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Africa data flood set to shake off cloud lag

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Global cloud traffic is expected to rise almost fourfold, up from 3.9 zettabytes (ZB) per year in 2015 to 14.1 ZB per year by 2020, according to the recently released Cisco Global Cloud Index (2015-2020).

In Middle East and Africa, data center traffic will grow a little more than fourfold in the next four years.

This rapid growth of cloud traffic is attributed to increased migration to cloud architectures and their ability to scale quickly and support more workloads than traditional data centers.

With greater virtualization, cloud operators are also able to achieve greater operational efficiencies while flexibly delivering a growing variety of services to businesses and consumers with optimal performance. To better understand data center growth, new analysis on application workloads was developed for this year’s report.

The following business and consumer projections were revealed:

Business:

•          By 2020, business workloads will account for 72 percent (344.5 million) of total data center workloads, compared to 79 percent (142.3 million) in 2015 (2.4-fold growth).

•          By 2020, compute workloads will account for 29 percent of total business workloads, compared to 28 percent in 2015.

•          By 2020, collaboration workloads will account for 24 percent of total business workloads, compared to 25 percent in 2015.

•          By 2020, database/analytics/Internet of Things (IoT) workloads will account for 22 percent of total business workloads, compared to 20 percent in 2015.

Consumer:

•          By 2020, consumer workloads will account for 28 percent (134.3 million) of total data center workloads, compared to 21 percent (38.6 million) in 2015 (3.5-fold growth).

•          By 2020, video streaming workloads will account for 34 percent of total consumer workloads, compared to 29 percent in 2015.

•          By 2020, social networking workloads will account for 24 percent of total consumer workloads, compared to 20 percent in 2015.

By 2020, search workloads will account for 15 percent of total consumer workloads, compared to 17 percent in 2015

“The IT industry has taken cloud computing from an emerging technology to an essential scalable and flexible networking solution. With large global cloud deployments, operators are optimizing their data center strategies to meet the growing needs of businesses and consumers,” said Andy MacDonald, Vice President Global Service Providers; Middle East, Africa and Russia, Cisco. “In the six years of this study, cloud computing has advanced from an emerging technology to an essential scalable and flexible part of architecture for service providers.

For the first time, Cisco also quantified and analyzed the impact of hyperscale data centers. These data centers are expected to grow from 259 in 2015 to 485 by 2020. Hyperscale[1] data center traffic is projected to quintuple over the next five years. These infrastructures will account for 47 percent of total data center installed servers and support 53 percent of all data center traffic by 2020.

A key infrastructure trend is transforming hyperscale (and other) data centers. Software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) are helping to flatten data center architectures and streamline traffic flows. Over the next five years, nearly 60 percent of global hyperscale data centers are expected to deploy SDN/NFV solutions. By 2020, 44 percent of traffic within data centers will be supported by SDN/NFV platforms (up from 23 percent in 2015) as operators strive for greater efficiencies.

Middle East and Africa Global Cloud Index Forecasted Highlights and Projections:

1.      Data Center Traffic Highlights

  • In Middle East and Africa, data center traffic will reach 328 Exabytes per year (27 Exabytes per month) by 2019, up from 82 Exabytes per year (6.8 Exabytes per month) in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, data center traffic will grow 4.0-fold by 2019, at a CAGR of 32% from 2014 to 2019.
  • In Middle East and Africa, data center traffic grew 40% in 2014, up from 59 Exabytes per year (4.9 Exabytes per month) in 2013.
  • In Middle East and Africa, 59.9% of data center traffic will remain within the data center by 2019, compared to 74.0% in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, 33.0% of data center traffic will travel to end users by 2019, compared to 18.9% in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, 7.1% of data center traffic will travel between data centers by 2019, compared to 7.1% in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, consumer data center traffic will represent 65% of total data center traffic by 2019, compared to 32% in 2014.

2.      Cloud Traffic Highlights

  • In Middle East and Africa, cloud data center traffic will represent 86% of total data center traffic by 2019, compared to 61% in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, cloud data center traffic will reach 280 Exabytes per year (23 Exabytes per month) by 2019, up from 50 Exabytes per year (4.2 Exabytes per month) in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, cloud data center traffic will grow 5.6-fold by 2019, at a CAGR of 41% from 2014 to 2019.
  • In Middle East and Africa, cloud data center traffic grew 61% in 2014, up from 31 Exabytes per year (2.6 Exabytes per month) in 2013.
  • In Middle East and Africa, consumer will represent 61% of cloud data center traffic by 2019, compared to 30% in 2014.

3.      Traditional Traffic Highlights

  • In Middle East and Africa, traditional data center traffic will represent 14% of total data center traffic by 2019, compared to 39% in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, traditional data center traffic will reach 47 Exabytes per year (4.0 Exabytes per month) by 2019, up from 31 Exabytes per year (2.6 Exabytes per month) in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, traditional data center traffic will grow 1.5-fold by 2019, at a CAGR of 9% from 2014 to 2019.
  • In Middle East and Africa, traditional data center traffic grew 16% in 2014, up from 27 Exabytes per year (2.3 Exabytes per month) in 2013.
  • In Middle East and Africa, consumer will represent 89% of traditional data center traffic by 2019, compared to 35% in 2014.

