Introducing Incentro Africa Google Bootcamp: Now available online for free

Incentro and Digicloud have organized a Google bootcamp for both professionals and students. The bootcamp will be run by Google certified engineers and architects from both Kenya and South Africa.

Successful students at the end of the program will sit for an exam and get Google Cloud Certified – attaining one of the most coveted industry recognition, allowing them to validate their expertise and take their careers to the next level. Incentro will also provide the successful candidates with an opportunity to join the team for at the Nairobi office, that will deliver great Google Cloud solutions to the African market.

See program details in the attachments below:

Google Cloud Architect/Security Engineer
Google Collaboration Engineer

This bootcamp is perfect for both undergraduates pursuing an I.T. related degree or diploma or an I.T. professional looking to advance their careers.

Interested?

Sign up by completing these exams and forward the results to googlebootcamp@incentro.com.

Registration closes on 15th September.

See you online! 

For any questions reach out to Matthew Munyiri – matthew.munyiri@incentro.com.

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[Column] Todd Schoeman: Choosing cloud can cut your security risks

It may seem counterintuitive, but organisations can better guard against today’s constant wave of security threats – or at least reduce some of their risk burden – by accelerating their move to the cloud, rather than stalling it. Simply put, using public cloud services shifts some of the responsibility for the underlying infrastructure onto the providers. And all of them are highly motivated to keep on top of security.

Furthermore, public cloud environments attract greater scrutiny from vulnerability-hunters than private ones do, and this bolsters the fight to stay protected. The way your organisation runs patching in the cloud can also make security easier, as some aspects can be shifted to the provider altogether and others can take place without impacting your service availability.

This last point about patching is particularly important. The statistics on the root cause of major incidents that used software vulnerabilities to succeed show that it’s common to see exploits of vulnerabilities that are more than 12-months old. In fact, almost half of the organisations who had a data breach in the last two years said it had occurred because a patch was available but not applied, according to research from Ponemon/IBM.

This tells us that, even though organisations know that patching is important, many are ignoring specific, non-critical risks and instead are choosing to keep their software several releases behind the latest version. There are many understandable reasons for this – such as a lack of capacity for testing, concerns about service interruptions or simply being overwhelmed by the sheer number of patches released by vendors. But moving to the cloud is an opportunity to change this pattern without incurring any of these less desirable results.

When you work in the cloud you can shift the accountability for patching some aspects of your infrastructure to your service providers. Often, they use software-defined mechanisms for patching which don’t interrupt your services. You may not even notice updates happening.

Equally, where you’re using cloud to run software that you’re accountable for, there are ways to keep critical services up to date more easily. You can use the elasticity of cloud to take individual components out of service without impacting availability – if they’re designed correctly.

Patching alone, however, is not enough to protect against attack. It’s common for the attackers to set up alternative access methods in preparation for the next stage in the intrusion to achieve persistence or maintain their foothold. When an organisation is dealing with ‘a hole in the fence’, such as the 2021 Microsoft Exchange Server vulnerabilities, of course patching is important. But that’s not the only thing to do, or even the most important element.

Understanding whether you have been compromised in any way is critical. In general, the large common cloud systems bring two clear positives. First, that such systems are public and accessible to all, and second, that the incentive to fix them if something goes wrong is very high. Often, this makes them safer than personal or organisation-specific cloud systems.

One of the key strengths for the cloud provider’s defending team is the responsible disclosure process, where researchers from the security research community give the vendor advance notice of their findings (typically three months). This gives the vendor time to investigate the issue and issue a fix. Then the researcher can go public with their work.

Secondly, with so many of their customers reliant on shared common systems, the pressure on vendors to fix their systems – either proactively before an attack, or very quickly afterwards – is immense.

