Cloud Computing – What It Is and How Businesses and Professionals Are Adopting It In Accra,Ghana

Cloud Computing and it’s Associated Technologies.

These have been on the rise lately and for good reasons. Do you know that the monthly cost of running a basic web-based application was a staggering amount of $150,000 back in the year 2000? Thanks to the advent of Cloud Computing, that amount has been drastically reduced to less than $1000 and is still getting cheaper as more companies and institutions are jumping on the bandwagon.

This leads to the most popular questions of nowadays, “What is Cloud Computing and how does it work? Does it have promising career opportunities? Are there any good schools in Ghana that teaches practical Cloud Computing that makes one qualified and job market-ready?

Note; I am about to cover the questions i stated above in this article. Please read on.

What is Cloud Computing?

In simple terms, Cloud Computing can be defined as the usage of the ‘cloud’ (a metaphor for the internet) as a medium to share computing services or resources such as processing capacity, storage space, data, software and applications among others to computers and other devices on-demand and a pay-as-you-go basis. This made it, for example, very easy as well as cost-effective for companies and institutions with large data-bases efficiently store, manipulate and retrieve that data without having to own any physical data centers which can nearly cost a fortune to build one.

There are three main types of Cloud Computing services, sometimes called the Cloud  Computing Stack due to how they build upon each other. These are;

  • Infrastructure-as-a-service. This is used for internet-based access to storage and computing power.
  • Platform-as-a-service: This gives developers the tools to build and host web applications.
  • Software-as-a-service: This is used for web-based applications.

What Is The History Behind It?

The concept of Computing-as-a-service is not a new industry. It has been around for as far back as the 1960s when Mainframe Computers were the computers in existence. Then, computer bureaus would allow companies or institutions to rent time on a mainframe, rather than having to buy one themselves which again, would cost them a fortune to do so.

This concept slowly faded away as the Personal Computer era emerge. This made owning a computer much more affordable and everybody wanted to have his computer to make processes much easier and secure. However as time went by and large companies were born, much much more computing power and storage spaces were needed to keep things running as well as manage the enormous amount of data being collected daily. The only way forward was to build large data centers and computer networks to keep up with these issues however, the problem with this approach was the cost of setting up and running a data center. It can quickly add up to millions of dollars and most companies could not afford that.

  • Necessity being the mother of all inventions led to the resurfacing of the concept of computing-as-a-service where very large companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google who can set up and run large data centers or better still, IT infrastructures saw a viable business model of creating such infrastructures and then rent the computing services to the companies that need them via the ‘cloud’ (the internet). This was one of the major technological breakthroughs in the mid-2000s. On the 9th of August, 2006, the term ‘Cloud Computing’ was coined by Eric Schmidt, the then CEO of Google in an industrial conference. Since then, Cloud Computing has risen exponentially with brands like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform leading the forefront.

 

How Does It Work?

The main idea of Cloud Computing is to deliver traditional high-performance computing power, usually available only to high profile institutions like the military and scientific research organizations, to mainstream companies and institutions to increase productivity and reduce cost. This is done technically by creating large networks of servers(housed by numerous data centers) which are then connected to special connections called nodes. The nodes then facilitate the spreading of data-processing load across the network.This has made access to such computing resources as easy as just visiting the website of your favorite brand, signing up your company and you are good to go.

How Ghanaian`s Are Adopting Cloud Computing.

A research was done by PK Senyo, Ibrahim Osman Adam and Erasmus Addae, all researchers from the University of Ghana, University of Development Studies and South Texas college respectively in November 2015 and published it on Research Gate on May 20, 2016. The purpose of the research was to investigate the nature of how Cloud Computing is being adopted across the different Ghanaian industries and organizations. They carried out a survey on 305 Ghanaian companies on their perception of the technology and how they are deploying it in their businesses. They came out with these three findings.

Firstly, they found out that the level of adoption of Cloud Computing in Ghana was very low as compared to the other economies around the globe and this I thought wasn’t surprising during to how Ghana was lagging in terms of technology during those years.

Secondly, they found out that the industries that were utilizing the technology the most were the information and technology services, financial institutions, educational institutions as well as telecommunications firms. Out of these industries, the companies and organizations that were pioneering the change were the National Information Technology Agency(NITA) itself, MTN Ghana, IBM Ghana, Rack Africa and Ghana Dotcom.

They lastly found out that these companies patronized the software-as-a-service type more than the rest since they were still in the early stages of adoption of the technology hence the other two won’t meet their immediate needs.

The research gave a very helpful insight into how Ghanaian`s were embracing the technology. Although there has not been any update on the research yet to keep us abreast of current developments, with the speed at which Cloud Computing is rising, I’m very confident that the rate at which the technology is being adopted has considerably improved. This can be ascertained by the number of Cloud Computing Companies being launched yearly, with notable recent ones being Nutanix Ghana, Zentech IT Solutions, STL Ghana and V Technology.

Careers  in Cloud Computing  And Where To Find Good Schools In Ghana That Offer Quality Education On It.

