SA's data centre dominance under threat
- Published on 01 August 2012
East and West Africa could takeover South Africa's position as the continent's top data centre market by 2016, according to research by Frost & Sullivan.
In its latest report called 'Exploring Data Centre Opportunities in Key African Markets', Frost & Sullivan says that South Africa has 120 data centre providers out of a total of 170 in Africa.
But the research group says SA's dominance in this market on the continent could wane, owing to slower growth in the country's data centre market. The report further says that the advent of undersea cables, such as WACS and SEACOM, means that the likes of Nigeria and Kenya have greater access to bandwidth - a factor that is key in establishing more data centres.
“East and West Africa have quite a tiny data centre market share when compared to South Africa, but there is potential for growth in both those regional market,” said Ishe Zingani, the industry analyst for ICT at Frost & Sullivan.
“What we anticipate in the next 5 years is that the two smaller regions will benefit at the expense of South Africa where a decrease in SA’s data centre growth will contribute to growth for East and West Africa in the future,” he added.
Zingani also notes that infrastructural development on the continent has been a key driver for affordable bandwidth, which has driven the substantial growth in the data centre market.
However, data security and power supply shortages remain key restraining issues of Africa’s data centre growth, says the report.
“In Kenya and Nigeria for example the power supply in those countries has at times not been able to cope with the explosion of economic growth and you find that the supply is below the current demand,” Zingani explains.
“Power supply contributes some 60% to the active functioning of any data centre, so it is critical,” he said.
The research also shows that co-location - hosting equipment in third part facilities - and cloud based service strategies could drive growth in those areas.
“Co-location is going to be the cash cow for East and West Africa and can be an entry point of moving up and gradually moving to other services,” concludes Mervin Miemoukanda, research analyst ICT, Frost & Sullivan.