How would you feel if you got an option to access all the office work or stuff that is saved on your computer at home while on the road, anywhere in the world? Or it could be that after leaving office in the evening you suddenly remember there is a document you should have sent to your boss by the close of business, do you dash back to office?
You could rush back or you could not depending on whether you work smart or not. Working smart with the new age technologies, like cloud-based plaforms that enables one to access their documents anywhere, anytime, would come in handy in the above or any other similar situation, saving you from unnecessary inconviniences.
Cloud refers to Internet based services that provide the ‘future” of application delivery. This revolutionary app is slowly, but surely changing way businesses in Rwanda and Africa general are being managed.
Traditionally, most enterprises have used a mix of different solutions to manage various functions and processes. This has entailed the use of a unique software application to manage each business function. Remember, each software application is hosted on a server on a company’s premises in this case.
Elsante Mnzava, the marketing and sales leader of Tanzania-based Mkenga Group Limited, told Business Times last week that firms are finally ‘seeing the light’ and opting for cloud-based solutions.
“Enterprises in Africa, especially mid-tier manufacturers, have begun to consider enterprise cloud-based business management platforms or cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions, as they are most commonly known, that are hosted on the ‘cloud’”
Mnzava argues that what is driving the adoption of cloud-based ERP systems in Rwanda and the region is the improving broadband quality and access “which makes it possible for businesses to harness cloud-based solutions”.
Last year, Rwanda launched its Fourth Generation Long- term Evolution (4G LTE) Internet service, an opportunity for businesses to improve their Internet browsing speeds and increase their systems uptimes.
Mnzava adds that many companies in the region are growing (in size and complexity), necessitating integrated cloud-based solutions.
According to Mnzava, companies using cloud-based solutions are able to get a real-time and complete view of the entire business since all key processes and functions are managed by one system, hosted in the cloud.
They also have more streamlined and dynamic processes. Firms and staff are able to access their documents anytime and anywhere. The solution also offers significantly lower cost of operations as servers and installed software is no longer needed.
Lastly, companies have the ability to grow and change their business models without having to worry about any attendant hardware costs.
What local firms say
Patrick Buchana, the chief executive officer of Airclerk Limited, a hi-tech firm that specialises in intelligent transport systems like the electronic card payment solutions for public transport buses in Kigali, says using cloud-based ERP systems has made their business a lot easier.
“We are able to collect money on behalf of our clients and pay suppliers more easily because everyone can see how much we owe them. Also, because it’s on the cloud, it’s remotely accessible to any of the authorised parties to check in real time,” he notes.
Buchana says cloud systems enable firms to plan for their businesses in time, allowing them to grow faster.
Guarding against cyber threats
Much as entrepreneurs are able to manage their businesses from the cloud, Buchana notes that they have to be mindful of potential cyber attacks that can cause losses to businesses online.
“Though the government is already tackling it, companies have to be watchful since these systems can hold rich company information,” he concludes.