Technological advancements can be said to be a by-product of Globalization. This has led to the increase and fast spread of technology fueled by the internet and has given rise to positive cultural changes in developing countries. The adaptation of technology in developing countries has seen great economic changes and increased productivity.
In this regard, Nigeria is a good example. Nigeria currently boasts of having one of the biggest, if not the biggest, economy in Africa. This has been backed by analysis carried out by globally renowned organizations like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to mention a few. Nigeria also happens to be ranked as the seventh most populous country in the world and the first in Africa, with a population of 190 million.
With the number of people in the country and the demand for growth of businesses domestically, it is imperative that challenges with productivity are only natural to arise. The Nigerian government has moved to tackle such challenges with the diversification as well as privatization of the economy and economic sectors. In this regard, the Information Computer Technology (ICT or IT) sector has noticed a remarkable leap and has positioned itself as a leading sector in the economy as more businesses tilt towards the sector to tackle the challenge of productivity. One of the challenges further noticed by the IT sector is the loss of data stored or backed up in physical or local servers as well as the growing or fluctuating demand in bandwidth. To tackle this challenge, Cloud Computing was invented.
The debate on who should get the credit for inventing the idea cloud computing is still ongoing, although Wikipedia claims that Cloud Computing is believed to have been invented by Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider in the 1960s with his work on ARPANET to connect people and data from anywhere in the world and at any time, many still believe that the first use of “Cloud Computing” in its modern context first occurred on August 9, 2006, when the then Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, introduced the term to an industry conference.
Cloud Computing simply means the delivery of computing services like servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more, over the internet (the cloud) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources and economies of scale. Typically, you only pay for the cloud services you use, helping lower your costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently and scale as your business needs change.
Cloud Computing is classified under three (3) main categories:
The Public Cloud (External Cloud) refers to computing services offered from a third party provider. In a public cloud, you are not responsible for managing the cloud infrastructure and your data is stored in the providers data center.
The Private Cloud (Internal Cloud) is made exclusively for a client or a company within their private IT infrastructure and gives full control of data, services and security.
The Community Cloud has an infrastructure that is shared by multiple companies or organizations and supports a community that share like goals. It can be on premise or off premise and can be managed by the organizations or a third party.
The Hybrid Cloud is a blend of both public, private and community cloud.
Cloud Computing also offer on demand services depending on the needs of the consumers. The services are divided into three main categories also known as the Cloud Computing Stack. These services are listed below.
- Software as a Service (SaaS) – A service provider delivers software and applications through the internet. In this case, users subscribe to the software and access it via the web or vendor APIs.
- Platform as a service (PaaS) – This service offers access to a cloud-based environment in which users can build and deliver applications with application features made available by the service provider.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – Here, a vendor provides clients with a pay-as-you-go access to storage, networking, servers and other computing resources in the cloud.
The introduction of cloud computing in Nigeria economy has recorded a significant rise in productivity as well as increase in the economy and will only continue to increase as more companies and organization as well as SME businesses welcome the idea, especially when combined with Virtualization.
Virtualization as defined by VMware, is the process of creating a software-based, or virtual, representation of something, such as virtual applications, servers, storage and networks. It is the single most effective way to reduce IT expenses while boosting efficiency and agility for all size businesses. It is also an invention created to tackle the issue of productivity, operational as well as hardware costs, amongst others. Virtualization is also an interesting topic to discuss as it is a byproduct of technological advancement and is a platform through which most (if not all) IT driven companies, organization and Government run most of their day-to-day-operation.
Cloud Computing and ICT in general will, in many ways, bring about sporadic development in Nigeria especially in the telecommunications sector which will in turn affect other sectors.
For this to be achieved, youths need to be educated well on the importance of IT, its uses, and how it can be used in elevating the economy. With the population of Nigeria, the need for virtualization and Cloud-Computing cannot be over emphasized as even some IT companies in Nigeria are still new to the concept. According to an exclusive survey of over 200 senior IT strategists within large organizations, just under two-thirds (63%) of IT experts correctly understand the term ‘cloud computing’.
The government should also ensure to make available sustainable and uninterrupted supply of electricity, an establishment of more ICT industries, good and favorable policies, a good environment for foreign investors and most importantly the addition of ICT, both theoretically and practically, in the curriculum of schools so that children have better ground up knowledge on IT basics.
by Elvis Egbueje