Technology

Cloud computing is changing the nature of information technology (IT) in the mining industry because it is fast, user-friendly and cheap
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Computing is undergoing a seismic shift from the current client/server configuration to the so-called cloud. This shift is equal in importance and impact to the transition from mainframe to client/server. IT leaders need a clear vision of where the industry is heading. In short, what are the economic imperatives that will drive our transition to the cloud?

Triniti Business Solutions, a Portfolio, Programme, and Project Management (PPPM) firm and software solutions provider to mines, underwent this transition, providing Cloud optimised platform as a service (PaaS) and aligned its mining solutions as a Software as a Solution (SaaS) offering. The Saas PPPM solution was successfully implemented on the Cloud platform, using Microsoft SharePoint 2010 technology, at Modikwa Mines, according to Valerie Carmichael-Brown, CEO of Triniti Business Solutions.

In the ever-changing world of technology, CIO’s and IT teams often find themselves unsure of the correct IT strategy to implement. One of the key questions often put to Triniti’s consulting team is: “How do we know that the Cloud is the best investment for us? Is it here to stay? And most importantly, what is Microsoft strategy to deal with cloud computing?” 

According to Microsoft’s Gareth Jane, Windows Azure, adheres to the five essential characteristics of the Cloud platform. It is “an open and flexible cloud platform that enables you to quickly build, deploy and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed data centres. You can build applications using any language, tool or framework. And you can integrate your public cloud applications with your existing IT environment.” 

South African companies are starting to use the platform, which will be available commercially in SouthAfrica soon. In the process they are starting to realise the cost, performance and management benefits associated with leveraging Cloud computing as an application platform.

According to the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Cloud computing is “a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources such as networks, servers, storage, applications and services. These can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model is composed of five essential characteristics: on-demand self-service,  broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity and measured service.

So, is cloud computing here to stay? “People were skeptical at first and they viewed the invention  of motor vehicles in the early 20th century. However, by the 1920s there were already 8 million cars in use. Today there are over 600 million.


“What the early pioneers failed to realise was that profound reductions in the cost and complexity of operating cars and a dramatic increase in its importance in daily life would overwhelm prior misgivings. Similarly, cloud promises to not only provide cheaper IT, but also faster, easier, more flexible and more effective IT,” says  Jane.

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