Gauteng Business News

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INFOTECH: Information Technology Managed Services in Africa


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Information Technology Managed Services offer the workable solution to overcome obstacles facing Africa, such as a shortage of resources, skills and the cost of distribution. “EOH approaches IT managed services from two angles, offering managed services on premises in the African country itself or it can be managed remotely in the cloud from any country,” says Rob Godlonton, EOH Executive Director.

He says that the last mile connectivity remains a challenge. “Seacom is but one of the ventures that will connect Africa to the rest of the world. It requires the last mile connectivity in the African countries to be completed to allow a seamless service to the end users in the country.”

However, the intent is there and we project the landscape of connectivity in Africa to change quite dramatically in the next 18 months with countries upgrading from zero connectivity to having ADSL or even fibre. It will effectively open Africa up to comprehensive IT service management from anywhere in the world,” says Godlonton.

Having connectivity is not the only factor hampering Africa as hardware availability and deliverability also poses a challenge. “Consumers are more informed and their expectations are much higher when it comes to IT deployment. It is however paramount to consider the consumer’s infrastructure. This is where cloud solutions will address a host of concerns that will effectively shift the onus of responsibility to the service provider as far as infrastructure, hardware availability and maintenance is concerned,” explains Godlonton.

Being able to provide critical mass and retention of skills is a differentiating aspect that sets a managed services provider apart from its competitors. “If the company is able to provide its clients with the depth and scope of expertise in a specific field and across all its verticals in one seamless service delivery framework, it will serve as an unprecedented advantage to that organisation,” says Godlonton.

Godlonton however warns that it is not easy to enter the African market. “It is advisable to do your homework thoroughly as it will be naive of service providers to deploy their services relying on connectivity alone. In most African countries a service provider will need a local entity, based in the country, to bill with the majority of companies adopting an operational model of 20% local representation and 80% foreign for the future deployment of IT Managed Services,” concludes Godlonton.

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