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Side-stepping challenges to drive digital transformation in Africa

Services, ESEA Delivery

African enterprises are increasingly looking to cloud services to limit capital expenditure and quickly scale up new services, and – even though this sector is still in its early stages of development – its impact on the continent is already far-reaching.

Moefangedi Makwaeba, Account Support Manager at HPE Africa PointNext.
Moefangedi Makwaeba, Account Support Manager at HPE Africa PointNext.

An indication of how fast cloud uptake has been on the African continent is that annual cloud services revenue has been forecast to double between 2018 and 2023, to almost $3.8 billion, a study by Xalam Analytics found.

The market report, titled “The Rise of the African Cloud” and released last year (2019), states that cloud-based services will account for about 25% of African B2B ICT spending within three years, and around a third over the long term.

At the same time, we also see a strong trend where African enterprises are not going with a single cloud vendor, but are opting for multi-cloud and hybrid cloud solutions to bring down the cost of IT infrastructure and run applications within an always-available environment.

While cloud adoption is probably the biggest trend that we are seeing on the continent, at the same time, it is also one of the biggest challenges that our customers face. This is mainly due to constraints caused by infrastructure problems such as poor internet connectivity, unstable electricity supply and a lack of large-scale data centres.

This is where we can provide tools that can be used to manage our customers’ cloud environments, designed to provide cloud management, cost control and compliance control capabilities, as well as allowing organisations to run the different cloud workloads within their own environments, without having to change their underlying technology.

Aside from infrastructure challenges, some of the biggest obstacles faced by African organisations is a shortage of skills and expertise, as well as legacy technology, which exists within most of our customer environments.

Other than that, we are also finding that a lot of customers do not have a well-defined strategy for implementing digital transformation in structured manner, having neither a plan nor a clear idea of where to start.

For this purpose, we continue to develop different types of services that are suited to the needs of our customers and our entire portfolio of services, together with the people who deliver them, within HPE and our partner ecosystem, can be leveraged to assist with a holistic digital transformation strategy implementation.

Our portfolio of services covers a host of entities – from Small to Medium Businesses (SMBs) to global entities that run multiple datacentres – and can be scaled up or down, depending on the type of services required by any particular customer.

For example, in some instances a customer may require advisory services to put together a transformation strategy, needing to establish what type of workloads to keep on-premise and what type of workload to move to the cloud – as well as what type of cloud. We can work with the customer to develop a roadmap and a strategy to do all of that and help them to implement the necessary technology together with support services to deliver on that strategy.

Over and above, we also offer tools that customers can leverage as part of our support offerings, including tools used for predictive support and maintenance that uses the power of cloud-based machine learning to drive Global Intelligence and insights for technology infrastructure environments, as well as services aimed at bridging the customer’s skills, capacity and expertise gaps. These tools can be used to out-task some day-to-day activities, by automating mundane as well as complex tasks within customers’ environments so that their key staff can focus on more important business initiatives and innovation.

While the African cloud market might still be small in global terms, there can be no doubt that the adoption of cloud computing is starting to disrupt entire industry sectors. Digital transformation could have a significantly positive impact on the African continent, boosting economic growth and industrialisation.

To read more on how HPE can assist you on your transformation journey, I have included some useful links below. I would also love to receive your feedback.

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Editorial contacts
Marketing Intern Eastern South Europe and Africa Weronika Andrukianiec +48 718 813 334
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