With an established team in South Africa and a development team in India, Jini Guru’s core business remains at the centre of digital transformation as it takes traditional networks into the cloud: “We are seeing increasing interest in creating new platforms in the cloud. From telephony to Know your Customer (KYC) and RICA implementations, our team of developers are doing some innovative projects in the cloud,” says Penton.

He says that the combined offshore force that Jini Guru offers is compelling to local businesses: “We are able to be very price competitive but also offering exemplary development work. In addition, clients deal with our team in South Africa, while benefiting from an offshore team of developers.

While South Africa is essentially behind the adoption curve, we are still seeing some excellent development work and major innovation taking place. Penton says that he anticipates increasing demand for custom development work as clients either realise the benefits of moving into the cloud or reach end of life and essentially need to make a move.

Jason Penton is the co-founder, Jini Guru, a cloud platform builder.

[South Africa] Bluegrass Digital invests in cloud provider Veeva Systems

Bluegrass Digital has announced that it will continue to invest in its Veeva Systems partnership, the leader in cloud-based software for the global life sciences industry. This forms part of its strategy to develop pharmaceutical and life sciences industry applications.

Veeva Systems is an end-to-end solution delivering life sciences-focused capabilities for the planning and coordination of all resources, across all channels covering face-to-face, email, web and mobile. It ensures companies focus on delivering the right messages at the right time to customers.

Through this partnership, Bluegrass helps clients bring products to market faster and more efficiently, and maintain compliance. Bluegrass is an official Veeva solution partner and recognised as a multichannel Veeva Systems Content Partner.

Bluegrass Digital CEO Nick Durrant says they have a solid history of working in the Healthcare and Life Sciences industry with over 10 years’ experience. “In recent years, much of our work has focused on the technical support and delivery of Veeva solutions.”

“In 2015 we joined the Veeva partnership programme and have maintained our partnership ever since, building on our skills and experience on the Veeva platform. We have worked on a range of digital solutions for clients that include Janssen and Johnson & Johnson, Amgen, Grunenthal, Leo Pharma, Mundipharma, Novartis, Lundbeck Pfizer and many more,” he explains.

Delivering a seamless multichannel customer experience, Veeva is committed to moving the life sciences industry forward with leading technology solutions. Its industry cloud solutions provide data, software, services and an extensive ecosystem of partners to support the most critical functions from R&D through commercial.

Durrant says many of our projects have been delivered to EMEA and North America. “We are often involved in the development of the core solutions which is used as the global build pack for market roll-out. Our main production hub is based in Cape Town and this provides a cost effective solution for our partners in Europe and North America.”

“Our experience includes the Veeva CRM platform which covers Approved email, CLM, Engage and MyInsights. We also work with Veeva Vault covering Veeva PromoMats and Veeva MedComms,” he concludes.

www.bluegrassdigital.com

[Kenya] CloudHop inks deal with Nasdaq Governance Solutions to provide clients with solution that enhances corporate governance

Cloud solutions provider in Kenya, CloudHop, has partnered with Nasdaq Governance Solutions, a business of Nasdaq Inc. to provide its clients in Eastern Africa with access to Nasdaq Boardvantage®, a board portal and collaboration software solution.

Nasdaq Boardvantage allows boards and leadership teams to work together more efficiently, productively, and strategically.

For the corporate secretary, general counsel and meeting administrators, the platform offers an exceptionally flexible, secure and user-friendly interface to help increase productivity during and in between meetings.

For board directors and senior executives, the solution helps manage critical tasks inside and outside the boardroom with biometric ID sign-on, intuitive notification, and collaboration tools.

Nasdaq built the platform with industry-standard encryption and multi-factor authentication to protect a user’s most sensitive information.

“We pride ourselves in helping our customers put smart to work with the best of breed applications. We are therefore delighted to be partnering with Nasdaq on this groundbreaking solution that will without doubt transform how corporates manage their corporate governance function,” said Mr Keval Shah, Co-CEO, Cloudhop.

“We are encouraged by the demand across East Africa for our board portal and collaboration technology and are pleased to partner with CloudHop to engage with governance professionals in the region who are seeking new ways to enhance their corporate governance practices,” said Mr Mike Bartels, President, Nasdaq Governance Solutions.

Nasdaq Boardvantage is recognized as a 2019 American Business Awards Bronze Stevie Winner for Sales & Customer Service; 2018 American Business Awards Gold Stevie Award Winner for Best New Product of the Year, Bronze Stevie Award Winner for Software Customer Service Department of the Year, and Bronze Stevie Award Winner for Front-Line Customer Service Team of the Year; 2018 RiskTech 100 Category Winner for Operational Risk & GRC; and 2018 6th Annual Best in Biz Awards International Winner.

www.cloudhop.it

www.nasdaq.com

Companies worldwide struggle to manage and protect multi-cloud compute infrastructures, survey

A vast majority of enterprises worldwide have adopted multi-cloud strategies to keep pace with the need for digital transformation and IT efficiency, but they face significant challenges in managing the complexities and added requirements of these new application and data delivery infrastructures, according to a global survey conducted by the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network, in partnership with A10 Networks.

