Unlocking the latest data centre frontier: By Africa, For Africa, With Africa – a compelling comparative edge

by Dhaneshwar Damry

For many years, Africa has been touted as the latest data centre frontier coinciding with the rise of the pan African economy. Global cloud computing providers such as Google, IBM, Microsoft and Amazon are providing public cloud infrastructure out of their European and global data centres to Africa. None of the global cloud providers have a data centre in Africa yet. Without any doubt, public cloud out of global data centres is fast gaining traction globally, and in Africa and provides competition to private cloud out of African data centres. Increased internet connectivity of Africa with the rest of the world will act as catalyst for the growth of public cloud out of global data centres. This is a threat to private cloud infrastructure as a Service out of in country or regional data centres in Africa. Within the African data centre revenue generators, private cloud infrastructure for ISVs out of African data centres is an important revenue source.

When considering private cloud out of private data centres in Africa, Challenges abound. There are the raw infrastructure challenges such as real estate, power, cooling, telecom connectivity, disaster recovery and compliance with global standards. People skills for data centre operations and sustainability and domain software support for ISVs are limited. Moreover, there are the fixed costs such as cyber security to the technology infrastructure, e.g. firewalls, and the problem of return on investments with scale and pricing very serious barriers. Last but not least, there are regulatory restrictions on data sovereignty. All the challenges provide impediments to driving African content and to developing home grown African apps.

For the time being, By Africa, For Africa, With Africa is a compelling business case to drive data centre revenue through cloud infrastructure for ISVs requiring customization, flexibility, agility, specialized customer support and above all customer proximity.

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Dhaneshwar Damry is the Chairman & CEO of Bhumishq Technologies Ltd. For more information, please visit www.bhumishq.com.