To gain real advantage from operating in a cloud-based world, though, organisations need to re-imagine their solutions, building them out of reusable Platform as a Service (PaaS) components or Software as a Service (SaaS) modules. No matter where you are on your journey to the cloud or what your current level of cyber maturity is, it’s important to start by recognising two factors:

  • Securing the cloud is not the same as securing your own infrastructure
  • Traditional security architectures don’t translate well to an edge-based, connect-from-anywhere, cloud-first model.

Additionally, it’s important to understand that not all the risks and responsibilities shift to the cloud provider. For example, you will still need to bring in external tools and services to assess and report on the security of your cloud services, while continuing to keep a clear overview of where and how your data and assets are stored.

We’re as such not advocating a ‘rip and replace’ strategy to hitch your organisation to the latest security technology bandwagon. It’s important to realise that many of your existing security controls will remain effective. Rather, you should focus on the gaps that are a priority for your organisation and leverage a move to the cloud to secure these.

Todd Schoeman is the BT Client Business Director in South Africa.

Global cloud computing services industry to reach $937.5 billion by 2027, report

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the global market for Cloud Computing Services estimated at $313.1 Billion in the 2020, is projected to reach a revised size of $937.5 Billion by 2027, growing at a Compound annual growth rate, CAGR, of 17% over the analysis period 2020-2027.

Infrastructure as a Service, one of the segments analyzed in the report, is projected to record a 18.4% CAGR and reach US$449.3 Billion by the end of the analysis period. 

After an early analysis of the business implications of the pandemic and its induced economic crisis, growth in the Platform as a Service segment is readjusted to a revised 16.2% CAGR for the next 7-year period.

The Cloud Computing Services market in the U.S. is estimated at US$84.2 Billion in the year 2020. China, the world’s second largest economy, is forecast to reach a projected market size of US$222.5 Billion by the year 2027 trailing a CAGR of 22.1% over the analysis period 2020 to 2027. 

Among the other noteworthy geographic markets are Japan and Canada, each forecast to grow at 12% and 15.1% respectively over the 2020-2027 period. Within Europe, Germany is forecast to grow at approximately 13.4% CAGR.

In the global Software as a Service segment, USA, Canada, Japan, China and Europe will drive the 14.2% CAGR estimated for this segment. These regional markets accounting for a combined market size of US$57.7 Billion in the year 2020 will reach a projected size of US$145.7 Billion by the close of the analysis period.

China will remain among the fastest growing in this cluster of regional markets. Led by countries such as Australia, India, and South Korea, the market in Asia-Pacific is forecast to reach US$145.6 Billion by the year 2027, while Latin America will expand at a 16.8% CAGR through the analysis period.

www.researchandmarkets.com

Standard bank selects TCS BaNCS cloud for digital claims transformation in short term insurance

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a global IT services, consulting and business solutions organization, announced that Standard Bank’s short-term insurance business in South Africa has selected TCS BaNCS™ Cloud for Insurance to power its digital claims transformation and reaffirm its leadership in the region.

TCS BaNCS Cloud for Insurance will be offered on a SaaS model on AWS Cloud and will help the insurer harmonize more than 60 products spread across four claims administration platforms, enabling faster and accurate claims processing. The solution will also integrate with 16 different downstream applications including the enterprise GL system, payment gateway, CRM, business intelligence solutions, as well as all other peripheral systems identified in Standard Bank Insurance’s technology roadmap.

Combined with a cloud-first approach, a faster claims processing engine and high configurability, the solution will help Standard Bank Insurance improve operational efficiency and streamline claims management. TCS BaNCS APIs will help Standard Bank Insurance connect to ancillary systems easily and offer personalized experiences to their customers. Additionally, TCS’ analytics and data-driven insights tool will help in decreasing customer churn and speed up decision-making related to claims settlements.

