DG, NITDA, Prof Cleopas Angaye
Software experts under the aegis of Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) have insisted that cloud computing would be the next technology revolution that would transform the Nigerian economy.
They gave the assertion at the recent 2012 edition of ISPON Conference and National Software Competition in Calabar, Cross River State.
Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Prof Cleopas Angaye, told THISDAY in an interview on the sidelines of the conference that cloud computing offers enormous storage facilities with improved scalability and elasticity that would transform the Nigerian economy, if fully embraced.
Angaye who categorised cloud computing services into Software service, Infrastructure service and Platform service, said the Software service alone was estimated to generate over $21.3 billion globally by 2015, and that software developers in Nigeria could tap into it and transform the Nigerian economy, if given the right tools and the enabling environment in terms of putting the right infrastructure in place.
In his address, President of ISPON, Mr. Chris Uwaje, said developed countries now based their entire multi-billion dollar business models on putting information on the net, and storing the data in the cloud.
“Cloud computing offers worldwide access to virtually unlimited processing power, new storage capabilities and capabilities that are being used to create virtual web platforms, where humanity today and in the future will live out large parts of their everyday lives, educating, working, shopping and talking to private networks of friends and relatives,” Uwaje said.
He added that the theme for this year’s conference, ‘The Cloud and the Future of Software Nigeria’, was carefully selected with the intention to explore the dynamics and challenges of the digital cultural shift, its opportunities, impact on and benefits, for the collective interests of the nation.
Addressing participants on the importance of cloud computing, Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, said it had become a widely accepted and widely pursued economic model for the deployment and use of ICT in both the public and private sectors.
“Government spend on ICT is increasing every year. Last year we calculated that based on budgeted amounts, the federal government would spend about N19.4 billion on data centres alone to host applications and data.
“But given our plans for e-Government and the increased use of ICT by government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), it became clear that it was an unsustainable practice that must be managed. A government cloud would therefore provide some economic savings and as well transform the Nigerian economy,” the minister said.
Chief Executive Officer of Open Media Communications and former Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, who spoke on the challenges of cloud computing, advised Nigerians to focus more on its benefits than its disadvantages.
He called on government to concentrate more on broadband penetration in the country, which he said, remained the best platform to drive cloud computing in Nigeria. Ndukwe said most Nigerian Universities lack broadband infrastructure, promising that he would use his position as co-Chairman on the Ministerial Committee on broadband development and penetration in the country, to further drive broadband access in schools and in rural communities.