By Technology Times Staff Reporter
Tinapa. October 30, 2012: Galaxy Backbone is building a major cloud computing infrastructure hoped to take public sector and bring cost savings to the running of the Federal Government, Omobola Johnson, Minister of Communication Technology has told a software forum.
Under the plan, a Government Cloud is being built by public sector technology company, Galaxy Backbone, following decision by the Federal Government to wholly embrace cloud computing technology to drive efficiency and cost savings across all its Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the CommTech Minister says.
Omobola disclosed Monday in a speech at the formal opening of the annual Institute of Software Professionals of Nigeria (ISPON) National Software Conference and Competition 2012 that kicked off in Cross River State.
The ISPON event attracted several local and international attendees that converged on the serene Tinapa International Resort for the three-day ISPON National Software Conference and Competition 2012 holding on the theme, “The Cloud and The Future of Software Nigeria.”
To further drive home her point, Johnson says that cost savings are already being delivered following government’s decision to go the way of the cloud computing option in rolling out services to MDAs.
She says that the Federal Government estimated last year that its spending on data centres would gulp a whooping N19.4 billion, a figure she reckons is “unsustainable” and must be managed in the face of growing ICT usage and in the interest of judicious use of public funds.
“Galaxy Backbone has therefore embarked on extending and expanding its infrastructure to provide a shared platform for the delivery of ICT infrastructure services to all MDAs through the deployment of a Government Cloud. The Government Cloud will provide unified computing solutions that enable access through secure networks (or the internet) to a pool of shared resources”, the Minister told the forum.
Cloud computing is generally attracting buzz in the technology sector where it is seen as next evolutionary stage in computing enabling individuals and businesses to boost their productivity by having access to online computing resources while minimizing investments in hardware and other resources.
The CommTech Minister says that the Federal Government’s decision to embrace cloud computing is hoped to further benefit MDAs that will be brought on board in areas of cost effectiveness; rapid elasticity; ease of maintenance and support; back up and disaster recovery.
According to her, “this approach to the underlying technology provides the greatest opportunity for Nigeria to deploy the latest ICT infrastructure capabilities for efficiency and improved service delivery in a cost-effective manner.”
Already, the Federal Government’s decision to deploy cloud computing to manage core operations is paying off in the workings of its Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) under a phased rollout of a genre of cloud computing known as Software as a Service (SaaS).
The CommTech Minister says that, “with this, the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation is able to administer civil servants’ identification and payroll in a more effective and efficient manner. Today, the Federal Ministry of Finance can attest to the success of the IPPIS which has so far been implemented at 183 MDAs and have yielded a cost savings of over N14 billion from the previous manual process.”
She adds that cloud computing offer possibilities to organisations in the public and private sectors saying the decision by the Federal Government’s model aims to reduce, “barrier to acquisition of high technology and skilled staff by MDAs of Government and provides a ready plug-and-play platform for various MDAs. Smaller or poorly-funded MDAs can thus roll out technology based online services without expending huge sums on infrastructure.”
The Minister’s unveiling of the public sector cloud computing initiative comes amid last month’s announcement by the Federal Government that it sealed a $1.1billion loan deal with China to accelerate some of public priority projects including an ICT infrastructure rollout project by Galaxy Backbone.
Galaxy Backbone, which supports technology service to Federal MDAs, will get $100million out of the $1.1billion loan agreement signed by the Federal Government with China Exim Bank for high priority public sector projects projected to be completed by 2015.
Government said at the time that Galaxy Backbone is building ICT infrastructure to boost the sophistication and effectiveness of government to tackle security challenges in the country. The technology company will also improve connectivity to modern technology, especially for Nigerian youths.
The proposed backbone will help to improve service delivery in areas like education and health while empowering the youths with better connectivity to the rest of the world.