IS wants to host government cloud

Internet Solutions' Mncedisi Mayekiso: With 16 000m2 of data centre infrastructure, we can host a government cloud quite easily.
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Internet Solutions' Mncedisi Mayekiso: With 16 000m2 of data centre infrastructure, we can host a government cloud quite easily.

Hosting a government cloud is an area that Internet Solutions (IS) would like to strategically explore, according to the company's newly appointed public sector executive, Mncedisi Mayekiso.

The IS offering represents something that is at the centre of what the local government wants to do around service delivery, he noted. "Government is now changing the consumption model, so we are starting to see changes in how IT will be consumed going forward. Maybe we are not there yet, but... naturally, government would like to make sure that cloud is hosted locally.

"IS has one of the largest data centre cloud infrastructures in the country. That is, 16 000m2 of data centre; in other words, we can host a government cloud quite easily."

Mayekiso made the comments following his appointment, late last year, to head up the public sector business of the wholly owned Dimension Data Group subsidiary.

When it comes to driving smart city initiatives and the roll-out of public WiFi infrastructure that government is pushing, IS wants to be at the centre of this activity.

He said IS wants to play a central role in the conversation about private or hybrid cloud for government, and it would be quite happy to collaborate with other service providers.

Grooming young talent

Although Mayekiso said he would not be drawn into quantifying how significantly the public sector business contributes to the company, he said: "It is a very strategic part of IS business and represents a fair chunk."

Mayekiso is looking to work with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) aggressively to deliver services to customers.

"In general, as an industry, we need to accelerate small business development. There are a lot of young and promising SMEs out there and we need to support and grow them; we need to see these companies grow and list on the JSE.

"We, in the private sector, jointly with government, need to make sure that some of the lucrative contracts that are out in the market we share with SMEs and work on them jointly going forward."

He added: "We can take on these companies and do a skills transfer fairly quickly; we can work with them and bring them into our environment - that is the exciting thing around enterprise development."

Current landscape

Mayekiso said the industry is in an interesting period, as more people want to consume services on the go, at work and at home - and they want to consume it easily.

"I feel the pace of innovation is there, but compared to the global landscape, SA is lagging behind in terms of new innovators and young companies that are coming and doing things differently," he noted.

"I think that as an industry we are probably due for a much faster innovation in terms of new entrants coming in and disrupting the market.

"In terms of skills, we are a country of 55 million South Africans, and a fair chunk of these people are the youth. We should really quit complaining about the skills and just get on with the idea of building our own skills and training our own people. For me, skills development is one of the key areas."

Simnikiwe Mzekandaba
IT in government editor

Simnikiwe Mzekandaba is the IT in government editor at ITWeb. She reports on tech initiatives, policies and digital transformation strategies in government, banking and education. She holds an Honours degree in Journalism from Rhodes University. Behind that smile, she is plotting how best to get government officials to respond to her emails before deadline :)

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