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Cloud Central to Business Continuity in Africa – Report

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The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed cloud computing to the front of decision-makers minds, according to the new Cloud in Africa 2020 Report, with business disaster recovery and remote working identified as key areas where the technology has been instrumental in support.

The report released yesterday by market research firm World Wide Worx, in partnership with F5, Dell Technologies, Digicloud Africa and Intel, 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.

According to research, since the outbreak, the technology platform has been used primarily for disaster recovery (91%) and remote working (82%), followed by customer service activities (52%).

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%).

During this time, historic perceptions of cloud being costly and risky have also largely dissipated. As many as 84% of respondents now believe cloud computing is “cost-effective” and only 12% regard it as inherently “risky”.

“Covid-19 has clearly catalysed decision-makers’ receptivity to the cloud in recent months, but a significant momentum was already building across Africa,” says Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of World Wide Worx and lead analyst on the project.

“The transition to digital channels will likely continue beyond the pandemic as organisations adopt fundamentally different ways of working. In many cases, it is prompting different architectural solutions for expansion, such as ‘cloud bursting’ and augmenting on-premises deployments with virtual appliances.”

Investing in the future

The report shows that 38% of decision-makers increased their cloud services spend last year. South Africa led the way, with 82% stating that they had increased cloud spend, followed by 59% in Zimbabwe, and 50% in both Nigeria and Botswana.

According to World Wide Worx, cloud investment is also growing as a percentage of overall IT budgets, particularly in countries with traditionally less mature IT markets. For 71% of Zambian respondents, between a quarter and half of their IT budgets are allocated to the cloud.

The same is true for 59% in Zimbabwe, and 56% in Malawi. In Namibia, 65% said more than half of IT budgets were focused on cloud. In Botswana, 14% reported that 100% of budgets went to cloud-related IT.

Meanwhile, in South Africa, which is the region’s most mature cloud market, 45% of decision-makers indicated that cloud accounted for less than a quarter of IT budgets. 34% said it was between a quarter and half, and 11% put it above three quarters.

In 2021, almost two-thirds (61%) of all respondents are set to increase investments in cloud services. 36% expect investment to remain at current levels, and only 1% anticipate decreasing spend. Significantly, more than half of all respondents (56%) estimate that over a quarter of applications will have moved to the cloud by the end of this year.

The research highlighted that South Africa as the most advanced in cloud adoption and datacentre location. By contrast, only 50% of Nigerian companies increased spend on cloud.

Business efficiency is regarded as the main benefit to cloud, with agility/ operational flexibility seen as the next main advantage.

“Africa’s embrace of cloud computing is clearly accelerating with purpose, which will have a profound impact on organisations’ abilities to innovate, create new services and compete on both a regional and global level,” said Samir Sehil, F5 regional cloud sales manager for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa.

“Across the region, it is also hugely encouraging to see that businesses are starting to tailor cloud infrastructures to their specific needs by using multi-cloud application services. As cloud- and container-native application architectures mature and scale in Africa, we expect to see far more organisations deploying related app services, such as Ingress control and service discovery, both on premises and in the public cloud.”

Benefits and risks

While there are some regional variations in strategic benefits, 40% of respondents believe that cloud computing has had a direct, positive impact on market share in the past two years. The single biggest benefit cited by respondents is business efficiency (63%), followed by agility and operational flexibility (53%), and improved customer service (45%). Improved time-to-market was also an importance outcome for over a third of respondents (37%).

Cloud computing also emerged as a powerful platform for intangible elements of organisations’ internal strategy. Almost two-thirds (67%) reported an improvement in cross-organisation innovation due to the cloud. Over half (55%) also experienced noticeable brand perception improvements.

“Typically, businesses have hesitated to digitally transform and adopt the cloud, mainly because change is difficult,” says Nick Treurnicht, Digicloud Africa. customer engineer.

“Since the pandemic, the will of leaders to change at pace has increased by an order of magnitude. The situation has clearly proved that this type of rapid adaptation is possible and, crucially, that businesses can thrive in the cloud.”

