South Africa to lead cloud adoption race in the continent

As the battle between international cloud providers intensifies, Africa’s cloud market is starting to gain traction with many enterprise customers seeking access to the cloud and associated services.

Andrew Cruise, managing director, Routed, a neutral cloud infrastructure provider, says that there is increasing pressure from enterprise clients to access cloud services: ”This has resulted in added pressure on the managed service provider (MSP) channel who need to meet these evolving requirements.”

In its Rise of the African Cloud Report, Xalam Analytics says that Africa is a market they consider truly cloud ready. Together with countries such as Mauritius, Kenya, Morocco and Tunisia, South Africa has good underlying cloud-enabling infrastructure with awareness of cloud services growing within the enterprise.

According to Cruise, South Africa is perfectly placed to foster the rapid development of cloud services. What will impact the growth of this sector will be the level and rate of awareness and adoption across a variety of key sectors: “The platform has been established and we need to ensure that the channel is able to accelerate cloud adoption and build viable momentum.”

He says that the onus is therefore on the channel to upskill and find solutions to meet the now increasing demand from the enterprise. Top line revenue for cloud services, which is estimated to be $1,7b according to Xalam Analytics, is estimated to double by 2023, making it one of the fastest-growing segments in the African ICT market: “Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) will feature as one of the top revenue services within cloud. The adoption levels are low at between 30 to 40 percent.  Once the channel understands the value of an IaaS approach, we anticipate significant growth of these services as well as overall enterprise cloud adoption.”

South Africa accounts for 75 percent of Africa’s total cloud revenue. Cruise says that 60% of the continent’s enterprise ICT services revenues are generated in South Africa, making the country a vital cog in the continent’s cloud wheel: “We are playing such an important role in the evolution of Africa’s cloud. All players need to commit to building a resilient and strong cloud market across Africa. Understanding the options available and the relevant players will be one of the important steps along this journey.”

Featured Image: Andrew Cruise Routed  Cloud presentation at Teraco in Isando.19 November 2019 Photograph: John Hogg

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to

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