South African Businesses see the Cloud as a Platform for International Expansion

14 Aug

While Cloud computing has experienced a very real boom across African markets in recent years, its benefits are experienced rather differently.

A recent research project, known as Cloud Africa 2018, conducted by World Wide Worx on behalf of F5 Network (F5), found some interesting findings regarding three key players in the African market: Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

Through this research project, critical decision-makers from 300 medium-large organisations were interviewed regarding their findings on Cloud computing for their business and its benefits.

The use of Cloud technology has found firm grounding throughout African markets. F5 Network’s intention is now to assess how beneficial this technology is to various companies and why.

The benefits, usage and intentions of cloud technology heavily depend on the dynamics across each African market. Therefore the various findings, although interesting, did not come as a surprise to F5.

With this in mind, how did South African markets fair in the findings?

When it comes to business efficiency and scalability, it appears this is not as much a priority to South African businesses than Kenyan and Nigerian markets. What seems to be most beneficial about Cloud technology to the South African market is the time-to-market of their products. 68% of South African businesses cited this as the most prominent benefit of Cloud technology for business. In contrast, only 48% of companies in Kenya and 28% in Nigeria named this as a key benefit.

The reason for this? South Africa has a far more mature IT landscape and, as such, the focus among South African businesses is on their competition, rather than the business itself. To this end, over a quarter of South African companies (23%) believe that Cloud technology is a way to harness international expansion.

Experts believe that most companies take the benefits of international expansion and establishing a global footprint through Cloud technology for granted by the African market as the concept is only now just beginning to gain recognition. Most significantly so by South African businesses.

Why is this concept slow to catch on in other African markets?

In Kenyan and Nigerian markets, the concept of international expansion as a benefit is ranked as low as just 17% in Kenya and 6% in Nigeria. Using Cloud technology as a platform for innovation is also ranked low at just 15% across all three African markets. But why?

As previously mentioned, the IT landscape in both Kenya and Nigeria is still a little behind the rest of the world. Essentially, Cloud technology has landed on their shores, but the full spectrum of benefits have yet to be harnessed.

World Wide Worx Managing Director, Arthur Goldstuck, reflects:

“Ultimately, the cloud is about better ways of doing business. That is reflected in cloud priorities and budgets across Africa.”

While the South African market appears to be a little ahead in making the most out of Cloud technology, there is still much to learn – but at least we are on the right track!

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