Dr Nolwandle Mqoqi, Head of Insurance, Standard Bank South Africa, said, “Customer satisfaction and loyalty are of utmost importance to us and with TCS BaNCS Cloud for Insurance’s SaaS-based solution, we expect to vastly improve policy holder claims experiences, deliver superior performance in a secure environment and benefit from the scale that a highly configurable solution offers. We have been a leading cloud adopter in the region and selecting TCS BaNCS Cloud as one of the partners is the next step in this journey. Availing TCS’ analytics tool for intelligent insights, we will approach product innovation differently, take advantage of new opportunities and deliver differentiated customer experiences.”
R Vivekanand, Co-Head, TCS Financial Solutions. TCS cherishes the over 20-year relationship with the Standard Bank Group and our long-standing commitment to the South African financial services industry. We are pleased to be selected as the strategic partner to the company for this engagement. TCS BaNCS Cloud for Insurance will help Standard Bank’s short-term insurance enhance customer experience, reduce operational risk, improve claims efficiencies, and take advantage of emerging opportunities by seamlessly collaborating with an extended innovation ecosystem of insurtechs. This claims transformation sets up Standard Bank well for its next leg of thought leadership and client-centered delivery in the South African market.”

TCS BaNCS Cloud for Insurance is an end-to-end rules-driven core insurance platform spanning capabilities in underwriting, customer policy servicing, claim processing, co-insurance, finance, reporting and branch operations across P&C, Health and Life insurance businesses.
This SaaS offering has been adopted by banks and financial institutions of varying sizes across the globe for its future-ready digital architecture, functionality, business agility and operational efficiency.

Its proven application architecture ensures anytime, anywhere digital access, scalability, resilience, high performance, and compliance. Cloud agnostic, it ensures that customers gain from a standardized and consistent platform.

With a predictable and committed roadmap, systematic regulatory updates, and a complete operational model it provides customers with the reassurance to concentrate on their core competencies rather than on building and maintaining costly IT infrastructure. TCS BaNCS Cloud handles over 100 million transactions per month for more than 220 customers across the world.

www.tcs.com

www.standardbank.com

[Africa Cloud Review] Simon Ngunjiri: Africa is suited to jump to the cloud more than its peers

The speed at which Africa’s business sector has changed over the past year has been nothing short of astonishing. Business leaders have had their hands full, from enabling remote work on a previously unprecedented scale to adapting to disruptions among many other things. At the center of this change is cloud.

Before the pandemic hit, a number of businesses in Africa were at different stages of their cloud strategies, whether that meant moving their email server to the cloud or upgrading to Google cloud or Microsoft 365. This process has been accelerated as many workers were forced to work remotely.

According to a Synergy Research Group survey, which we wrote about in our last cloud review column,  spending on cloud infrastructure bypassed spending on data center hardware and software for the first time in 2020 . This study shows that spending on cloud infrastructure services (PaaS, IaaS, and hosted private cloud combined) grew by 35 per cent to reach almost $130 billion in 2020, while spending on data center hardware and software dropped more than 5 percent to less than $90 billion over the same period.

Cloud adoption—including hybrid and multi-cloud adoption—is expanding fast among both private and public sector organizations of all sizes.

At the enterprise level, consulting firm BCG estimates that two-thirds of companies globally already use multiple clouds. It predicts that by 2025, up to 60 per cent of consumer-facing applications, almost 40 per cent of data warehouse and analytics workloads, and more than 30 per cent of core business applications will be running on public clouds operated by the likes of Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. Traditional on-premises technology will handle no more than a third of these workloads.

In Africa, the continent has been suited to jump to the cloud more than its peers. 

”If you look at Africa from an economic development standpoint, you would be quick to assume the continent is not geared up to take advantage of the latest trends in cloud technology. But you would be wrong. ” Winston Ritsonthe Group Head for Cloud Services at Liquid Intelligent Technologies.   says in an OP ED published last week. 

Winston notes that international investors are clamoring to the front of the investment line to fund a boom in the African Cloud Computing market. 

”The proliferation of smartphones, mass adoption of business software and general economic growth prospects have seen a great demand for data centers to be built within continental borders. A young mobile population is driving end-user demand and the potential for the next Cloud boom,” he says.

