Derelict public infrastructures have been blamed for the reluctance by most organisations to operate with datacentres located within Nigeria. This was the position of the Sage Regional Director West Africa, Magnus Nmonwu, while responding to questions from Africa Telecom and IT in Lagos, Nigeria.
Asked why most businesses prefer to patronise datacentres located in the West, he said that the unsatisfactory state of the road networks, public power supply and low broadband infrastructure among others were the major encumbrance to reliability of the datacentre facilities available in Nigeria. Nmonwu, who outlined these points, bemoaned the security challenges often posed to businesses as a result of the unreliable datacentre operations in some Africa nations.
When reminded that most governments on African continent frown at situations whereby datacentres are located outside Africa, he said, “The main problem with datacentres sitting in Nigeria is the level of infrastructure. The question we need to ask our self is: do we have the kind of infrastructure that is required to have a datacentre in Nigeria? When was the last time we have had electricity supply for upward of ten hours in a day, when was the last time you had good access to road and how reliable is your Internet infrastructure?”
While saying that hosting datacentres on the continent is not a foregone conclusion, he said that the decision to host datacentres in environment with stable support infrastructure was business decisions that guarantee the integrity of the relationship with the service providers and clients. He said that sustaining the confidence of business relationship is a trust process in which government too could play a critical part.
“So the moment we begin to put infrastructure in place. The government has got to give us the kind of infrastructure we need so that the necessary investments in terms of having the right datacentre can be put in place. The datacentres that we have are sited in locations where there is infrastructure where you can’t afford to have a down time of one minute,” he said.
He also dispelled insinuation that the adoption of technology for various activities on the African continent was likely to lead to massive loss of job. “The only thing that I have to say is if individuals fail to train and adopt technology, they are only preparing to fail or lose their jobs. So people who are in paid employment or work in organisations where new technologies are brought in, I encourage them to embrace it, quickly get online and quickly sit in training sessions and understand how that technology works.
Nmonwu assured that technology will rather add value to the individuals than lead to the loss of jobs. “The idea is not that technology is going to replace the work that anybody is doing, the idea is that it is going to create more time for those individuals to concentrate on what they know how to do best; which is running their business. Technology will create an opportunity for you instead of spending eight hours on the work; you will probably spend three or four hours. The other four hours you can then be able to do that that you are able to do. I mean spend time with your family. I mean it is only technology that makes you to be on holiday in Cuba or in the Dominican Republic and still make you attend to requests and queries in your place of work.
According to him, technology has also help to reduce the number of companies that are going down because of the lack of insights. While saying that people need to embrace technology, he said that the insight gained with the aid of technology more often than not has helped to lift such businesses to the level of profitability because of the new impetus aided by technology.