Topic: Digital Transformation: Unlocking Value with Edge Clouds in Nigeria.
Digital Transformation is the application of digital technology to create or modify business operations to meet the ever changing customers and market needs. Today operating a business or delivering public services has gone beyond just selling products and rendering services. A good customer experience is key to customer satisfaction and retention, brand loyalty and continuous goodwill of citizens in the case of government.
As a country, Nigeria is still on her digital transformation journey to improve digital and data performance. The government, Institutions and Private sector IT stakeholders collaboratively are taking steps to position the country to play a leading role in contributing to the global digital economy.
Investing in Edge Cloud Technologies is key to digital transformation.
“Edge Clouds” are compact or modular data centers closer to where the end users utilize them. Edge Computing brings processing closer to the source of data and enables the unlocking of the value of data assets in real time for critical decision making.
According to Automation World 2021 Cloud & Edge survey, 62% of companies are currently leveraging cloud technologies as part of their digital transformation roadmap and countries like the US, UK, Singapore etc who are implementing cloud policies in governance have recorded accelerated digital transformation and delivery of essential public and business services.
We can achieve same. Nigeria can achieve the next stage of digital transformation and reap the benefits of cloud services by shifting focus away from relying on legacy IT systems to utilize more cloud based solutions which offers cost savings, capacity to scale rapidly as needed, advance cybersecurity features and access to powerful analytical tools for processing big data.
Hybrid clouds – a mix of private and public clouds can be harnessed for the delivery of e-Government platforms and services, storage of sensitive citizen data and delivery of applications that solves public sector and social challenges.
When the government takes the big step towards adopting cloud services, local businesses and entrepreneurs are encouraged to embrace cloud solutions facilitating digital transformation across all sectors of the economy with a resultant boom in Domestic Tech Ecosystems and economic growth of Nigeria.
Storing Data in the Public cloud poses issues of Data Protection, Domestication, Retention and Sovereignty as well as Exposure of Sensitive Data to Cyber and Ransomware attacks.
To attain a high level of Security and Governance; meet Privacy and Intellectual Property as well as Data Protection Regulation Compliance as required by regulating bodies such as NITDA, CBN, NCC, NDPB and the likes, Nigerian based organizations and organization rendering services to Nigerian-born citizens should utilize Edge Clouds which are available in Four Data Centers (Galaxy Backbone-Abuja, CWG, African Data Center and Rack center in Lagos).
Unitellas is an Innovative Technology leader in the provision of enterprise-grade Edge Cloud and IT Infrastructure as a service within the African region. It is our goal to provide local access to world class IT infrastructure Technology at reduced costs and change the narrative of sensitive data being stored outside our country’s borders by providing Edge Cloud Infrastructure to Service Providers and Enterprises of all sizes and in all the sectors of the economy.
In partnership with both local and international organizations, we provide fully managed Edge Cloud Services – Compute Power, Network and Storage with Backup, Archiving and Disaster Recovery capabilities.
Zadara-Edge Cloud Infrastructure:
Powered by Zadara- a leader in Edge Cloud Services with 400+ global locations, organization in Nigeria now have access to a fully managed Full Stack infrastructure service that can be deployed on-premise, in the cloud or hybrid on a pay for use model which is scalable up or down as needed with no long term contracts or CapEx hardware investments.
With this cloud infrastructure, services can be delivered with high performance and reliability because edge clouds improves latency, reduce response time and conserve network resources thus reducing band-width costs.
Availability of applications are supported even during connectivity and cloud outage with improve security and privacy since the need for sensitive data to be sent to the cloud is reduced because processing and storage are handled locally.
With NO CapEx investment and NO long-term contracts required, high-performance elastic cloud services, including edge computing, without financial or operational burdens can be enjoyed. Services can be Scaled up, down or turn at any time and you only pay for what you use.
Zcompute is elastic – any applications can be developed, deploy, run and virtualize in a secured environment. zCompute is deployable in a collocated data center, private data center, or public cloud. Whether you want to the cloud, repatriate from the cloud or just need resources closer to your data, computing is for you.
zStorage is enterprise storage made easy, offering different performance levels with any data type (structured or unstructured), any protocol – (File, Block and Object) in any location.
With a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) and Virtual Private Storage Array (VPSA), Multiple tenants are able to run compute and storage resources simultaneously on the same physical machines, without interfering with one another. Performance is predictable with full data privacy and security, and full elasticity, can be maintained regardless of how many users are active at once.
Backup to Object Storage provides simple, cost-effective data protection leveraging object-based storage which eliminates the need for host-based backup software and provides an easy-to-use, high-performance, block-based, backup process.
Data backed up by Back up to Object Storage can be restored to any storage medium from any vendor, including Zadara, Amazon, Google, or any other storage target required by the user.
The infrastructure comes with a simple web interface to monitor applications and the health of infrastructure itself with visualized dashboards, automated monitoring and alerting as well as detail reporting and billing.
Since it’s a fully managed infrastructure, support is at no cost with a 24/7/365 proactive monitoring and support team, no need to border about system refresh as it is handled seamless and we provide a uptime guarantee SLA of 99.9999%.
Implementation and Used Cases:
Utilizing Edge Clouds in Nigeria will facilitate the digitalization of many processes in State Ministries, Government Agencies, and Tertiary Institutions as well as other sectors since it can be implemented to achieve cost-effective deployment and upgrade of mission-critical cloud-native applications, services, communication and learning systems just to mention a few.
It can also be implemented for Backup, Archiving and Disaster Recovery purposes.
We are engaging some partners on a project to implement Edge Clouds for Tertiary Institutions to run school management systems, Online Learning Platforms, Student Information Systems and also provide a test environment for students studying computer science and information technology-related courses
Our young talented, innovative developers, tech experts and engineers with creative ideas are constantly developing applications that can be utilized to solve a lot of challenges. They need to be encouraged. They are faced with the challenges of high costs to host these applications in the public clouds and some business have been paralyzed by bill shocks and losses due to the uncertainties and high rates of foreign exchange rates.
These same services are available in-country, with 50% discounts off the public clouds and payable in our local currency. So let’s patronize local content and we will in effect be curbing capital flight due to the patronage of the hyper-scalers.
Currently we have Partners who have leverage on this infrastructure to provide email services hosted locally; offer backup for data generated from ATM transactions and host core banking applications used by many Nigerian banks; store POS transactions locally and offers Disaster Recovery and hosting services to government agencies and enterprises in Nigeria. So it is here and working effectively.
Now, Data Protection Agencies, Controllers/Processors are also empowered to implement compliance with data protection laws and regulations as we now have locally empowered cloud services providers who can provide the same services as the hyper-scalers.
Value Proposition of Edge Clouds:
The value proposition of edge clouds is its decentralized nature, keeping data closer to its source while bringing compute resources to anywhere it needs to be.
With a growing hybrid work force in this post pandemic era, edge clouds improves the performance and the ability to access corporate data in real time.
Business continuity relies on bullet-proof Backup. This solution provides business continuity that can backup centrally from and to any medium and access anywhere meaning you can Backup from any On-premise infrastructure, or any cloud.
The primary benefits or values that implementing Edge Clouds in Nigeria includes
• Improved latency
• Reduction of response time
• Conservation of network resource (low-bandwidth costs)
• Constantly availability of mission-critical applications
• Improved Security and Privacy
• Cost savings as you pay per use without CapEx investments
• Cost-effective test environments for DevOps
• Reduce Capital flight in foreign exchange
• Increased confidence in local technology and so
These value-add can be unlocked if as government, institutions, businesses and individuals conscious efforts are made to promote local technologies in our cloud adoption and digital transformation strategies.