Analytics should drive digital tech

Analytics should drive digital tech

GE Africa CIO offers his perspective on why.

Friday, Dec 15th

SYSPRO Africa shifts closer to cloud at the edge

SYSPRO Africa shifts closer to cloud at the edge

Businesses in Africa are becoming increasingly reliant upon information that is easy to access, accurate and up-to-date in order to extract the insight necessary for strategic decision making. This is driving interest in cloud to the edge and one of the main reasons why ERP service provider SYSPRO Africa is energising efforts to help companies leverage cloud performance.

Mark Wilson, MD of SYSPRO Africa says the continent is developing at a rapid rate and more companies are building data centres. He adds that many start-ups are not only embracing cloud, but are building their businesses on its foundation.

"The main attraction of the cloud is the ability to access all your data anytime, anyplace, using any device with internet capability... Africans are seeing real value in that," says Wilson.

However, many are still wary of the issues of cost and security, which continue to hinder more widespread adoption of cloud solutions and investment in cloud services.

Wilson says due to hacking and various attacks on cloud infrastructure, many organisations are not completely comfortable with the fact that valuable enterprise data will reside outside the corporate firewall.

"Therefore, monitoring the service being provided using internal or third-party tools is just as important. It is also vital to have plans to supervise usage, robustness, and business dependency of these services. By having a robust yet intuitive cloud migration automation platform, businesses can minimise and even eliminate all of the hidden costs that are inherent to cloud migrations."

"We are committed to ensuring that those companies that share a 'cloud vision' are on the correct releases and processes to the cloud. Even though not everyone will adapt it immediately, we see the cloud as the way forward," he adds.

The advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and announcements from Microsoft regarding Azure to enhance operations is impacting on ERP solution development and rollout.

"Data can be located optimally in the cloud and on the edge," Wilson explains. This is of significant value to companies that need to quickly analyse and exploit information.

SYSPRO's focus is to provide fully managed scalable ERP solutions in the cloud and the company believes this offers the market a clear opportunity to save money, reduce impact on the environment and improve IT services by removing their IT burden.

"We will of course maintain a hybrid model for early adopters while also servicing our existing user base," says Wilson.

He agrees that the hybrid cloud service model continues to attract interest in Africa.

"Many customers in Africa are short on technical IT resources and therefore adopt the infrastructure as a private service for supplementation purposes. Hybrid cloud service will be around for a long time and many customers have adopted IAS to support the limited resources."

Looking ahead to 2018, Wilson expects the advent of smartphone integration and machine learning capabilities that are housed within these devices to force consumers and businesses to keep up and rethink their use strategies.

"We've already seen some impressive usage of technology within the healthcare, banking and manufacturing sectors, with the likes of M-Pesa and Uber revolutionising and changing the status quo."

The company is focusing on ensuring its systems are ready to embrace Industry 4.0, the interconnectedness of machines and AI – and ultimately positioning itself to transition from a system-of-record to a system-of-engagement.

It is also preparing to launch SYSPRO 8, a web-based version accessible on any platform, from any location, both on-premise and through the cloud.

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