Desktop as a Service important for Africa

MTN Business warns that Africa should keep tables on Desktop as a Service

October 28, 2011

A technology advancement that is positively impacting businesses on a global scale today is Desktop as a Service (DaaS), and looking at the benefits that such a solution is offering these enterprises, MTN Business believe that DaaS certainly has a place in the African Market.

It has been suggested that in Africa, there are only 3 computers for every 1 000 people – but what if this could change? The reality is that it can and with this, the possibility for DaaS for African businesses becomes viable.

Put simply, DaaS refers to the virtual desktop – a desktop that is hosted in the cloud. The purpose of this model is to provide a full basic desktop environment, including the ability to generate or edit word processing documents or spreadsheets, available to all users at the flick of a switch. DaaS meets some of the biggest concerns that African businesses face today; that of safe, cost effective ICT solutions.

Says Johnny Aucamp General Manager: Strategic Relations and Business Development Africa at MTN Business; “Considering the low PC stats per user in Africa, such a technology model can be considered perfect for businesses operating in this region. Traditional desktop PCs today remain an expensive capital outlay for businesses, especially from a services point of view. In fact, according to a study undertaken by Gartner, on average, companies spend up to $7 000 per PC per year on operating costs, where 77% of this is on service and support alone. With DaaS these costs concerns can be significantly reduced without business growth being affected.”

Furthermore, DaaS also allows employees to have access to work documents via other mobile devices, providing convenience and strategically aligns with the current mobile trend that Africa is and will continue to experience.

To explain this further, let’s look at a 24 hour call centre as an example. Currently, every employee that works in the call centre, regardless of their different shifts, requires a PC to be able to access their work and get the job done. This means that if there are 100 employees, 100 PCs are required. However, out of these 100 employees, let’s say 70 work the day shift – that means that 30 computers are not being used during the day. With DaaS, the 24 hour call centre would only need 70 PC’s, as DaaS allows those employees who work the night shift to access their work from any PC, and therefore could use 30 of the 70 computers used during the day, to be able to get their work done. In essence, the call centre would not need 30 computers, which can be a large cost saving. And this is just one example.

Concludes Aucamp; “Although stats show that Africa still has the lowest Internet access penetration in the developing world of only 9.6%³, much is currently being done from a technology implementation and infrastructure perspective to change this. While Africa is considered to not yet have the full IT infrastructure required for DaaS to be 100% operational and beneficial to businesses, many cities do have the necessary redundancy to see immediate savings on the continent. As the continent continues to evolve, the potential for DaaS increases and when the continent is ready, businesses should be ready to embrace the DaaS revolution.”

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