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SMEs should prioritise the cloud

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Cloud computing solutions offer SMEs across Africa a growth opportunity that simply should not be overlooked, according to MTN Business.

Johnny Aucamp, GM of strategic relations in Africa for MTN Business says cloud computing offers a technology outsourcing option, via the use of the Internet, that saves massive costs while providing the technological tools and services SMEs need to sufficiently and competitively operate.
“With an estimated 90% of SMEs operating across the African continent and making up large proportions of its GDP, they have traditionally been faced with technology options that are expensive and risky," says Aucamp. "Therefore, there has never been a better time than right now for the uptake of cloud computing by the SME who has been searching for a much needed ‘technology break’ at affordable rates for over a decade.”
With this in mind, coupled with the fact that cloud computing has made headways across industries globally, positively impacting organisations’ IT infrastructure, Aucamp says the company encourages all SME owners to investigate the cloud computing option thoroughly. It is secure with short-term costs and long-term viability and more so, it’s a technology that is perfectly suited to a developing continent, he says.
It is important then for the SME to be aware of and examine the following aspects:
* Could computing will increase business efficiencies, productivity and lower IT costs
* Cloud Computing came in at 2nd place on Gartner’s list of top 10 technology priorities for 2010 – in 2009 it was ranked in 16th place – a huge climb in just 12 months
* A computer and some form of connectivity is required to effectively use cloud computing and geographically no infrastructure overhaul is needed
* The Return of Investment (ROI) of cloud computing can be seen quicker than through implementing new infrastructure for various IT needs in a business
On the back of their experience within the African market, MTN Business believes it is clear that businesses need technology for continued growth of not only the business itself, but certainly the broader economy as well.
“Cloud computing offers this growth opportunity which should be taken seriously and the key to successfully implementing cloud for the SME sector in Africa, is to partner with a technology expert who understands the African market,” says Aucamp.