The year 2015 heralds the beginning of a new era for ICT adoption across the continent. That’s according to International Data Corporation’s newly released predictions for the year ahead, with the global advisory services firm also expecting ICT’s influence on economic development and social progress throughout Africa to be particularly pronounced over the coming 12 months.
Sub-Saharan Africa is finally realizing its potential for economic growth, and now boasts six of the top ten fastest-growing economies in the world. ICT is playing a key role in not only supporting this economic boom, but also shaping its future direction.
The latest ICT trends are set to drive strong GDP growth across the continent modernizing continent, modernizing and optimizing every sector of the economy and facilitating closer intra-Africa trade. Against this backdrop, those governments with relevant, effective national ICT policies will begin to dominate the economic landscape.
Governments are increasingly using ICT as an enabler of service delivery, with egovernment and m-government initiatives high on the agenda for addressing the challenges presented by rapid urbanization. Haphazard urban expansion serves as an obstacle to economic growth, so IDC expects more governments to pursue an integrated approach to urban development, with ICT playing an important role in ensuring good urban governance through smart grids in utilities, water supply monitoring, safety and security, and video surveillance.
- ICT investments that address market realities will fuel GDP growth in key African countries.
- Governments with relevant, effective national ICT policies will begin to dominate the economic landscape.
- The battle for the SMB market will begin in earnest in more developed African markets.
- Security concerns will remain as mobile devices, data, and access methods proliferate.
- External socioeconomic agendas will boost ICT usage, but will face strong resistance without due localisation.
- A new era of African IT procurement will get underway, with new clients, new products, and new markets.
- Technology will help breach intra-Africa trade barriers by removing obstacles, increasing efficiency, and encouraging transparency.
- Digital engagements that integrate mobility benefits with those offered by cloud, big data, and social networking will be the key to capturing market share in Africa
- Bifurcation will characterize mobility initiatives as smartphones outpace feature phones.
- A new cloud model will emerge, with the technology discussion falling away in favour of the business discussion.
International Data Corporation expects to see closer cooperation between nations in 2015 as a result of smart ICT initiatives. Effective regional integration will help breach the barriers that undermine the daily operations of ordinary producers and traders of both goods and services,” continues Walker. “This includes payments systems, financial inclusion, and cross-border payments, and the increased implementation of such ICT-enabled financial transactions in 2015 will create a platform for the next stage of domestic and regional socioeconomic development across Africa.
The commercial landscape in 2015 will be characterized by the emergence of new markets, products, and clients as large multinationals tap into the African growth story and smaller local organizations expand into new geographies through enhanced intra-Africa trade. And the growing acceptance of cloud as a credible delivery model for IT services and software will underpin much of this transformation, revolutionizing the way IT is bought and used.