[Africa Cloud Review] Simon Ngunjiri: Cloud Infrastructure Spending in Africa is on the rise

Enterprises have been moving to the cloud as more increasingly rely on it other than on-premise data centres. While the trend continues to grow day by day, it is not until last year that spending on cloud infrastructure surpassed on-premise data centres — and by a large margin. This is according to a new report from Synergy Research Group.

Spending on cloud infrastructure grew by 35 per cent to reach almost $130 billion in 2020. At the same time, enterprises reduced spending on data centre hardware and software by 6 per cent to $89 billion.

The report indicates how enterprises are increasingly depending on cloud infrastructure, as spending has been on an uptrend since 2010. By 2019, the spending almost equalled enterprise spending on data centres, but the pandemic has helped catapult the cloud shift.

In Africa, cloud remains a key part in shaping how Africa will grow when it comes to technological infrastructure and ostensibly goes beyond basic office applications. From banks looking to accelerate the rollout of new applications to startups disrupting entire industries with innovative, cloud-powered models, cloud services are transforming Africa’s productive capacity and emerging as one of the most essential pillars of Africa’s digital transformation.

Recently, Incentro Africa, an IT service provider became the first in Africa to achieve the Google Cloud Partner “Work Transformation” Specialization, in the Google Cloud Partner Specialization Program. French-based technology firm, Fieldcloud also joined the Smart Africa Alliance. Smart Africa is an alliance of 31 African countries, international organisations and global private sector players tasked with Africa’s digital agenda. Box, Inc., the Content Cloud, announced that Sebastien Marotte will be joining the Box Executive team as President of Box Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), effective June 7, 2021.

This and all other news around cloud in Africa shows a clear direction Africa is taking with cloud.  In fact, market research company IDC says investments in digital transformation and cloud technology will help drive a 2.8% increase in spending on IT this year in the META market (Middle East, Turkey and Africa), to a total of $77.5 billion, after a decline in 2020.

Moving to the cloud as Shanon Ramdaw, the Business Development Manager – Infor Services at iOCO, Infor’s Gold Partner in Africa notes, allows organisations to dedicate their time and energy into their area of speciality. Utilising on-site EAM solutions, he says means time and money spent on updating and managing this system. With a cloud-based system, this management time is practically erased, allowing for more time to focus on pivotal business processes that generate revenue for the organisation.

Bottom line, as we highlighted in our Africa Cloud Review column last week, cloud computing remains a key part in shaping how Africa will grow when it comes to technological infrastructure.

Simon Ngunjiri Muraya is Google Cloud Architect at Incentro Africa

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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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