[Africa Cloud Review] Simon Ngunjiri: Cloud adoption has reached new heights

Driven in part by the pandemic, cloud computing adoption across Africa has reached new heights. Globally, Enterprise spending on cloud infrastructure bypassed spending on data center hardware and software for the first time in 2020 according to the latest data from Synergy Research Group.

The data shows that enterprise spending on cloud infrastructure services (IaaS, PaaS, and hosted private cloud combined) grew by 35% to reach almost $130 billion in 2020, while enterprise spending on data center hardware and software dropped by 6% to less than $90 billion over the same period.

In Africa,  mass movement to remote work and increasing uptake of digital communications tools has led to increased adoption of cloud. ID had already predicted this rise to happen in 2021 noting that Migration to cloud will help fuel a 2.8% growth in IT spending in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey this year, after a slump due to the pandemic.

This migration has certainly revolutionized the way African enterprises conduct their businesses, offering various benefits such as cost-effective access to computing power, on-demand applications, and services among others. Cloud-based office applications have increasingly become vital components of the African modern workplace. 

In 2020, IT spending was hit hard by the pandemic and declined by 4.9% in the META region, according to IDC. The crisis caused by the pandemic, though, appears to have accelerated plans for digital transformation and related projects such as migration to cloud technology.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic fallout has accelerated digital transformation across the region, spurring unprecedented demand for contactless services, cloud solutions, and collaboration applications,” Jyoti Lalchandani, vice president and regional managing director at IDC says.

Spending on public cloud services in the region according to IDC will grow 26.7% to top $3.7 billion. Spending on SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS will grow 24.5%, 30.6%, and 30.7%, respectively, according to the company. In addition, spending on professional cloud services will grow rapidly to total $1.6 billion.

Hybrid cloud has specifically provided enterprises in Africa with a trusted and capable foundation to adapt to changing market needs.  Hybrid cloud offers business and IT leaders the chance to meet changing business demands head-on. While continuity and business resilience are fundamental, improving customer experiences and growing revenues still features highly on the list of business objectives.

Simon Ngunjiri Muraya is Google Cloud Architect at Incentro Africa.

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