In the news

Last week, Liquid Intelligent Technologies creates direct access to USA internet resources via a new POP connection to Miami. The new POP is connected to Liquid’s 100,000km of fiber across 11 countries on the continent and another 14 countries via the Operators Alliance Program and Liquid Satellite Services. This results in customers being able to leverage a better connection to the US, giving them access to Cloud services, OTT resources, Internet content and high-quality voice and video calls with family and business partners.

A South African financial institution also partnered with Sapiens on Cloud-Hosted Bancassurance solutions. The financial institution will implement Sapiens’ cloud-hosted, IDITSuite for short-term insurance and Sapiens Intelligence, with the help of Sapiens Managed Services.

Google Cloud and SAP  announced an expanded strategic partnership to help customers execute business transformations, migrate critical business systems to the cloud and augment existing business systems with Google Cloud capabilities in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).

Simon Ngunjiri Muraya is Google Cloud Architect at  Incentro Africa.

[Africa Cloud Review] Simon Ngunjiri: Moving to the cloud is the key to succeeding in the digital era

Moving to the cloud is the key to succeeding in the digital era. Many business leaders in Africa are making this move to improve security, flexibility, and agility whilst others are doing it to keep relevant and productive, ultimately with the bottom line in mind.

Before the pandemic hit, businesses were at different stages of their cloud strategies, whether that meant moving their email server to the cloud or upgrading to Google cloud or Microsoft 365. This process has been accelerated as many workers were forced to work remotely.

According to a Synergy Research Group survey, spending on cloud infrastructure bypassed spending on data centre hardware and software for the first time in 2020. This study shows that spending on cloud infrastructure services (PaaS, IaaS, and hosted private cloud combined) grew by 35 percent to reach almost $130 billion in 2020, while spending on data centre hardware and software dropped more than 5 percent to less than $90 billion over the same period.

An increasing number of African businesses are reaching a pinnacle of their digital transformation journeys with most of their IT already running in the cloud. However, it’s not only about having a cloud strategy but rather knowing how to use the cloud to its full extent to propel a business into the future. Cloud is giving organisations the ability to simplify and scale their systems landscape without sacrificing performance.

With this in mind, a number of cloud providers have been trying to set base in the continent. Recently, Zadaraannounced Africa’s largest network of interconnected, carrier-and cloud-neutral data center facilities, Africa Data Centres, and service provider Global Sense deployed Zadara’s edge cloud services to their marketplace.  In South Africa, HUAWEI opened applications for its Women4Tech digital training programme. The free online course is open to savvy, tech-forward women entrepreneurs, and aims to advance their skills and help them use new technologies like Cloud Computing  to grow, improve and digitise their businesses.

At the same time, Google Cloud also appointed Niral Patel as Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa. Patel will be based in Johannesburg and will be responsible for leading Google Cloud’s business across Sub-Saharan Africa region. 

As we have mentioned in a previous column, with cloud-enabled intelligent enterprise capabilities, organisations can achieve the speed needed to stay ahead of competitors and other disruptors while maintaining the certainty of measured, data-driven decision-making.

Simon Ngunjiri Muraya is Google Cloud Architect at Incentro Africa.

Cloudreach collaborates with AWS to accelerate global cloud adoption

Cloudreach, an independent cloud services provider, and Amazon Web Services (AWS), have unveiled a new Strategic Collaboration Agreement.

The wide-ranging agreement will mean an acceleration of the companies’ joint go-to-market proposition, along with investments in Cloudreach software innovation, geographical expansion and the launch of a Talent Academy.

This agreement builds on the well-established 12-year relationship between Cloudreach and AWS. Cloudreach will expand within North America and Europe including into new territories Canada, Poland, Spain and the Nordics. In addition, Cloudreach will make significant investments in software, further developing its SMART Migration™ and SMART Modernization™ services. These services are designed to accelerate enterprise cloud adoption through intelligent automation and will help more customers to realize the benefits of AWS services with far greater efficiency.

