Spending on cloud computing has sharply increased in Africa and is set to rise further.
The Cloud Africa 2018 report, a research project conducted by Arthur Goldstuck’s World Wide Worx for F5 Networks, came to this conclusion after researching the innovation in three of the continent’s major economies – South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.
Cloud computing is when a network of remote servers hosted on the internet to store, manage and process data is used instead of a local server or a personal computer.
Goldstuck said that the project involved interviewing 300 information technology decision makers in the three countries – 200 interviews were held in South Africa, and there were 50 each in Nigeria and Kenya.
Cloud computing has taken off dramatically across Africa’s major markets. The use of the cloud among medium and large organisations has more than doubled in the past five years.
In 2013, fewer than 50% of companies surveyed used cloud computing, but now it’s pervasive in the surveyed countries, Goldstuck said.
Over the past year, the majority of companies surveyed in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria had increased their spend on the cloud.
In Kenya, 90.4% of the surveyed companies had increased their cloud spend in the past year, while in Nigeria, 78% of companies interviewed had hiked their cloud spending. In South Africa, 74% of the companies surveyed had upped their cloud expenditure.
In the year ahead, 98% of Kenyan companies interviewed will look to increase their spend on cloud computing, followed by 94% for Nigerian companies and 83% for South African companies.
The key cloud computing providers that companies in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria are using include Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Oracle Cloud, Amazon Web Services, IBM Cloud and Dell Technologies’ VMware.
In these countries, cloud computing improved business efficiency and operational flexibility, and resulted in cost savings.
Some of the major benefits of cloud computing include improved customer service, space to innovate and the ability to expand internationally.
“Internationally, the cloud is ideal for establishing a global footprint. In these three markets, benefits are being recognised, but are a long way from being a priority. The cloud is here, but is not yet being used to its full benefit,” Goldstuck said.
The survey shows that the cloud is having the biggest impact across the three countries when it comes to companies improving their market share, he said.
Simon McCullough, the channel manager at F5 Networks, said security was key when it came to cloud computing.* Sign up to Fin24's top news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO FIN24 NEWSLETTER