The new study, entitled “Mapping The Multi-Cloud Enterprise,” finds that improved security, including centralized security and performance management, multi-cloud visibility of threats and attacks, and security automation, is the number one IT challenge facing companies in these new compute environments.

“Multi-cloud is the de facto new standard for today’s software- and data-driven enterprise,” said Dave Murray, head of thought leadership and research for the BPI Network. “However, our study makes clear that IT and business leaders are struggling with how to reassert the same levels of management, security, visibility and control that existed in past IT models. Particularly in security, our respondents are currently assessing and mapping the platforms, solutions and policies they will need to realize the benefits and reduce the risks associated of their multi-cloud environments.” 

“The BPI Network survey underscores a critical desire and requirement for companies to reevaluate their security platforms and architectures in light of multi-cloud proliferation,” said Gunter Reiss, vice president of worldwide marketing at A10 Networks. “The rise of 5G-enabled edge clouds is expected to be another driver for multi-cloud adoption. A10 Networks believes enterprises must begin to deploy robust Polynimbus security and application delivery models that advance centralized visibility and management and deliver greater security automation across clouds, networks, applications and data.”

The study finds that some 40 percent of companies have or will reassess their current relationships with security and load balancer suppliers in light of multi-cloud, with most others still undecided about whether a change in vendors is needed.

www.bpinetwork.org

Huawei Cloud launches Elastic Cloud Server services across Africa

Huawei Cloud has released Kunpeng ECS (Elastic Cloud Server) cloud services and Partner Program 2.0. The Kunpeng-powered cloud services will be made available to African customers by the end of December 2019 and aim to offer 15% faster multi-core computing power and a 30% higher performance/price ratio than the industry average.

Speaking at the Huawei Cloud, AI Forum, Rui Houwei, President of Huawei Cloud Africa, noted the significance of recent technological breakthroughs. “The computing industry has gone through the mainframe computer, minicomputer, and x86 server stages and will move to the multi-architecture computing stage,” he said.

“The computing power previously available only in the x86 architecture, is now available in different architectures, allowing for the use of appropriate computing power for each specific application. “

“This January, Huawei launched Kunpeng 920, the industry’s highest-performing 7nm server processor in the Kunpeng architecture. The Huawei Cloud ECS is powered by the Kunpeng servers and supports multi-architecture computing. ”

Rui also expressed optimism at Kunpeng’s capabilities for the local market, “Huawei can innovate across the entire stack ranging from chips and servers to cloud platforms. In-depth collaboration between chips, hardware, and software enable Kunpeng cloud services to deliver unparalleled performance. We are deeply committed to providing diversified cloud services and solutions, to help public institutions and private companies take intelligence and mobility to even greater heights. ”

At the forum, Huawei also outlined its Partner Program 2.0 initiative, which offers crucial support for partners, about online and onsite training, market expansion, marketing activities, and technical understanding.

In Africa alone, Huawei Cloud has already established partnerships with over 65 partners spanning diverse industries, including telecom, finance, manufacturing, education, retail, and logistics, as well as the public sector. “Such wide-ranging collaboration is likely to result in unique, and broadly-shared benefits across the ecosystem,” said Rui.

According to an IDC report, South Africa’s spending in public cloud services will reach R11.5 billion in 2022, a three-fold increase from 2017. This expansion is projected to create 112,000 jobs. By 2020, cloud services will account for 67% of enterprises’ total spending in IT infrastructure and software.

More than 85% of enterprises are expected to use the hybrid-cloud or multi-cloud architecture.

Huawei has been operating in Africa for over 20 years and has developed an in-depth understanding of the requirements, opportunities, and challenges faced by African customers. Its local teams are fully equipped to provide premium services for customers spanning 54 different African countries.

Huawei Cloud services were officially launched in South Africa this February, making it the first cloud service provider to utilize local data centres in that country. Over the past eight months, Huawei Cloud has experienced rapid growth in Nigeria, Kenya, and Zambia.

intl.huaweicloud.com

[Kenya] KETRACTO digitizes procurement processes with SAP Ariba Cloud

In a bid to improve its operations and in compliance with presidential directive and government requirements, Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited, KETRACO, has digitized its procurement processes via an e-procurement platform powered by SAP Ariba Cloud. 

This second phase of an end-to-end automation of tendering, supplier management and contracts process will see tenders and quotations submitted and processed online for efficiency, accountability and transparency. This process is 100% Paperless.

Open and secret tenders, Request for Proposals (RFP) and Request for Quotations (RFQ) will be advertised through the government portals, KETRACO websites and in newspapers. All interested Bidders/ Suppliers will be required to submit their documentation online. The tenders will then be received, evaluated and awarded online.

