Nigeria is looking for opportunities that will ensure its large unstructured data is largely tapped for economic growth. Unstructured data refers to information that either does not have a pre-defined data model or is not organised in a pre-defined manner. Unstructured information is typically text-heavy, but may contain data such as dates, numbers, and facts as well.
The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, who made case for tapping the data, stressed that the untapped unstructured data has created technology gap between Nigeria and developed countries of the world.
Shittu who made the disclosure in Lagos last week, at the IBM Business Connect 2016 conference, called on Nigerians to invest in data, which he said, would drive cognitive and cloud computing.Represented by the Acting Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Vincent Olatunji, Shittu said cloud computing would help address the current challenges of the country and advised the public and private sector to invest in data that could be stored and accessed from the cloud.
Cloud computing has been adopted globally to address economic growth in the area of security, and connectivity and Nigeria must invest in big data that would run on public and private cloud. Vice President, Cloud, in charge of Middle East and Africa (MEA) at IBM, Maged Wassim, explained that cloud computing is simple and affordable, contrary to widespread belief that it is expensive to deploy with lots of security risks. He said IBM has developed several solutions that could help organisations invest in cloud and offer best service experience to their customers.
“Technology is evolving, and Nigerians must evolve with technology trend. In the past it was about tabulating machines, typewriters, and mainframe computers, but today, it is about personal computers and smart devices, that are largely driven by data contents and ride on cloud computing, and Nigeria must catchup with the trend,” Wassim said.
He called on technology startups to use available data to develop solutions that will address issues.
While listing the benefits of cloud computing, Wassim said it could be used in organisations to reduce operational cost and increase speed of production; it could be used for the purpose of innovation and to add value to businesses.
At the forum, IBM announced that eight companies across Africa, spanning some of the fastest growing industries in the region, from telecommunications to retail, have chosen it to provide IT solutions delivered as a service via IBM Cloud. This will help the firms drive productivity, innovation, differentiation and competitiveness in their respective industries.
Located in various urban centres across the west, north, central and southern African regional economic zones, all businesses seek to use IBM public and hybrid cloud solutions to accelerate business development and innovation and create global growth strategies.
Companies including Navigation and Geocoding Technologies Ltd. (Naveo), Whogohost, Korrect Software, Serve Consulting, and IntTeck Global Systems, are all looking to the hybrid cloud for greater flexibility, scalability and central management. This will enable them to move workloads to where they make the most sense for their business.These companies are not alone and their move to the hybrid cloud is indicative of a global trend.
According to IDC, hybrid cloud is the new norm for businesses, and it predicts that more than 80 per cent of enterprise IT organisations will commit to hybrid cloud architectures by 2017.
A 2016 global study of hybrid cloud, Growing up Hybrid: Accelerating Digital Transformation from the IBM Center for Applied Insights, found that 500 hybrid cloud implementers from 13 countries and 23 industries are using hybrid cloud to jumpstart “next-generation” initiatives.
“The IBM Cloud allows a company to improve business agility and capacity to quickly meet shifting customer demands,” said General Manager, IBM Central and West Africa, Tejas Mehta, added, “the Africa region is propelling innovation by adopting IBM Cloud. The IBM Cloud will give them the technical muscle to consistently align their operational objectives and assets with prevailing market conditions, laying a foundation for commercial sustenance and future growth.”