North Africa SMBs Increasingly Turning to Cloud and Virtualization in Attempt to Replicate Benefits Enjoyed by Larger Counterparts 

Improvements in the availability of high-quality communications infrastructure, together with the implementation of various government initiatives aimed at developing information societies across North Africa, are driving an increase in the use of ICT among smaller organizations as they look to leverage technologies that were previously the sole preserve of large corporations. In light of this, International Data Corporation (IDC) is gearing up for the return of its regional SMB Roadshow, with discussions focusing on how SMBs can apply emerging technologies like virtualization, cloud, and mobility to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and keep profitability high.

Acknowledging the significant role virtualization can play in advancing the cause of the region's SMB community, Ouafa Kathir, IDC's country manager for North and French speaking Africa, offers an insight into the technology's inherent advantages: "The proven financial and flexibility improvements offered by virtualization are undoubtedly attractive benefits for agile, cost-conscious SMBs," she says. "And as these firms look to expand their IT infrastructures in line with growing business needs, the implementation of virtualization on their server, desktop, and storage components will enable IT managers to scale up rapidly on the back of low capital expenditure outlays."

"Cloud computing also offers great cost savings, scalability, and flexible utility-based payment options for SMBs," continues Kathir. "Consequently, companies in the region are evaluating the cloud models that best suit their long-term needs. Similarly, telecom operators and ISVs are expanding their portfolios of infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) offerings to include specialized solutions for SMBs, and such developments will be a key feature of the upcoming roadshow."

Ensuring the security of critical IT infrastructure against malware and data loss is also an essential task for any SMB IT manager. With the proliferation of mobile devices, IT personnel at such organizations also have to concern themselves with device management, mobile usage policies, and mobile app provisioning, among other mobile management aspects. Such issues, together with the implementation of modern unified communication and collaboration technologies, are proving critical for SMBs looking to reduce the costs associated with expensive travel and communication. As such, discussions around security, collaboration, storage, and enterprise application modernization will also feature heavily on the agenda during IDC's SMB Roadshow 2014.

The full schedule for the IDC SMB Roadshow 2014 in North Africa is as follows:

Casablanca – March 26

Algeria – March 31

Tunisia – May 19

Dakar– May 28

For more information about IDC's SMB Roadshow 2014 and to learn about the range of flexible partnership opportunities on offer, please contact Ms. Ouafa Kathir, country manager at IDC North & French Speaking Africa, at okathir@idc.com or on +212 522 362 524.