Rack Centre CEO: How ‘Quality technology’ will unlock Nigerian business edge in 2016
Mr Ayotunde Coker, Chief Executive Officer of Rack Centre say that Nigerian business that hope to thrive in the year 2016 must invest in quality technology to ride the crest of the operating environment.
Ayotunde told Technology Times in an exclusive interview that based on expectations that 2016 will be a tougher year for Nigeria, it is no longer enough for businesses hoping to thrive to invest in technology, but focus such spending on “high-quality technology.”
Coker, who spoke with Technology Times on the operations of the Rack Centre data centre which the company says is a state-of-the-art, Tier III Design Certified data centre offering carrier-neutral colocation services. The data centre sited in Lagos, provides over 6,000 sqm (65,000sqft) of energy efficient and secure data centre space and allows companies “to avoid fixed infrastructure investments and to leave the growing complexity of managing power and environmental issues to specialists”, the company CEO, Ayotunde Coker says.
The year 2016 will be a very though year because of the dwindling price of crude oil and as such the economic climate will be harsh and many business will need to tighten their belt by upgrading their technology in order to survive in the year 2016, the CEO of Rack Centre says.
”2016 will be an interesting year. There is one side of it that given the price of oil, it will be a tough year there is another view that with actions being taken by the government, we would be more efficient if investment should go in the right place” Coker says.
According to him, ”I think we would continue to tighten our belt because of price of oil. For us at Rack Centre, it means a tightening of belt year and technology is highly essential for companies to be efficient. It means that companies needs to invest in high quality technology, if they want to thrive in the economy by 2016, which means they need co-location space.”[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”right” bgcolor=”#” color=”#” bcolor=”#” arrow=”yes”] ”If we look at the Nigerian environment, we now have about 96.3 million Internet subscribers. That number has surpassed Russia, a country with the highest Internet subscriber in Europe. You find a significant increase in data volume and all that needs computing infrastructure that is resident in-country. So, with that opportunity, we decided to set up a data centre’, according to Coker.[/quote]
The Nigeria data centre industry is emerging and that’s why Jagal Group, a conglomerate that holds stakes in key sector of the economy and owners of Rack Centre is tapping stakes in the sector, he says.
”If we look at the Nigerian environment, we now have about 96.3 million Internet subscribers. That number has surpassed Russia, a country with the highest Internet subscriber in Europe. You find a significant increase in data volume and all that needs computing infrastructure that is resident in-country. So, with that opportunity, we decided to set up a data centre’, according to Coker.
”After setting it up, we have also done a study of the market potentials in Nigeria. We did this with Broad Group, one of the reputable foreign market analyst and the assessment shows that there is about 120,000 square metre of demand in the country and if we look at the data centre space, co-location is around 5,000 to 6,000 square meters, that’s about 5% of the demand. And if you look at Tier III certified data centre, it is only 20% of demand. So, we see a significant potential in the market”, Coker told Technology Times.
The Rack CEO further explains to Technology Times why the company chose to site its data centre further into the hinterland rather than near the sea where it is traditionally believed is a landing point of undersea cable.
Far away from the ocean and located 30 metres above sea level in Lagos, Coker reckons that the Rack Centre data center is sted in a location “that is very served with utility and highly protected, which this is ideal for a data centre.”
When asked about how government policies and regulation will assist in unlocking potential for providers of data service Coker says that ”with the drive for National content, if we don’t have the right quality here, it would be embedding mediocrity. Most advanced country have the right laws that will encourage and drive the right behaviour, so we have to make sure that what we have is completely efficient. So there is no need for people to be hosting their data outside Nigeria.”
The Rack Centre CEO says the company is working with the National content authority in government “to make sure they drive the awareness.”
According to him, ”I think what we need to do is to create more awareness to drive that campaign. If you are hosted in Rack Centre, your customer base are here in Nigeria, you have little or no latency, you are connected to the people who are interconnecting with you locally.”
The Rack Centre CEO believes that ”by co-locating your data, the impact on GDP will increase again significantly and the next two years there is nothing stopping it to jump to 20% and that will be significant for the economy.”