The Chief Executive Officer, IPI Solutions Nigeria Limited, Mr. Adamu Garba II, in this interview with Prince Osuagwu, spoke on how Nigeria can pull out of economic recession and the need for more businesses to adopt cloud for efficiency and improved output.
YOUR company has been spearheading the call for the adoption of cloud computing. What is cloud computing all about?
Cloud is a computing model, where individuals and organisations get to access technology products and services, using any device of their choice by paying for only what they consume. So you may either consume productivity service or platform services like applications or infrastructural services. So, the level of consumption determines what you pay for and in many cases far cheaper compared to current technology systems.
How would you rate cloud adoption by public and private enterprises in Nigeria?
The cloud adoption in Nigeria is exponential because nearly every individual gets to consume cloud services whether consumer based services or enterprise based services. Considering statistics on Nigerians that have internet access, 93 million Nigerians are cloud customers already. Although most of them access only consumer cloud products like Facebook, etc.
What is the value of cloud solutions to business sustainability?
Ultimately, businesses that define themselves to giving the right products or services out there to their customers can only be efficiently sustained when they are sitting on the cloud. For instance, you can’t imagine any business in Nigeria or anyone in Africa that can provide the amount of infrastructural scale and capacity compared to Microsoft data centres worldwide. Furthermore, the degree of business sustainability can be measured by how your products and services are accessible, reachable, always available and can also provide the needed agility in line with your business operations model.
That is why the sustainability of your business today depends on how highly available you are to provide the needed products and services to your customers. All reasonable business services cannot afford any downtime below 99.9% and to our record at IPI it is only Microsoft that can provide such needed agility. So if you truly want your business to be sustainable you have to be on the cloud.
How secure is cloud for business?
Cloud is the most secure platform any business can depend on. Although many companies consider cloud as less secure but it is simply lack of understanding on how cloud services operate. However, any business that is not an Information Technology (IT) business has no business running cloud infrastructure in their business on their own. For example, the reason why you take your money to the bank to save is simply because you are not a banker and you do not have the appropriate structure to secure your money, and the reason why you go to the hospital when you are sick, is because you are not a physician and the reason why you pick your children and put them in schools is because you are not a teacher or a professional trainer.
In a similar fashion you have all reason to put your data in the hands of professionals whose job is to guarantee the confidentiality, security, integrity of the information at any point in time and these professionals work 24/7 to provide the excellent service.
The level of security built around the cloud is unmatched, it is the most secure platform for you to save your data , provided the information you saved is not harmful to the society, and it runs your business than any other isolated data centre you can ever think about.
Nigeria is presently in economic recession. Do you see adoption of cloud pulling the country out of recession?
The reason we have sunk into recession is lack of proper planning and adequate use of available resources in administering public services. The way our economy is structured is dependent on a single product (petroleum) to generate our forex whereas our greater goldmine is in the people of the country. Only a lazy country will rely only on natural resources for sustainability. No country has ever depended on only natural resources for its economic growth and sustainability.
The biggest resource Nigeria has is its people. Imagine the Nigerian system investing more in the youths (about 65 percent of the population) and imagine this investment is in technology, the economic activities and the revenue that would turn around the economy will be far bigger than imagined. Each and every young Nigerian is a potential talent, the only thing they need is the resources to empower them and the easiest and most accessible tool is technology and what better technology than the cloud? We need to invest in our youths by encouraging them to be innovative by tapping the power of technology.
Take for instance countries like China and India, none of them has an oil well yet the net investment the people are returning has established them as part a global powers. Companies like Apple, for example generated a gross revenue of $215 billion in 2015 with roughly 66,000 talented employees. That means that 66,000 were able to produce more than half of Nigeria’s GDP because they had enabling laws, convenient environment, encouraging economic and political system.
Think about Nigeria with approximately 200 million people, if the government should empower only one percent at half Apple’s capacity, this number only is more than enough to give us more revenue than oil has ever given us. This is what our policy makers, regulatory agencies and government should be looking into.
So to get out of recession, we need to empower Nigeria’s future by investing a lot in its youths because that is the only asset that Nigeria has that is dependable and we also need to procure technology tools that can check the menace and tendencies of corrupt individuals exploiting the system. The best of all tools is the technology delivered through the cloud that meets all the transparency and accountability standards. The current government stands to leverage on the power of cloud technology in its drive towards job creation and elimination of corruption.
With these tools in place, then the government is working truly towards inclusive economic system that will take us out of recession in the shortest possible time.
The world is shifting towards digitization, how do you think Cloud can help Nigeria to achieve digital transformation?
Digital transformation is actually another term for “fourth industrial revolution”, and fourth industrial revolution is the new global order. This is why individuals and group organizations, both private and public are expected to follow through in realizing their true potentials. No nation or group / individual will succeed in today’s interconnected global economy without going digital.
In a knowledge economy and the information world we live in, the faster your information is available to people or group looking for you or your services or investing in your nation, the more they attest to your probity and diligence in your systems. There is no way a government can succeed without going digital.
Policy makers, regulatory agencies, government executives need to closely work with private institutions or organizations in order for them to achieve alignment with the current global trend.