Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Companies in Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria are allocating more money to cloud computing to take further advantage of the benefits that come with it.

Cloud computing has taken off dramatically across Africa’s major markets. However, its benefits are experienced very differently in each region, as are its budget allocations, according to a report by World Wide Worx and F5 Networks.

Nine out of ten (90%) companies in South Africa said they had increased spending on cloud computing in 2017, and 83% said they would increase these budgets in 2018. In Nigeria, 78% said they had increased budgets in 2017 and 94% said they would increase their spending in 2018.

World Wide Worx and F5 Networks interviewed 300 executives from medium and large organisations about cloud computing usage, benefits and intentions.

Broken down by industry in South Africa, the highest proportion of increased budgeting for 2018 was reported by IT software and services companies, at 92%, followed by mining (85%) and retail trade at (83%). The biggest drop in cloud budgeting was expected by the engineering sector, with a 13% decline in planned spending.

Managing director of World Wide Worx, Arthur Goldstuck, said the use of the cloud among medium and large organisations has more than doubled, from fewer than 50% using it in 2013 to pervasive use in 2018.

"It is no longer about whether to use the cloud, but what benefits are being gained from the cloud," he said.

According to Goldstuck, respondents in Nigeria and Kenya named "business efficiency and scalability by far the most important benefit", with 80% and 75% respectively selecting it as an advantage. Only 61% of South African respondents cited it.

"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," said Goldstuck.

Almost a quarter (23%) of South African respondents see the cloud as a platform for international expansion, whereas this figure drops below one in five in Kenya (17%) and below one in ten in Nigeria (6%).