Vanguard (Lagos)

23 December 2013

Africa: Cloud Explosion - Nigeria to Overtake South Africa in 2014 - Report

Research study across organisations in three major African countries namely: South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya has revealed that Nigeria will overtake South Africa in Cloud uptake by 2014, with considerable investments about to be made in the sector.

This was the key finding of the Cloud in Africa: Reality Check 2013 research study1, released by World Wide Worx and Cisco.

The report said this will be possible following an explosion of Cloud computing uptake expected to take place in Africa's major economies, as businesses gain confidence in both the security and reliability of the Cloud in these countries.

South Africa currently leads the continent in Cloud Computing including Nigeria and Kenya, which trail behind with wide percentage margin.

The study was conducted among a small but representative sample of senior information technology decision-makers in medium-sized and large companies in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

Survey Key Findings

The most significant finding from the study was that, while South Africa currently leads the continent in Cloud uptake, it is about to be overtaken by Nigeria with a wide margin.

In 2013, 50 per cent South African medium and large businesses were using Cloud services; while a slightly lower proportion of 48 percent are using the Cloud in Kenya.

Nigeria lags substantially behind the two countries with only 36 per cent of businesses currently using the Cloud. A significant 44 per cent of Nigerian businesses during the study said they will embrace the Cloud in the coming year, bringing the total in the country to 80 per cent by the end of 2014.

This compares to 24 percent of organisations in Kenya and only 16 per cent in South Africa, saying they will be taking up Cloud in 2014.

According to the study, the key to the rapid adoption of Cloud computing in Nigeria and Kenya was found in the growing confidence that IT decision-makers have in the environment. "Even where confidence is not high, distrust in Cloud has almost entirely disappeared," revealed the report.

The survey showed that 57 per cent of decision-makers across the three countries had high confidence in the security of the Cloud, while a further 34 per cent were neutral, meaning they would wait and see, but were not negatively disposed towards it. Only one in 10 respondents said they did not trust security in the Cloud.

An even higher level of confidence was expressed in the reliability of the Cloud: 73 percent of respondents across the three countries expressed high confidence, while most of the rest, 25 per cent were neutral on reliability.

Private Cloud is the most popular in 2013 with 25 percent or organisations surveyed currently deploying this compared to 13 per cent opting for Hybrid Cloud and only, with about seven per cent of companies opting for the Public Cloud.

In 2014, this trend is expected to continue with 32 per cent of companies opting for the Private Cloud compared to 18 per cent for Hybrid Cloud and 16 per cent for Public Cloud.

The most popular category for cloud use today according the report is storage, with 28 per cent of companies followed by 10 per cent of companies surveyed.

Cisco's Vice President for Africa, David Meads, said "Cloud computing is the next big step in the evolution of computing and the Internet. The broadband revolution sweeping Africa and the continent's reputation for innovation add up to tremendous appetite for services that will drive this evolution.

"Looking ahead, the Internet of "Everything represents the largest online trend today. As more people, things and devices connect to the Internet in Africa, more data from more places will be introduced across corporate and service provider networks, which will open up new opportunities and increased demand for the Cloud,"

For the Managing Director of World Wide Worx, Arthur Goldstuck, the fact that no one is expressing doubt about the reliability of the Cloud means that the final pieces of the puzzle are falling into place. Now the Cloud becomes real in Africa.

Cisco Global Cloud Index Projected Cloud traffic is expected to dominate data centres in the third annual Cisco Global Cloud Index (2012 - 2017).

The projection also forecasted that global cloud traffic, the fastest growing component of data centre traffic, is expected to grow 4.5-fold - a 35 percent combined annual growth rate from 1.2 zettabytes of annual traffic in 2012 to 5.3 zettabytes by 2017.

It further indicated that about 17 percent of data center traffic in the world will be fueled by end users accessing clouds for web surfing, video streaming, collaboration and connected devices, all of which contribute to the Internet of Everything, which is the networked connection of people, data, process and things.

"People all over the world continue to demand the ability to access personal, business and entertainment content anywhere on any device and each transaction in a virtualized, cloud environment can cause cascading effects on the network.

"Because of this continuing trend, we are seeing huge increases in the amount of cloud traffic globally within, between and beyond data centres over the next four years," said Meads.

From a regional perspective, the Cisco Global Cloud Index predicts that through 2017, the Middle East and Africa will have the highest cloud traffic growth rate of 57 percent followed by Asia Pacific with 43 percent and Central and Eastern Europe with 36 percent.

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