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Appropriate Communication Infrastructure Development and Consumer Legislations Central to Growth in Cloud Services
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The study provides information about the cloud market in West Africa. Ghana and Nigeria are the countries that have been analyzed in great detail. According to Frost & Sullivan, the cloud services market in West Africa is in the early stages of development, with international brands dominating the supply side. Local ICT providers are positioning themselves as intermediaries for global providers. Operators are leveraging their infrastructure to offer reliable cloud services, thus intensifying competition for cloud service providers.While the global cloud market is more established because of the rise in the adoption of hybrid cloud, West African markets are in need of regulatory policies to boost the use of cloud services. Key concerns for cloud and data centre providers are lack of access to electricity and trade policy issues.Mature cloud markets have shifted their focus to SaaS, while West Africa is still developing IaaS. Cloud customers prefer local cloud providers to international providers, as they are more familiar with local data sovereignty issues. As economic growth is relatively low, the demand for cost-saving applications will increase.While the global cloud market is more established because of the rise in the adoption of hybrid cloud models, the West African market is in need of regulatory clarity to boost the use of cloud services, along with increased awareness of cloud service benefits. Telecommunications providers are leveraging their existing infrastructure to deliver cloud services and diversify their revenue base away from traditional voice and messaging revenues.To promote the adoption of cloud services in West Africa, changes from economic to the regulatory side are required, as well as increased reach of the Internet that is affordable. Infrastructure, legislation, and human resources have been identified to be the 3 enablers of cloud services impacting growth and the competitive landscape.To conclude, reliability and stability of solutions such as cloud is more of the key criteria for large enterprises than it is for the small ones. This has been especially cited by large financial service providers in Nigeria. Furthermore, while cost was found to be a key selection criterion across different sectors, it was found to be more pertinent for small enterprises. Discounted bundled communications and hosting solutions can appeal more to SMEs. Finally, local support was found to be a key priority, especially for manufacturing and retail in Nigeria, as they typically outsource a large portion of their IT. BFS primarily look for local hosting and best local support for their security services.Author: Naila Govan-Vassen
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