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Queues and cash-only frustrate SA’s commuters

A new study by Visa reveals the success factors for improving travel and creating smarter cities

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The use of cash-only payments was a frustration for 38% of Johannesburg commuters and 37% of Cape Town-based commuters, according to a new global study by Visa. Another commuter frustration when paying for public transport has been long queues – 67% of Johannesburg commuters and 64% of Cape Town commuters.

Visa, in collaboration with Stanford University, came up with these findings in one of the largest global studies examining the growing demand for public and private transportation, and the important role digital commerce plays in driving sustainable growth.

According to the UN[i], by 2050, 68 percent of the world’s population will live in urban centres – and the number of “megacities” with populations greater than 10 million people will rise from 43 today to 51 within that same period. South Africa is no different, with the majority of the country relying heavily on the public transport system. In fact, according to the General Household Survey (GHS) for 2018, a total of 54 209 000 minibus/taxi trips take place in South African per month. 

Building on Visa’s experience working with transit operators, automotive companies and technology start-ups, Visa commissioned a global study, “The Future of Transportation: Mobility in the Age of the Megacity” to better understand the challenges commuters face today and in the future. The key findings were combined with a view of existing and near horizon innovations provided by experts at Stanford University, to better understand the technology gaps in addressing their pain points.

The South African Perspective

Payments lie at the heart of every form of travel, and will continue to become more integral as more cities move to contactless public transportation, digital payments for parking and rental services such as bikes or scooters.  Malijeng Ngqaleni, Deputy Director-General of the South African Inter-governmental Relations, states that a high as 60% of South African households spend on average of 20% of their monthly income on transport, while in rural areas this number can be as high as 31%.

Aside from cash-only payments, another commuter frustration when paying for public transport has been long queues – 67% of Johannesburg commuters and 64% of Cape Town commuters. Over the last few years, a number of mobile-driven taxi-hailing apps have been launched in the South African market to counteract these concerns and commuters are open to the possibilities presented by mobile apps. The Visa study echoed this by showing that 77% of Johannesburg commuters and 76% of Cape Town commuters would be willing to try a consolidated app to make payments for public transport.

 Mike Lemberger, SVP, Product Solutions Europe, Visa says: “The future success of our cities is intertwined with – and reliant on – the future of transportation and mobility. Visa and our partners have an important role to play, both in streamlining the payment experience for millions of commuters around the globe, and supporting public transportation authorities in their quest to build sustainable and convenient transportation solutions that improve the lives of the people who use it.”

Herman Donner, PhD and Postdoctoral Researcher from Stanford University co-authored the report and summarised: “When looking across the technology landscape, there already exist many products that could easily address people’s daily frustrations with travel.  However, none of these solutions should be developed in isolation. A major challenge therefore lies in first identifying relevant technologies that provide suitable products for the market then managing implementation in conjunction with  a broad set of stakeholder including  mobility providers, technology companies, infrastructure owners and public transport agencies.  From our research, we think that many of these small, incremental changes have the potential to make a significant difference in people’s daily travel,  whether it’s to help find parking, get the best price to refuel their car or plan their journey on public transportation.”

Click here for the detailed global findings.

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Women take to tech, but more needed

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By HAIDI NOSSAIR, Marketing Director META, Dell Technologies

$12 trillion – that is the value in additional global GDP that remains locked behind the gender gap. This is according to the latest Women Matter report from McKinsey, which also reveals startling disparities in the workplace. Even though women make up more than half of the human population, only 37% contribute to GDP on average – and in some countries that proportion is significantly lower.

The reasons for this can be put in three areas. Fewer women – 650 million fewer than men – participate in the global labour force. Women are also more likely to be in part-time employment and thus work fewer hours. Finally, female employees are more common in lower-productivity sectors than in higher-productivity areas.  Are women not being offered the opportunity or are they holding themselves back?

Among STEM careers this ratio is particularly dismal: only 24% of engineering professionals are women, and as few as 19% of careers in ICT are filled by women.

What is the cause of this? Studies have found that women pursuing STEM careers are higher in countries with more oppressive policies towards women, because those careers hold the promise for financial freedom and more social autonomy. In contrast, countries with progressive attitudes towards women tend to produce fewer female STEM graduates. Then how can we encourage women from early ages to take the path of STEM education?  And how can organizations ensure women have equal opportunity at the hiring stages.

Certainly addressing gender inequality is crucial and must not stop.. Where women are increasingly more part of the workforce, there are often still barriers preventing them from assuming higher management roles. Female entrepreneurs often struggle more to gain investment capital. Corporate cultures are rarely aligned with the pressures of balancing work and family obligations. Decision makers may simply lack exposure to the potential of female candidates. Female pioneers have also argued that women are too risk-averse when compared to men. 

Whether these assertions are true is a matter for debate – and that’s exactly why every professional man and woman should be talking about them and identify action to change the status-quo. This is not just about female rights, but about social upliftment: companies with a mixture of male and female leaders perform better across the board and companies in the top-quartile for gender diversity are 21% more likely to outperform on profitability.

The digital economy we live in today represent a golden opportunity for increased women contribution to the workforce as technology breaks the boundaries of location and time for the workplace and where labor intensive jobs may today be performed by data scientists. 

For two days in March, top professionals will gather to talk and exchange ideas around creating more roles for women, larger appreciation for female professionals, as well as counter the attitudes among women holding them back from greater career success and autonomy.

If you want to be part of this conversation, join the Women in Tech Africa summit today at the Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town – learn more at https://www.women-in-tech-africa-summit.com/ and use the code DELL20 for a 20% discount.

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