Education with know how is the key for Nigeria to become an ICT hub in Africa

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Mehdi Paryavi, President of Techxact, World’s Data Center Powerhouse
Mehdi Paryavi, President of Techxact, World’s Data Center Powerhouse

What do you intend to achieve with this event?

Basically, what we are doing with this event is to create awareness about data center solutions in Nigeria, and also to make people understand the relationship between cloud solutions and data centers. We want to make information available to the public that it’s not all about building a data center here, but they should be married to the international standard. As the data center revolution is catching up in Africa, there is a need to have these centers meet up with the international standard. That is the aim of this forum, to educate people, develop human capacity for data center and create man power that will take care of these data centers in Nigeria. Data center is a very capital intensive project and it will be pointless having such a huge facility, then not having competent manpower managing these facilities. We are here to create that avenue where Nigerians can be trained and informed about data center management.

 

As a specialist in data center consultancy, what do you think is the best approach and do you think Nigeria is ripe for this revolution?

Yes, Nigeria is very ripe. With huge investment in ICT and population, they are in the best position to adopt data center services that will reposition them as the ICT hub in West Africa. There is a huge population which translates to skills. This is a huge business and it will help the economy, but I am of the opinion that modern data center should be brand specific. These data centers should cater for a particular industry. So I think that I am in the industry specific data center.

 

What is your gauge of human capacity in Nigeria as it relates to modern data centers springing up here?

Here in Nigeria, we have a whole lot of talented people. But these talents aren’t enough to run data centers efficiently. What is required in running data center of a highly specialized part of ICT is skill, and that seems to be lacking here. What we are doing is educating them; we put out crash courses and make them viable to run these facilities. Education with know how is the key. For Nigeria to be viable and become an ICT hub in Africa, it boils down to education of people not just building data centers.

 

We have two basic data center, the hot air and cold air. What do you think is the approach? 

The best approach is not hot air or cold air, but to audit every single data center in Nigeria. This should be done and ours is to give advice. Data centers need to be assessed; there are a lot of mistakes here in Nigeria.  It is not all about building data centers, but knowing the day to day running of data centers. We have audited many data centers in Nigeria, which is important.  I will not recommend a specific type of data center due to the fact that Nigeria is not just a specific country, because the type of OEM that is good in the south might not work in the North.

 

What are the features of next generation data centers?

The next generation data center will be open source and brand specific. The next generation data center will be localized and industry specific. The next generation data center will be cloud based and not physical specific. The next generation data center will be different from what we have today. A military data center will be different from a university data center. That is how the next generation data center will be.

 

How frequent should the audit of data center be carried out?

What is important is not the cost of data center, but how efficient it is. The audit should be external and internal. the external audit should be two years and the internal audit should be a continuous process. This is very important because the data center is liable for anything that happens. There should be an assessment of the data center facility every time.

 

Cloud and the impetus for regional IT hubs

Cloud is a buzzword now: As one definition by http://projectstoc.com/ notes: “Cloud computing comes into focus only when you think about what IT always needs: a way to increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel, or licensing new software. Cloud computing encompasses any subscription-based or pay-per-use service that, in real time over the Internet, extends IT’s existing capabilities.”   For many companies – whether big or small- there is a strong motivation to implement data management and the entire gamut of cloud computing. Cost saving holds special attraction and the ability to leverage faster on newer technologies to provide better core services is particularly exciting. But beyond these opportunities for corporate players, it is the more real possibilities of fostering a regional hub at national level that holds the strongest attraction.  “Traditionally, companies build corporate data centers, install applications and are responsible for maintaining their IT infrastructures. However, cloud computing removes the need for organizations to own corporate data centers and install enterprise applications. Instead, cloud provides businesses with the advantage of scalability, on demand service, flexibility and reduced cost of computing, an increase has been identified in the acceptance and adoption of this new computing model in developed and developing countries,” writes R.K. Awosan (Member, IEEE) of the Department of Information Technology Sikkim Manipal University. India in his treatise: Factor Analysis of the Adoption of Cloud Computing in Nigeria. But the cloud brings a new challenge with possibility to end several others. The challenge is that cloud providers must beef up on education with knowhow among their high skilled staff to sustain the viability of companies outsourcing their mission critical elements to external competencies. That is where the big question lies now in Corporate Nigeria: whether and when to outsource and join the limited but growing list of cloud users.  6?s anchored by ANTHONY NWOSU/Commentary provided by Editor: IT Edge News


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