In the first phase of the implementation that went live in April this year, the company automated ‘procure to pay’ operations by on boarding suppliers to the SAP Ariba network to start transacting electronically. Purchase Requests, Local Purchase Orders, invoices and payment of goods/ services were processed online in the ‘procure to pay’ operation.

Speaking during the go live event, KETRACO’s Managing Director FCPA Fernandes Barasa noted that over 260 suppliers have registered on the Ariba network and continue to transact with KETRACO in a paperless environment for Purchase order and invoice submission and processing and are ready to move the entire tendering process.

‘’Supplier registration and qualification has now been made available online. The youth and the special groups will be submitting their registration applications online and will be on boarded immediately. ‘’ He noted.

This automation has been made possible by SAP Ariba, a leading global provider of collaborative business commerce solutions which allows suppliers to easily extend their back-end systems and processes to benefit from electronic transactions.

Pedro Guerreiro, Managing Director for SAP Central Africa adds, “Two years ago Kenya’s leading electricity transmission company implemented SAP’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System and shortly after, won Gold at the SAP Quality Awards. Today, we are thrilled to yet again be a part of Ketraco’s continued digital transformation journey with the adoption of our Ariba e-procurement software solutions.  By streamlining business operations and connecting to Ariba’s +4.2 million companies, Ketraco has established a solid foundation for tomorrow’s Intelligent Enterprise, pointing to a bright and innovative future for the organisation, its staff and customers.”

www.ketraco.co.ke

www.sap.com

[Column] David Bunei: Next-generation cloud eliminates pain points for Kenyan business

In addition to experiencing our new brand look in person, business leaders who attended the recent Oracle Modern Cloud Day in Nairobi had the opportunity to experience the full potential unlocked by cloud-embedded technology.

On a greater societal level, cloud technologies are at the heart of concepts like smart or green cities where available resources are optimized and systems integrated for the benefit of all citizens. Businesses too can achieve unprecedented all-round efficiency enabled by cloud services. The recent Cloud Day event in Kenya was an opportunity for us to showcase Oracle’s latest innovation across cloud applications and cloud infrastructure.

With a 30-year presence in, and commitment to, Africa, Oracle is bringing these, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) enriched innovations to Kenya as part of their global rollout. Companies that have already invested in previous generations of the technology will automatically receive the upgrades through patches. For all Kenyan organisations, though – whether already Oracle customers or not – Oracle’s Generation 2 Cloud infrastructure and the new features that use it as their foundation, will help prepare an agile, secure and cost effective infrastructure that will allow the business to consistently innovate and grow in the digital economy.

Cloud can help reduce costs

One of the key challenges facing Kenyan businesses is the cost of doing business. Although cloud adoption is considered an IT strategy to reduce expenses, it has overarching repercussions for any business, especially in the digital age. A shift to cloud liberates companies from tech refresh cycles and CAPEX investment to support their on-premise systems. Whether transitioning critical or non-essential applications to the cloud, Oracle customers pay only for resources that are consumed.

More importantly, cloud-based systems are especially beneficial for companies operating in, or expanding beyond, Kenyan borders. In the case of Oracle, customers enjoy consistent pricing in all regions, so cross-border expansion does not lead to any cost increases. This way, customers can access world-class cloud services and their own fully integrated enterprise management systems no matter where their market aspirations take them. The expansion of the Oracle Universal Cloud Credits system announced at OpenWorld 2019, also enables businesses to further optimise their operational expenditure.

Organisations are often hesitant to shift to cloud given their use of business systems and technologies from various providers. Apart from the complication of wholesale data transfer, there is the cost associated with such an undertaking. Strategic partnerships are becoming more common as cloud enters its next stage, helping to streamline the process. Having already announced a cloud interoperability partnership with Microsoft in June, three months later, Oracle OpenWorld revealed a partnership with VMware, where customers can now more easily move and run VMware environments on Oracle Cloud.

Creating data-driven customer centricity

As elsewhere, data security remains a key concern for Kenyan businesses, along with the use of data to enhance the customer experience. Embedded in next-generation cloud services, automation, AI and ML can be leveraged to mine insights that will improve time to market and provide greater predictability in delivering the right customer services at the right time. Already, Oracle has partnered with the Kenya Revenue Authority to provide a more responsive and relevant service to their customers, translating into better brand reputation.

One final point to make is that cloud migration is an ongoing journey, for our customers and Oracle itself. One of the major announcements at OpenWorld was Oracle’s plans to build a cloud region in South Africa. New Oracle Cloud regions are continually being launched – one every 23 days over the next 15 months or so – and our relationship with Microsoft opens the door to interconnecting with Azure data centres in more areas too.

Change takes time. While Oracle and other global players increase their investment in Africa, business decision-makers – who have expressed their enthusiasm about cloud’s potential – should seize every refresh opportunity at their organisation to explore what cloud solutions can do to introduce immediate business value.

David Bunei is the Managing Director for Oracle Kenya.