Watch out World: Africa embraces the Third Platform

MounirSoussi1

By Mounir Soussi, General Manager NWC Africa at EMC

As a technology company, EMC does not sell only products. The hardware and software we offer are certainly parcel to what we offer, but EMC does not push tin !?!.

EMC helps create change through technology, walking the digital journey with our clients as they seek to improve their own services and futures.

My role at EMC, which extends across 18 countries from Central Africa to the Francophone west and the North African Countries, is a first class seat to experience the diverse ways modern datacenters, cloud and connectivity are changing businesses and nations.

The level of development in these various regions, which include Morocco, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Algeria and more, can be very different. But several trends also unify them and should be noted both by investors and other regional players. These countries are rising fast on the back of proactive technology implementations and a clear vision to be competitive.

Many of you are familiar with the current shift in technology, often called the 3rd Platform or 4th Industrial Revolution. In this shift we are witnessing computational power explode to levels hardly anyone predicted, while costs have been falling as dramatically.

Forget the past, when you needed prohibitively expensive datacenter infrastructure to run business services or analyse data for insight. Smaller entities can now easily procure the heft of datacenters by purchasing time and space on the cloud. Larger companies and government departments can create their own datacentre footprint without the headaches of building complicated machines or fearing the hardware will approach obsolescence before they have returned the investment. Today you can buy a piece of hyper converged infrastructure such as the VCE VxRail or VxRack family and expect it to run sophisticated workloads such as SAP or Oracle out of the box.

This has opened the gates of technology to far more companies, a trend obvious in Central, West and North Africa. There are two clear trends: modernization and digitization. Many countries and companies are using converged infrastructure to update their infrastructure and start building the foundations to truly embrace this revolution. Others are a bit further along and have begun exploring digitalization. Among both movements we are seeing considerable amounts of consolidation and automation.

Consolidation is key if companies want to compete in a emerging and growing Africa. One example is a Moroccan bank with presences across multiple countries: it has begun consolidating its diverse systems into a single footprint, making it more competitive and easier to grow. Another is a West African bank that leverages single platform to manage and expand its pan-African presence. Both rely on EMC’s technology and support to make the journey worthwhile. But I feel it’s EMC that benefits the most, learning from customers who are eager to understand and harness this critical shift in how digital services are delivered.

This proactivity is starting to emerge elsewhere. Mid-sized companies are increasingly taking advantage of third party datacenter services, in turn built competitively with converged infrastructure. Public sector entities are also shifting to this mindset in order to deliver better e-services to citizens. Modernisation, consolidation and digitalization are on a roll in Africa.

Yet most encouraging are the attitudes. I’m always energized by the positive outlooks and sober approaches business and civic leaders hold when it comes to these movements. They not only appreciate the benefits of reducing complexity and operational overheads, but are also keen to tap the power of modern analytics, agile services and functional innovation.

Every now and then someone asks me if Africa is ready for technology. I answer that not only is Africa ready, but at this rate it will soon be one of the global Technology leaders.

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