Cloudreach CEO, Brooks Borcherding, said: “After 12 years of collaboration with AWS, we’re excited to be entering this new phase of growth. Together, we’re focused on delivering the promise of the cloud through new software-driven capabilities coupled with industry-best practices and expertise. For our customers this will mean adopting AWS cloud more efficiently and with greater confidence, achieving a faster time to value.”

Launch of Cloudreach Talent Academy

A key initiative within the agreement is the launch of a Talent Academy. The Academy is designed to train hundreds of diverse and promising candidates to become the next generation of cloud professionals. For entry into the program, Cloudreach will look for candidates with a passion for building their career in cloud, even if they do not have a technical background, and fast-track their technical development.

The program will bring more talent into the AWS community, offering candidates a path to acquire and upskill their AWS capabilities. The Talent Academy is unique in its emphasis on recruiting from a diverse pool of candidates who traditionally have not selected technical career paths. Cloudreach expects hundreds of candidates to become AWS-certified and get the hands-on experience to become cloud consultants, engineers, architects, and developers.

“Cloudreach is committed to addressing underrepresentation and the lack of diversity within the technology workforce and cloud industry. This purpose-driven investment is one of the most exciting aspects of this collaboration with AWS. We’re dedicated to be helping future professionals develop their careers where they will solve complex business challenges for our joint customers,” added Borcherding.

Doug Yeum, Head of Worldwide Channels and Alliances at AWS, said: “We are delighted to build upon the 12-year relationship with AWS Premier Partner, Cloudreach. This collaboration means AWS can bring the highest level of cloud native expertise to an even wider audience with Cloudreach, significantly accelerating the pace of global cloud adoption. We are also particularly appreciative of Cloudreach’s focus on expanding the diverse talent pool of AWS-skilled professionals, which aligns with our leadership principles as a company.”

This engagement will provide AWS and Cloudreach customers with compelling new SMART Migration™ and SMART Modernization™ service offerings to dramatically accelerate cloud adoption and reduce time-to-value by 40%. These new offerings leverage both Cloudamize, a leading planning, assessment, and migration automation software, and Sunstone, a cloud modernization machine learning engine to make continuous modernization recommendations for legacy and cloud deployed services.

Marie Measures, Chief Technology Officer at Sanne Group, the alternative asset fund administrator, said: “The possibilities are endless when you engage with an AWS Partner that’s flexible, easy to work with, and shares your organization’s values. We want to move quickly along our cloud journey and, thanks to Cloudreach and AWS, we have a well-structured transformational roadmap.”

www.cloudreach.com

aws.amazon.com

[Column] Caroline Mukiira: Hybrid Cloud: The catalyst for increased financial inclusion in Africa

Africa has made huge strides over the past decades towards the financial inclusion. The digitization and simplification of money management has especially proved to be a sturdy vehicle in making headway in this regard.  

Yet, more work needs to be done as only 34 percent of adults in Sub-Saharan Africa have a bank account and 350 million people are still unbanked. In Kenya, financial inclusion as of August 2020 stands at 82.9%, an improvement from 26.7% in a decade, while the commercial banking industry is the fourth largest in Sub-Saharan Africa but there’s still room for growth.  

Technology has been at the heart of financial inclusion in Africa and today we’re seeing how technology trends are evolving much faster than imagined. The pandemic has accelerated the pace, and we have seen digital transformation initiatives within the sector compressed from years to months.  

Building the right platform 

With the evolution of technology, banks are pivoting their platforms towards open ecosystems and the secure sharing of data with third-party applications from fintechs and online financial service vendors to increase access to banking services to the masses. The 2021 IBM CEO Study – that drew on input from 3,000 CEOs across 26 industries and nearly 50 countries – has found that such ‘platformification’ of banks is here to stay. 

Home to over 150 fintech companies, Kenya has one of the biggest and most developed fintech ecosystems in the African continent, owning to the proliferation of mobile phones and the rise of mobile money alongside technologies such as hybrid cloud and AI to name a few.  

