How VCE Can Help African Governments Grow Their Tax Base

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A recent roundtable discussion in Nairobi, Kenya, heard how high-tech solutions are helping the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) improve its efficiency and provide world-class data protection.

Barry Cashman, EMEA VP for VCE, shared how hyperconverged infrastructure had transformed operations at the URA with minimal disruption and almost instant success. VCE is the converged platforms division of EMC, world leaders in digital infrastructure.

The roundtable on 24 May was attended by a variety of local stakeholders.

The challenge

Barry Cashman explained how many CIOs and business leaders today are concerned that they’re not prepared for the technological shifts taking place in the economy. Recent research conducted by EMC, a leader in cloud-based and converged data infrastructure, exposed some critical concerns among CIOs.

Many fear that their current IT infrastructure and the skills of their IT professionals may not be enough to meet long-term needs, as technology becomes embedded across the business.

  • While the focus is on becoming a digital, customer-focused business, 83% of respondents are not moving forward at all. This is mainly due to fear of damage to brand reputation, credibility and revenue if they get it wrong.
  • Two-thirds of those questioned were concerned that business growth will reveal weaknesses in traditional IT operations and infrastructure.
  • Likely future competitors will be agile organisations that do not even exist This creates a situation where CIOs find it hard to predict how business will evolve in the current fluid, rapidly evolving landscape.

More and more CIOs are realising that they need to take active steps to address the situation. Of course, to reclaim full control, CIOs should stop spending so much time building and managing different infrastructure components. Instead, they need to transform IT into an efficient business-focused engine that can scale rapidly in response to changing business needs.

Uganda found a solution

The URA recently moved to a Vblock 340 platform with a VCE VisionTM software dashboard.

The result has been that it no longer experiences the debilitating effects of downtime. With a simple-to-operate infrastructure, and fewer components and cables to manage, the IT team is firmly in control and can see key performance metrics at a glance.

Meanwhile, improved uptime and application performance ensures greater productivity and less risk of revenue leakage. Cross-border trade is able to function more efficiently, too.

Using the robust Vblock 340, the agency can process more transactions and maximize revenue recovery. For example, international trade used to suffer as congestion spiraled out of control while waiting for paperwork to be validated. Now, as cloud working begins to take hold, such delays are less likely to happen.

The VCE solution was installed within a week with zero downtime. Service restoration is no longer a problem. Early results show:

  • 60% better application performance has doubled user satisfaction
  • 70% improvement in data protection through better backup and recovery
  • 80% rise in IT efficiency
  • Uptime is moving toward 100%.
  • Servers are provisioned 80% faster than before.

Ultimately, said Barry Cashman, CIOs in both the public and private sectors need a powerful infrastructure, one that delivers the high performance, scalability and agility the business needs. To remain competitive in the future, the business needs to focus on developing and releasing new, value-added products and services. This means that IT needs to be free to focus on meeting business goals, and a converged infrastructure will enable it to do just that.

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