Telecommunication companies can now start entering the next wave of their go-to-market approach and play a more active role in connectivity, consulting, and the management of locally accessible cloud services, says data and analytics company GlobalData.
According to the company’s latest report, Cloud Computing in Africa and the Middle East: Telco Cloud Offers, Best Practices and Market Opportunity, 2019 marked an important milestone in the development of telco cloud market strategies in Africa and the Middle East (AME).
This was because the first regional points of presence were opened by Microsoft in South Africa and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as AWS in Bahrain. Microsoft further announced plans to establish a cloud datacentre region in Qatar in 2021.
Tomasz Kulinski, Senior Analyst at GlobalData, commented: “Historically, major AME telcos started offering enterprise cloud computing solutions as early as 2011-2013. Then, after a wave of investments geared towards datacentre establishment, improvement and expansion, telcos started strengthening their cloud offerings – focusing on expanding their portfolios through partnerships with leading market players in the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) spaces.”
In 2019, global cloud providers became present in the Middle East, with the first datacentres opened by Microsoft in the UAE (partnership with Etisalat) and by AWS in Bahrain (partnership with Batelco).
Kulinski continued: “Cloud services from these global providers were previously provided through datacentres located outside of the region, which could hamper adoption where low-latency and data-residency are important requirements.”
“Local residency of data may significantly accelerate the migration of government services to the cloud and support public initiatives involving sensitive and personal data such as smart city projects.”
Trust in cloud
While experts have singled cloud out as one of fastest growing market segments in terms of IT spend, ICT professionals have also highlighted an increase in trust in the cloud among businesses in Africa.
In early December 2019 ITWeb Africa spoke with Kabelo Makwane, Managing Executive of Cloud, Hosting & Security at Vodacom, who said that an increase in trust in the cloud is one of the key drivers behind cloud adoption and consumption across the continent.
He said, “With ever increasing bandwidth based on 4G and 5G roll-out in the mobile space and more fibre in the ground being rolled out to the last mile in the fixed line space, both consumers and businesses can securely access and harness the power of cloud based services. More enterprises choose to store their data off-site and in the public cloud instead of on-premise where it may be less secure and prone to direct hacks and security breaches.