On 21 st November 2016, we commenced a Microsoft organized Cloud Computing colloquium in Nairobi -Kenya with the clear objective of spreading the now unavoidable computing gospel ‘Cloud-Computing’ to East and Central Africa. Technical brains from Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and my home country Uganda graced the event with their presence and it was such a pronounced lifetime technical experience that amplified my braveness to support the revolutionary cloud computing technology I once disapproved, according to the late Egyptian diplomat Boutras Ghali, “It is a fool who does not change his mind”.
In this day and age, it would be pessimistic to dissociate one ‘self from technological innovation. There are inexhaustible reasons that describe why I now agree that indeed Cloud Computing is the ‘thing’. Imagine you have servers in an organization and you host your highly trafficked website or application on premise! After some time as the number of users grows, you start experiencing issues, the servers slow down, total cost of ownership increases and you start losing your website’s popularity. What do you do? Do you just buy more servers and pay for installation and technical support? And in the end escalate the total cost of ownership?
A few years ago that was the only choice, but today we have ‘Cloud Computing’. With Cloud Computing you do not need to spend resources by buying more servers, instead you host your website online on a server. That way you attain infinite scalability. When you need more power, more space or any better service, you can instantly scale on your own demand. You should understand that the more the traffic on your website, the more the demand for power. And that is really expensive if the server is on premise, but with Cloud Computing, you pay for the power only when you need it because Cloud Computing is a service. Therefore, you do not need to buy any physical equipment, everything is online. The Cloud Service provider makes sure your data is safe and secure, availability is at the maximum and you pay for what you need.
The most cherished objective of Cloud Computing in my view is that organizations should no longer worry about purchasing hardware on premise, data loss and limited accessibility to their most important data. Actually organizations should now concentrate on what is more paramount, their ‘business’ in order to increase efficiency and profitability by saving time and money.
According to your organization’s need, you may opt for Platform-as-a-Service(PaaS), Software-as-a-Service(SaaS) or Infrastructure-as-a-Service(IaaS). Make sure you have a discussion with a technical specialist or Cloud service provider before you decide to move to the Cloud because logically we all need the details especially when shifting to a new technology. Also consider requesting for a trial service before you make that significant decision.
Although some people may rightly argue that Cloud Computing has its own challenges, such as lack of the physical view of the servers, it is safe to conclude that it is a technology that will change the way businesses operate and for the better. Many companies even in Africa have already embraced it, M-Kopa is a Kenyan based Solar energy company and it has now migrated to the cloud, it is well ranked among African companies that have already embraced the new technology. It recently received the Internet of Things (IoT) award from Microsoft WECA partner awards 2016 for deploying Microsoft cloud solution – Azure. Many more companies are considering the move because when you understand it: you surely agree that: ‘Cloud Computing’ is indeed the ‘thing’. I call upon governments, private businesses and innovators to open up for the cloud. The Cloud is the ‘thing’.