Cloud computing technology is becoming increasingly important in ICT. This technology provides hardware and software services over a network. “The Cloud and Africa: Indicators for Growth of Cloud Computing” discusses predictors of cloud computing success in Africa.
The paper first discusses the potential benefits of the cloud in Africa– economic growth, greater data storage, increased communication and collaboration, and lower overhead costs. In addition, cloud computing can specifically be used in different ICT4D projects like e-education, e-health, and e-commerce.
The article describes the idea of “cloud readiness,” focusing on five indicators of cloud readiness: ICT, infrastructure, business, investment, and socioeconomic factors. These indicators help to determine which nations are most ready to employ cloud technology. In order to conduct this study, the author chose the 10 largest internet using nations in Africa: Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Zambia. Finally, Rwanda was added to the study because of its government’s focus on ICT4D.
The author then created a Cloud Readiness Index (which is described in much greater detail in the paper). The top five countries for cloud readiness were, in order: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Sudan, and Kenya. A visual representation of the Index can be seen below:
In his conclusion, the author reemphasize the importance of the cloud as one tool in the ICT4D toolkit, but also reminds us that each country will need its own individualized path to cloud readiness and this should be a focus in coming years.