As clearly stated in the preceding paragraphs, Cloud Computing is on a huge rise and is only going to get bigger over the years. This has made professionals in the field very sought-after and jobs in high demand as well as very lucrative. Professionals in this field have now become the new celebrities in the job industry. So if you are thinking of creating a career in the tech industry, Cloud Computing is where you should look at.

Some of the many job opportunities in this field that are in very high demand are;

  • Cloud Architect
  • Cloud Software Engineer
  • Cloud Sales Executive
  • Cloud Services Developer
  • Cloud Systems Administrator

The list continues.-

I made it a commitment to research and find schools that teach the practical skills that are needed to become a professional in Cloud Computing so one can also enjoy its rise right here in Ghana since most IT schools in this country are only good at awarding certificates but not teaching the actual practical skills. I did a lot of research and one of the few schools that I came across that do  more practical is DevWorld Tech Academy(DWTA).

I came to the premises of DWTA, to further my research on Cloud Computing. I had the chance to discuss with the director about Cloud Computing in general and he made know to me  the approach they use to teach Cloud Computing at DevWorld Tech Academy; which is 80% practical and 20% theory. He shared with me his views on Cloud Computing and gave me some insightful knowledge on the future of Cloud Computing .He predicted that Cloud Computing will be considered as one of the greatest innovations the world has ever seen.

  • According to him, Cloud Computing is the new Gold Rush both business-wise and career-wise and the earlier the world realizes this, the better. Due to this, he and the whole team at DWTA have taken it upon their shoulders to facilitate streamlined course structures that focus on teaching the students not just a bunch of theories and then reward them a certificate at the end of the course. But rather, teach them the hands-on practical skills they need to establish themselves in this lucrative industry.He made it known to me that at DevWorld Tech Academy, they believe in teaching practicality and impacting real practical skills into their students through real-world projects in all the courses they offer so that when they go out into the job market or any other venture, they outperform their competition and excel, having the practical know-how as their superpower.

He concluded by pointing out to me few tech industry highlights,

He said , he saw a huge gap in the practicality of the knowledge of IT professionals in this country.He realized that  when he wanted to recruit a developer to design a website for one of his projects. Because of lack of practicality he couldn’t do it  but rather gave me an excuse that he will come later but he never came. In the Director`s own words, “I was both shocked and disappointed at the number of applications I received and the number of those I had to reject because they could not execute a simple test project I gave to qualify them”. This, he said, led to the birth of DevWorld Tech Academy, – an IT school that is focused on teaching and imparting practical knowledge as well as the  skills and mentorship needed to succeed in any endeavor they may undertake after graduating from the school.

DWTA has four strong faculties under which are a wide array of courses. These courses range from software engineering to graphics design and product development. The faculties are:

  • Faculty of Artificial Intelligence, Data Science and Cloud Computing.
  • Faculty of Game, Software, Mobile and Web Development.
  • Faculty of Programming, Cyber Security and Computer Ethics
  • Faculty of Digital, Graphic and Product Design

Since this article is all about Cloud Computing, let’s take a look at the courses offered under its faculty. Cloud Computing falls under the faculty of Artificial Intelligence, Data Science and Cloud Computing as can be seen above. These are the courses under this faculty:

  • Algorithms
  • Applied Data Science with Python
  • Big Data
  • Cloud Computing
  • Introduction to Google Cloud Technology
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • AI Foundations and Deep Learning
  • Machine Learning
  • Data Science with Python (Intro, Applied, Advanced)
  • Big Data, Data Insights, Data Engineering and Machine Learning on Google Cloud Platform
  • Data Engineering, Machine Learning with TensorFlow and Developing Applications with Google Cloud (all on Google Cloud Platform)

One thing that i learnt was how they teach their various courses to achieve their end goal. They are as follows;

  1. For every course you take, they are responsible teach 80% practical  and only 20% of theory, a feat worth applauding!
  2. Their students work on real-life projects whilst at school. Those projects are then sold and the income is given to the students. This gives them the chance to generate income whiles still learning.
  3. They have career mentorship programs that guide you as you proceed this course.

All of these are facilitated in state-of-the-art classrooms and study centers. The tutors and mentors are highly experienced ,for they are keen to practice what they teach.

There are a lot more and this article will be oversized if I am to continue with their good works. So for anyone of you or a connection of yours that wants an exceptional IT school to enroll in, I cannot recommend DevWorld Tech Academy to you enough. Check them out on their website on DevWorld Tech Academy and verify them for yourself.

In conclusion, Cloud Computing is booming and it shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. In 2017 Forbes indicated that Cloud Computing professionals are earning a whooping median of $137,957 to as high as $248,342 in the United States. As stated, these figures are just averages. There is a guarantee that there are professionals out there earning much more than that.  This is a sure record that Cloud Computing is the highest paying job  in tech industries. Even if a professional working in Ghana does not earn as high as our white colleagues, the sum won’t be disappointing for sure.

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