Innovation through a secure cloud 

In highly regulated industries like the financial services sector, increasing financial inclusion for the unbanked is a juggling act between security and compliance together with innovation, and hybrid cloud is the answer to the conundrum.  

Hybrid cloud can help banks and fintechs cope with the hurdles of compliance, security, and innovation while meeting customer expectations and venturing into new services. As banks become platform providers, hybrid cloud adoption lowers the total cost of technology ownership and improves operational efficiency – promoting innovation, aiding in the development of new business models and supporting more fulfilling customer engagements.  

While the cloud offers clear advantages to banks and most are actively using cloud services, few have actually moved mission-critical regulated workloads to the cloud to date. In many cases, this has been due to concerns about whether cloud environments complied with stringent security and regulatory requirements.  

Meeting industry requirements 

If banks are going to guard against fraud and criminal activity while delivering on their promises to digitally sophisticated customers, they have to build their platforms on technology solutions designed to meet regulations of the financial service industry. 

In response to this, IBM launched Cloud for Financial Services – a financial sector specific cloud offering – which features built-in security, regulatory and compliance controls that help minimize risks for banks integrating with third party independent service vendors (ISVs), fintechs and software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers.    

IBM has also been investing in confidential computing research and technologies for over a decade, and the solutions provide greater assurance that data is protected and visible only to its owner and no one else. This means banks can now be as compliant on the cloud as they are within their own data centers, and they can demonstrate compliance on a continuous basis. 

As we continue in the journey to financially include more of our people across the African continent, the future of banking across Africa is dynamic and exciting.  

With the right technology partner such as IBM and being cloud-ready, financial services institutions can build a strong ecosystem of partners – be it fintechs, startups – to offer an array of services at a quick pace and lower cost to entice the unbanked to the digital economy. 

Caroline Mukiira is the General Manager, IBM East Africa

Bold company Incentro credited for growth in Google Cloud adoption in Africa

DigiCloud Africa has credited Incentro Africa for its role in expanding Google Cloud in Africa and subsequently being recognised as the Google Cloud Expansion Partner of the Year – Europe, Middle East, and Africa. 

The annual award recognises one global partner in the region that has shown outstanding success in helping a large number of customers achieve better results through the Google Cloud Platform and Google Workspace. 

Incentro Africa (founded 2017), announced in 2020 that it had achieved the Work Transformation – Enterprise Partner Specialization in the Google Cloud Partner Specialization Program, becoming the first and only premier partner with this specialization in Africa. 

By earning the Partner Specialization, we proved our expertise and success in deploying Google Workspace to enterprise organizations, which includes providing services across all project work streams – such as technical implementation, change management, training and ongoing premium support.

Our continued collaboration with DigiCloud has yielded many successes with key clients such as Central Bank of West Africa (Google Workspace) , Textbook Center (SAP on Google Cloud) and Britam (Workspace).

“We are proud to have been credited by DigiCloud as one of their key partners in achieving this truly prestigious award – the first for an African organization no less.” said Dennis de Weerd, Sales Director, Incentro Africa. “Our continued partnership is truly a special one and look forward to many more shared successes.” he continued.

“Whilst the complete list of resellers would be too lengthy to mention, three companies were monumental in their efforts through 2020 to drive Google Cloud adoption in Africa, namely: Incentro Africa, for work in Kenya and Senegal specialising in workforce transformation, machine learning and infrastructure…” Gregory MacLennan, CEO, DigiCloud.

About Incentro

Incentro delivers innovative digital solutions, grounded by passion and happiness of employees, Incentronauts. 340 Incentronauts worldwide (The Netherlands, Spain, Kenya) are helping organizations to reach their digital goals.

Based on the maturity of clients, they setup an e-commerce environment which enables customers to deliver an awesome shopping journey and drive growth. They deliver a full range of services from strategy until conversion optimization for B2C and B2B focussed companies

Incentro Africa opened her door in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2017; The takeout on things was special: the company aimed for the delivery of fairtrade software solutions in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. Our mission? To positively impact the lives of 10.000 Africans before the year 2022.

