By Emma Okonji
Some leading IT professionals in the country recently gathered in Abuja to discuss the country’s need to take charge of the data it generates, and drive the adoption of cloud technologies by government, security agencies and indigenous businesses. The event was hosted by Layer3, an IT services provider, in conjunction with VMware, a firm in cloud computing and virtualisation.
The theme of the event was: “The Benefits of Data Sovereignty and Harnessing the Power of Cloud.”
Speaking at the event, the CEO of Layer3, Oyaje Idoko, explained that countries across the world were increasingly holding data generated by their citizens in data centres located within their borders. According to him, organisations in Nigeria’s public and private sectors could benefit from making a similar move.
“The whole notion about where your data resides is something we need to take very seriously,” he said.
He however added: “There’s been a lot of talk about data being the new oil. If we say that data is the new oil, why would we want someone else to be in custody of our ‘oil’?”
Idoko noted that the country was disadvantaged in many respects because of its failure to locate vital IT infrastructure locally. He expressed the belief that the local economy could make significant gains by leveraging home-grown IT facilities instead of relying on foreign cloud service providers.
“We see the impact of this in the amount of foreign exchange leaving the country as payment for these services. But we have the infrastructure to provide these services locally. We think it’s important to take charge of what is our own.
“We are a local company and we understand the complexities of the technology, cost, operations, support, experience and so on involved in deciding on a cloud strategy. We are available to help our clients through the decision making process so they can get more out of their CAPEX spend. What is more, we offer the flexibility to our clients to manage their workloads across multiple infrastructure with ease,” Idoko added.
The CEO, Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), Muhammad Rudman, said savings could be made by Nigeria if it utilised local data centres. He linked the high cost of internet service provisioning and user experience in Nigeria to the limited number of such supporting infrastructure within the country.
“We pay so much for internet because the cloud that supports it is not within Nigeria, but in some other country. The farther away we are from the cloud, the more it costs to access the services it supports. We can avoid these costs by hosting data locally,” Rudman said.
Head Cloud Solutions at Layer3, Niyi Osibeluwo, said the company was tackling the issues raised at the event.
“Our infrastructure was designed using best-in-class technology from Vmware” he explained.
“Our cloud services allow organisations to manage their virtual estates at the touch of a button. Configuration, real-time changes, capacity and pooling of resources can all be done on-demand via our secure self-management portal,” he added.