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Africa prepared to fork out more for cloud

By , Portals editor
Kenya , Africa , South Africa , 15 Feb 2023

84% of respondents in Kenya increased their spending on cloud services.

A significant portion of businesses South Africa have managed to align their budget allocation for cloud with actual spend, which reflects a mature cloud market. This as other countries in Africa, including Kenya and Nigeria, are becoming increasingly cognisant of the benefits of cloud in business. Cloud adoption is on the rise.

This is among the finalised insights of the Cloud in Africa 2023 study, published by Arthur Goldstuck, CEO of World Wide Worx, in partnership with Dell Technologies, VMware, Intel, F5 and Red Hat, discussed at a Red Hat event in Johannesburg this week.

The study engaged corporates and medium-sized business from seven African countries.

Research confirmed that service portfolio, quality of service, data sovereignty and skills availability continue to influence cloud services and adoption in Africa. At the top of the list of considerations is cloud cost exceeding budget.

World Wide Worx CEO Arthur Goldstuck.
World Wide Worx CEO Arthur Goldstuck.

Goldstuck underlined a key takeaway, that virtually all businesses approached for the study are in the cloud and there is more to be gained from adoption, than not.

But is this a race for cloud dominance on the continent? No, according to experts, rather this is about markets in Africa that are reaching varying levels of cloud maturity and an acceptance by the continent that cloud adoption has certain benefits.

Research shows that when questioned about cloud’s impact on customer experience, 64.3% answered that it had an extremely positive impact, while 32.3% said the impact was somewhat positive. Only 3.2% of respondents said there was no impact.

From a country-specific point of view, the study looked to find out the level of impact as a result of cloud innovation. Against a benchmark average of 42%, South Africa was above with 65%, followed by Zambia with 52% and Malawi with 44%.

Additionally, when asked about the level of growth attributed to cloud migration, 51% of respondents in South Africa confirmed this, followed by 46% in Kenya, 45% in Zambia and 44% in Ghana.

Goldstuck points out that the statistics have to be considered in the context of cloud spend by countries during COVID-19 and post-pandemic. He said that South Africa, for example, already had established an advanced cloud market by the time Kenya began directing more investment into the cloud.

As ITWeb reports, part of the reasons behind Kenya’s increase in spend on cloud services, according to Goldstuck, is the influx of datacentres and an increase in cloud platforms available to the country.

ITWeb quotes Goldstuck, “South Africa comes significantly below Kenya and below the average with 55%. Part of the reason for that is SA has had a fairly mature cloud environment for some years now. So, there doesn’t appear to be a massive driver - certainly last year - to invest further, and in particular because this country was one of the biggest investors in additional cloud services during the pandemic. This is a bit of response to the intensive spending that occurred during the pandemic.”

A surprise for the researchers was while 61% of surveyed organisations increased their spend on cloud in 2022, a higher percentage (69%) said they expect to increase spend on cloud services this year.

“Which goes to show that markets in Africa are realising the benefits of cloud,” said Goldstuck.

The stats back this statement up. 56.6% of organisations surveyed list improved security as their top benefit, 43.9% name improved customer service, while 41.2% mention business efficiency and for 40.7% its scalability.

There are benefits, clearly, but what is it that businesses look for in potential cloud service providers? Research points to ongoing quality of service as the main selection criteria.

In Ghana, this is the case for 76% of respondents, in Malawi the figure stands at 67% and in Kenya it is 58%.

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