When it comes to risk, the biggest concern for most is still the potential for a data breach (63% of respondents). The main, and closely related, multi-cloud challenge in Africa is the need to apply consistent security policies across all applications and their locations. Nevertheless, as many as 50% claim to be addressing the issue by building cloud security strategies on a per-app basis.

“Complexity is usually the biggest barrier to reaping the efficiency benefits offered by cloud,” says Greg McDonald, director of systems engineering at Dell Technologies South Africa. “However, the multi-cloud doesn’t have to be complex.

“The right platform can integrate all the different components and give a clear view of cloud operation. These can then be scheduled, automated and analysed in real-time. More than ever, companies can extend their hybrid cloud systems interfaces easily and get rid of the management complexity.”

The study also found that the cloud helped governments, especially enabling officials to work remotely, and also to reinforce communication to the public and to coordinate response to the crisis.

However, the research also underlined the extent to which governments in Africa are not cloud-ready and according to Goldstuck, governments should not be leading the charge on 4IR because they are behind business in this regard.


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Samsung Launches the Incredible Crystal UHD TV

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TV has become a massive part of our lives from those must-watch series to the sports matches that have us glued to the screen. World-renowned for pioneering innovation in this popular category of technology, Samsung has now launched Crystal UHD TV.

Featuring Samsung’s cutting-edge Crystal Display, the new Crystal UHD TV will bring high-resolution content to life in a whole new way, delivering a viewing experience like never before in a mainstream UHD TV.

Controling all function with Voice Assistant and enjoying multiple contents on one screen with Multi View are just some of the welcome advancements on this incredible TV.

“Samsung TV has been constantly paving the path for technological innovations by offering consumers a new TV experience and a future for global TV industry. This is the core driving force that makes Samsung No. 1 TV for 14 consecutive years. Crystal UHD builds on this success in ways that people will truly love.” said Dudu Mokholo, Chief Marketing Officer at Samsung Central Africa.

Crystal UHD is the purest form of picture quality with 1 billion rich and vibrant colours with guaranteed crisp and vivid images time over time. Its features include:

Real 4K UHD Resolution – 4K UHD TV goes beyond regular FHD with 4x more pixels, offering your eyes the sharp and crisp images they deserve. See it like you’re really in the scene.

Lifelike colour expression – Immerse yourself in the picture with a wider range of colour. Dynamic Crystal Display delivers lifelike variations so you can see every subtlety.

Crystal Processor 4K – Experience picture quality that moves you, made possible by a single chip that orchestrates colour, optimises high contrast ratio, and masters HDR.

See the picture, not the TV – A sleek and elegant design that draws you to the purest picture. Crafted with an effortless minimalistic style from every angle and a boundless that sets new standards. You will see only the most immersive cinematic experience ever.

Get what you want just by speaking up – Everything is so much easier with voice control. Now you can quickly access favourite content, get answers, and even control your TV and other connected devices around your home. Just tell it what you want.

See multiple contents at the same time – Multi View splits your TV screen in two, putting the content you’re watching on one side, and mirroring your mobile screen on the other. This means you don’t have to look away from the TV screen to glance at your phone anymore.

Get gaming faster – Get into the game faster with Game Enhancer, which optimises your screen so you have more control with barely noticeable input lag. Experience smooth gaming in its most impressive form without motion blur and judder.

Decorate your space with your favourite photos  – When you project your favourite photos onto the TV screen, the TV itself blends into your décor elegantly. You can lay out multiple photos in a beautiful collage or place them in a slide show for to keep the visual fresh and on point.

Clean up the clutter – Samsung UHD offers a neat solution for keeping all your TV cables tidy, hiding them away right in the stand. This helps you reduce your clutter so you can fully enjoy your TV’s beautiful design.

Samsung Crystal UHD clearly does what many TVs cannot, in the most amazing ways.

The Crystal UHD TV is now available at various retailer stores and retailer online pages. For extra peace of mind, Crystal UHD TV comes with a 24 month warranty.


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FG to Boost Artificial Intelligence

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Federal government on Tuesday announced that it has developed initiatives for the adoption of Artificial Intelligence technology in Nigeria.

