It may be relatively early days for cloud computing, but this rapidly evolving technology is already changing the face of business and personal computing. And the need is clear: organisations are facing  a data explosion of gargantuan proportions, and cloud computing offers a solution.

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Inana Nkanza" style="margin: 0 10px 10px 0;" src="" />Inana Nkanza, Country Manager of EMC Southern Africa, says if growth continues at its present rate, we  will have 44 times more data in 2020 than we did in 2009.

“In today’s rapidly changing world, businesses are seeking greater agility in their decision-making and  operational processes. The advent of private cloud computing provides an unprecedented opportunity  to deliver the IT agility that organisations require,” Nkanza says.

“Cloud computing isn’t shaped like - or used like - the traditional computing model of the past. Cloud  architectures allow users to access virtual pools of IT resources - from compute to network to storage -  when they need them and, thus, achieve shared efficiency and agility.”

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EMC is a global leader in enabling business and service providers to transform their operations and deliver IT as a service. Fundamental to this transformation is cloud computing.

Through innovative products and services, EMC accelerates the journey to cloud computing, helping IT  departments to store, manage, protect and analyse their most valuable asset – information – in a more  agile, trusted and cost-efficient way.

Made possible by the advent of sophisticated automation, provisioning, and virtualisation technologies,  the cloud computing model breaks the ties between users’ applications and the physical servers and  storage systems required to run those applications. Instead, users tap into aggregated resources as they need them. Cloud infrastructure can be provided as a public cloud (IT resources shared by multiple  clients) or private cloud (IT resources, whether external or internal, controlled and managed by the IT  organisation).

With cloud computing, technology is made available to businesses in a scalable manner and as a  service, when they need it. This speeds up time-to-market, removes traditional barriers to entry and  allows companies to exploit new market opportunities. This ‘business creation’, as a direct result of  cloud computing, will have a profound effect on the market structure of many sectors as increases and, thus, on global macroeconomic performance, according to Nkanza.

“Cloud computing will be a significant driver of economic growth, competitiveness and business creation. This technology will have an important role in the recovery of the economy,” he says.

In November 2009, EMC formed a coalition with VMware and to accelerate the adoption of  converged infrastructure and cloud-based computing models, and to offer customers tightly integrated  solutions which dramatically lower IT costs and reduce time to market. There will be more information  about this exciting partnership later on in iWeek’s series on cloud computing. A recent survey by   reveals increased awareness of the rapidly maturing cloud services market. The survey indicates that  adoption of cloud computing in South Africa is comparable to that of Western Europe.

The leading workloads for adoption are very similar in both markets: collaboration applications,   applications, and email. “There’s no doubt that South African organisations are turning to the cloud for  efficient, dynamic, and scalable IT resources,” Nkanza says. “South African CIOs are better informed  about this fast-moving market and have become more ready to start making commitments in the cloud  space.

As iWeek’s cloud computing series unfolds, we will explore the ways in which EMC can assist readers  and their organisations by accelerating their journey to the cloud.”

Register now and join us at the EMC Forum 2011 on the 4th August at World, Midrand. You  will have the opportunity to learn how cloud computing is transforming IT and discover new ways to  accelerate the journey to your cloud for increased IT efficiency and greater business agility. Also learn  how “Big Data” is transforming business and changing the world.