Tom Pegrume: Unstructured Data is Exploding in Africa

Oracle released a report recently titled Next Generation Data Centre Index Cycle II, in which many businesses seem to have been caught off guard by the boom in …

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Tom Pegrume ,Vice president, Oracle Hardware Sales, Middle East and Africa
Tom Pegrume ,Vice president, Oracle Hardware Sales, Middle East and Africa

Oracle released a report recently titled Next Generation Data Centre Index Cycle II, in which many businesses seem to have been caught off guard by the boom in ‘Big Data’. The findings also suggest that data has become an issue for boardroom consideration, while sustainability is back on the agenda of businesses.

The report follows Cycle 1 (C1) of the Next Generation Data Centre Index, announced in May 2011. This established that many businesses are lagging behind in their use of innovative technology in data centres, making them less able to meet industry demands and respond to change quickly. Many were also found to be lagging in terms of managing spiraling energy costs.

The new research – Cycle 2 (C2) – shows there has been improvement in the general performance of many organisations, as measured in three key areas: achieving data centre flexibility, sustainability and supportability. Taken as an overall average across these three sub-indices, businesses scored 5.58 on a scale of 0 to 10 (where 10 would be the most sophisticated data centre strategy possible, assessed by analyst house Quocirca1), compared to 5.22 in the first report.

Key Index numbers include:

– The proportion of respondents with in-house-only data centres is down from 60% (C1) to 44% (C2).

– Those using some external data centres have risen from 40% (C1) to 56%.

–  Many more businesses now see a need within two years to build new data facilities, up from 27% in C1 to 38% in C2.

– Sustainability is back – fewer respondents report not having a sustainability plan in place in C2 (6.39% against 13.19%), while the number of data centre managers seeing a copy of the energy bill has risen from 43.16% to 52.19% in C2.

Tom Pegrume ,Vice president, Oracle Hardware Sales, Middle East and Africa was in Nigeria on a working visit, and we had this brief chat with him below.

About Oracle and its presence in Africa

Our mission in Africa and Middle East is to offer businesses a complete, open ,integrated hardware and software solutions fully optimized that helps them overcome complexity, reduce cost and time of deployment and basically make them focus on innovation and delivering of their product and services to their customers in good time.

Oracle offers a total re-spec (if you can call it that)from the hardware solutions, the application, the middleware, operating system, management, virtualization  and all of that, providing organization with optimized business solutions in a box as against buying different hardware and software from different vendors. At oracle we engineer hardware and software to work together in the data centers and in the cloud, from the servers and storage to database and middleware to provide better performance, reliability, security and flexibility even with our cloud strategy that allows you in and out of the cloud at will. These solutions from Oracle invariably lower the cost and complexity of IT implementation and management. We also deliver to businesses greater productivity, agility and better business intelligence.

How the Next Generation Data Centre Report Affects Africa

Yes! Africa is part of the regions covered by the report. The interesting thing about Africa is that great innovations are driving data boom in the continent. We see a lot of innovations for instance in mobile money, mobile phone explosion and connected devices, and many organisations are constantly becoming aware and want to leverage new technologies in Africa. But several organisations in Africa are seen to lag behind the curve in terms of optimizing their IT infrastructure and their data centers. They still need to take a step further and do what I call classic consolidation virtualization of their applications and infrastructure. That is one of the steps to needed to run a cloud strategy. It is usually assumed that many organizations are ahead in that but they still need to optimize their infrastructure, and focus on innovation which involves the mining of the data, analyzing and putting intelligence into it that will help them deliver product and services that their customers want within a short time without spending so much money. That is where oracle products and solutions come into play.

Future of Data in Africa and the challenge

Africa is part of the global community where open data is increasing daily. You are in Africa and you are not restricted from sharing information on say Twitter, Facebook and online. The challenge really is not about the future of data in Africa per se, the truth is that unstructured data is exploding in Africa whether it is from connected devices, mobile phone calls etc. The challenge is how do we make sense out of these unstructured data that is exploding?. Mining the data, analysing them so that business intelligence will be derived from them will also be a challenge. Another issue with big data boom is storage of those data. The big data will require big devices to store and optimize. Oracle with her Big Data Strategy provides big data devices and solutions that will help organisations manage the data boom, make sense out of them and store them in a form that can be easily accessed and used and reused.

For further information on oracle products and services visit their website at www.oracle.com

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