FG to Boost Artificial Intelligence

 

The establishment of a Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in Nigeria (CFAIR) is also expected soon.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) said that AI applications enable innovative solutions, improve risk assessment, better planning, and faster knowledge-sharing.

Abdullahi Usman Gambo, director of IT Infrastructure Solution, NITDA, spoke at a workshop in commemoration of International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

He noted that AI would open up opportunities for access to information and also help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations (UN) in the 2030 Agenda.

Gambo said: “Artificial Intelligence is poised to revolutionize the way we go about our daily lives – from governance to business, legislation to medicine to defence, etc. We can all agree that AI is humanity’s new frontier.

“We have developed initiatives for adoption of emerging technologies such as AI, strengthen cybersecurity, digital skills for digitally excluded citizens while enhancing the regulatory and market environment to increase access to ICTs, and promote seamless access to information.

“We believe AI and associated emerging technologies will completely enhance the speed, efficiency and effectiveness of information gathering during the exchange of data or the ways of communication,” he said.

Delivering his paper, Yushau Shuaib, publisher of PRNigeria, described access to information as the right of the citizens to accurate, transparent, and timely facts and figures.

The former National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) spokesman stated that governments at all levels have obligations to communicate with people, while the public has the right to know and criticize authorities through constructive engagement.

The media executive, however, appealed to Nigerians not to use social media platforms for fake news dissemination.

“The merits of new media on affordability, accessibility and instant delivery are occasionally marred by the fact that social media is sometimes used to spread fake news”, he said.

Shuaib called for collaboration of stakeholders in ensuring appropriate legislation through public awareness campaigns in order to improve access to universal information.


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Samsung Unveils Technologically Advanced 2020 Consumer Products

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Samsung Electronics Nigeria has unveiled its 2020 consumer products range. The launch which held in Victoria Island, Lagos showcased the latest in its revolutionary and innovative QLED and Crystal UHD Television Series  along with Wind Free Air Conditioners, Side by Side Refrigerators and Drum Washing Machines.

Keeping with its resolve to utilize its transformative ideas and technologies to shape the future and inspire the whole world, Samsung has once again demonstrated its determination to continuously redefine the living space and entertainment of its customers.

According to Mr. Caden Chiyeon Yu, Managing Director, Samsung Electronics Nigeria, “QLED uses exceptional and revolutionary technology which offers an unparalleled visual and auditory adventure from the comfort of your living room. QLED series is available in 4K or 8K and from 58″ to 98”, and was designed with options to fit any space and budget”. For Crystal UHD Television, Mr. Yu said, with cutting-edge Crystal Display, the new Crystal UHD TV will bring high-resolution content to life in a whole new way, delivering a viewing experience like never before in a mainstream UHD TV.

Also showcased at the launch were the new Windfree Air Conditioner, Drum Washing Machines and Side by Side refrigerators. The Windfree Air Conditioner is designed specially with the latest technology to provide coolness in quick time while ensuring that users don’t experience any chills through out its use. It also has an in-built digital inverter which reduces energy consumption by 73 percent. .

The newly introduced drum washing machine of 2020 from Samsung is very efficient and is built with eco bubble technolgy which allows it to provide cleaning of very dirty garments or clothes without the use of water.  Futhermore, the new Side by Side Refrigetor was built with Spacemax technology which has enabled  Samsung to offer more spacious interior without increasing the external dimentions or compromising energy efficiency.

Also speaking at the event, Mrs. Oluwaremilekun Adesola-Ogunsan, Head, Consumer Electronics, Samsung Nigeria stated that “Samsung understands the economic diffulties currently being experienced in the country and has consistently produced pocket friendly premium consumer products. We are very consistent in our approach as we understand that our customers like the good things of life and we have provided that without compromising our standards”. “So I can say boldy that there is a Samsung for everybody regardless of your income stream” She added.

In 2019, the Samsung consumer range of products received universal praise for its innovative quality and design and numerous pioneering features. This year Samsung has added even more beneficial features which its customers will appreciate in great deal.

 


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