Africa may be the mother of innovation, but the continent is still not innovating on the Cloud.
“There is a tremendous amount of innovation happening in Africa, but it’s not yet leveraging the Cloud to the extent that it could,” says World Wide Worx’s Arthur Goldstuck.
Cloud computing refers to the use of remote servers on the internet to host, store, manage and process data as opposed to doing so on a personal computer.
Goldstuck says this is one of the reasons African innovation is not getting to the world on the scale or the speed that it could.
Research by World Wide Worx (WWW), commissioned by global networking application company F5, reveals how the use of cloud computing by medium and large organisations has more than doubled between 2013 and 2018.
“So we’ve seen it [cloud computing] go from being a differentiator or something that is regarded as cutting edge to something that is not just main stream, but it’s pervasive,” says Goldstuck.
In Silicon Valley, cloud computing is one of the leaders of innovation, says Goldstuck.
He says though there is growth in the amount of innovation happening on the cloud, only one in ten companies in Kenya and Nigeria and a quarter of companies in South Africa see cloud based innovation as a benefit.
“However, when we ask them what has been the impact of the cloud on innovation, we see massive impact in Nigeria in particular. So once they make the cloud available or once they become a part of the cloud the business functions, you see that there is in fact a major impact on innovation,” says Goldstuck.
[Watch] SABC Digital News chats to Arthur Goldstuck about innovation on the Cloud in Africa.
Goldstruck says the research revealed the extent to which every country is different in its use of the cloud.
“Across Africa we like to say Africa is not a country. What this research says is that Cloud is also not a country. So the main benefits of Cloud were different in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa,” says Goldstuck.
In Nigeria and Kenya, businesses named “Business efficiency and Scalability” as the most important cloud benefits with 80% and 75% respectively.
Fewer businesses, 61%, South African cited “Business efficiency and Scalability” as the most important.
“The opposite happened with the most important benefit among South Africans: Time-to-market or speed of deployment came in as the most prominent, at 68% of respondents. In contrast, only 48% of companies in Kenya and 28% in Nigeria named it as a key benefit,” notes WWW.
The need for improvement in performance and performance in general was stated as the biggest need by organisations in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.
“Clearly in any given country, there are still drawbacks, there are still things that frustrate customers about businesses. The cloud helps a lot of these businesses overcome these drawbacks,” says Goldstuck.
He says companies in Kenya and Nigeria, where there had been a lot of infrastructure drawbacks, the cloud allows companies to leapfrog most obstacles and service their customers better.
F5 notes how it hopes the research will help educate the public about the cloud, cloud computing and the options available.
Top Applications in African counties
When companies were asked which Applications (Apps) they deemed as the most important, 68% of Nigerian companies and 67% of Kenyan companies said Service Apps were critical.
Only 40% of South African companies considered Service Apps as the most important.
South African companies deemed Human resources (HR) Apps as the more important compared to the Nigeria and Kenya.
“43% of South African respondents named HR apps as critical to business, compared to 19% in Kenya and 10% in Nigeria,” notes the study.
View Cloud Africa 2018 Report