We continue to achieve this by bringing quality services and digital solutions to the (East) African market, supported by strong partnerships and growing local talent into product experts. We help organizations in developing their Cloud digital strategies in order to increase productivity and collaboration. We achieve this through our value propositions and expertise in enterprise collaboration, cloud migration, and developing smart applications.

Are you bold enough to step into the unknown? We are… and we dare you to do the same. We will be with you every step of the way. Not by making small changes but to truly do things differently – for a change!

With over 10 years of proven expertise in technical consultation and related services, Incentro, the only Google Premier Partner in East, West and Central Africa has become the go-to partner for successful business transformation in the continent.

From Enterprise Collaboration, Cloud Migration and Smart application development, we proudly serve over 26 countries in Africa and are growing. Whatever your ambition is, we’ll aim for maximum impact. We dive deep into your organization, challenge your plans, build solutions swiftly and make sure they work.

Please feel free to visit our website or send an email to Customer Success Manager Elizabeth Akinyi – liz@incentro.com.

www.incentro.com

www.digicloud.africa

[Africa Cloud Review] Simon Ngunjiri: Cloud providers are fighting for a share of the growing Africa’s cloud market

From all the previous Africa Cloud Review articles we have published, we have been highlighting how the cloud market in Africa is growing. Cloud-based office applications have increasingly become vital components of the African modern workplace. 

As this market grows, it is generating a lot of interest and deals as cloud players and providers position themselves to take advantage of this boom.   

In May last year, African Data Centre Association (ADCA) predicted that 20 new data centre facilities will come online across Africa by the end of 2020. ADCA in a research paper noted that Africa had entered a phase of “accelerated growth” due to heightened demand for local hosting and cloud services, and that the continued development of carrier-neutral data centres will support the continent to “unleash its potential”.  By the end of that year, more players started setting up data centers across the continent. 

Africa’s data centre market is poised for massive growth this year as internet penetration rates rise and the continent begins to play catch-up with other regionsNina Triantis the Global Head of Telecoms, Media & Technology at Standard Bank, in a column we published here on  Africa Business Communities last week notes that we should expect to see a substantial wave of data centre investments materialise across the continent, led by regional economic powerhouses including South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria. For the time being, Africa accounts for less than 1% of the world’s co-location data centre supply, with South Africa accounting for the bulk of the continent’s capacity. 

Last year,  South African data centre company Teraco commenced the construction of its new hyperscale data centre with 38 megawatts (MW) of critical power load. Last month, the company’s  ACE submarine cable went live and is available for interconnection at three of Teraco’s data centres across South Africa, expanding access to broadband connectivity and digital services in Africa. Spanning approximately 17,000 km along the West Coast of Africa, ACE lands in 19 countries before being backhauled by MTN South Africa, the landing partner, into Teraco’s data centre facilities.

These developments are important for Africa because cloud requires no on-premise storage or physical infrastructure that continuously needs to be updated. This lowers the total cost of ownership and IT maintenance costs in the long run, which is very useful for start-up companies with limited initial budgets. 

In the news

Last week, Zadara announced Africa’s largest network of interconnected, carrier-and cloud-neutral data center facilities, Africa Data Centres, and service provider Global Sense deployed Zadara’s edge cloud services to their marketplace. Zadara products and services are available in Midrand, South Africa with further expansion into all Africa Data Centre locations coming in the not too distant future.

Google also last week named Digicloud Africa the Google Cloud Expansion Partner of the Year for 2020 in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region. DigiCloud is one of several of the tech giant’s reseller enablement partners in the region. Others include Incetro Africa,  an IT service provider delivering custom-built cloud-based software solutions for the European and African market. 

Simon Ngunjiri Muraya is Google Cloud Architect at Incentro Africa.