Cloud uptake set to explode across Africa
Cloud computing uptake is about to explode in Africa’s major economies, as businesses gain confidence in both the security and reliability of the Cloud.
The study was conducted among a small but representative sample of senior information technology decision-makers in medium-sized and large companies in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.
Key findings from the survey are:
While South Africa currently leads the continent in Cloud uptake, it is about to be overtaken – dramatically – by Nigeria.
In 2013, 50 percent of South African medium and large businesses are using Cloud services; while a slightly lower proportion, 48 percent, are using the Cloud in Kenya. Nigeria lag’s substantially behind, with only 36 percent of businesses there currently using the Cloud.
A significant 44 percent of Nigerian businesses say they will embrace the Cloud in the coming year, bringing the total in that country to 80 percent by the end of 2014. This compares to 24 percent of organisations in Kenya and only 16 percent in South Africa saying they will be taking up Cloud.
The survey showed that 57 percent of decision-makers across the three countries had high confidence in the security of the Cloud, while a further 34 percent were neutral – meaning they would wait and see, but were not negatively disposed towards it. Only one in 10 respondents did not trust security in the Cloud.
David Meads, Cisco’s Vice President for Africa, said: “Cloud computing is the next big step in the evolution of computing and the Internet.
“The broadband revolution sweeping Africa and the continent’s reputation for innovation add up to tremendous appetite for services that will drive this evolution.
“Looking ahead, the Internet of Everything represents the largest online trend today. As more people, things and devices connect to the Internet in Africa, more data from more places will be introduced across corporate and service provider networks, which will open up new opportunities and increased demand for the Cloud.”
Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of World Wide Worx, said: “The fact that no one is expressing doubt about the reliability of the Cloud means that the final pieces of the puzzle are falling into place. Now the Cloud becomes real in Africa.”
Cisco has also released the key findings of the third annual Cisco® Global Cloud Index (2012 – 2017), in which Cisco forecasts that global cloud traffic, the fastest growing component of data centre traffic, is expected to grow 4.5-fold from 1.2 zettabytes of annual traffic in 2012 to 5.3 zettabytes by 2017.
The Index also forecasts that through 2017, the Middle East and Africa will have the highest cloud traffic growth rate.
“People all over the world continue to demand the ability to access personal, business and entertainment content anywhere on any device, and each transaction in a virtualised, cloud environment can cause cascading effects on the network,” said Meads.
“Because of this continuing trend, we are seeing huge increases in the amount of cloud traffic globally within, between and beyond data centres over the next four years."
From a regional perspective, the Cisco Global Cloud Index predicts that through 2017, the Middle East and Africa will have the highest cloud traffic growth rate (57 percent CAGR), followed by Asia Pacific (43 percent CAGR) and Central and Eastern Europe (36 percent CAGR).
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.