The African cloud has arrived. While the cloud services sector is in its early stages of development, the impact of cloud services is already far-reaching.
African banks are making investments in machine learning and artificial intelligence tools to improve the customer experience and credit risk; new "digital banks" are emerging, that are, at least in part, cloud-based.
Governments are using cloud and virtualized infrastructure to enhance public service delivery. Large retail firms are using compute capabilities and AWS databases to transform how they reach a predominantly mobile and digital customer base - and scores of African cloud-native startups are leveraging the cloud to disrupt entire industry sectors.
The African cloud may be small, but it is already here indeed, and it is growing fast. For African markets, cloud, virtualization and the broader evolution towards serverless computing are the most disruptive technology developments since the advent of the mobile payment revolution. Few other segments in the African ICT space are as likely to generate an incremental $2bn in top line revenue over the next five years, and at least as much in adjacent enabling ecosystem revenue.
This report is about the near term economic, commercial and investor value opportunity offered by the rise of the African cloud.
Building on the author's established analysis of African enterprise and digital infrastructure markets, 18 months of research and 100+ interviews and conversations, The Rise of the African Cloud explores the readiness of African markets for thriving private and public cloud services; it analyzes cloud demand and use case patterns, at segment level, from financial services to the public sector and startups; it estimates and projects cloud services market size; it details the competitive strengths of global hyperscale cloud providers and how their battle is translating in the African context; it outlines the impact of cloud services on Africa's managed service provider ecosystem and telcos' evolving enterprise businesses; and it breaks down the investment case within the African cloud value chain, from enterprise connectivity to data centers and SaaS.
This report includes a report in PDF format, chart data in Excel, and a 20-slide executive Synopsis (PDF)
Key Topics Covered
PART I - BREAKING DOWN AFRICA'S READINESS & DEMAND FOR CLOUD SERVICES
ARE AFRICAN MARKETS READY FOR PUBLIC CLOUD SERVICES?
Rating Africa's cloud readiness (1)
How we rate cloud readiness (2) - an explanation
Verdict: Only 5 cloud-ready markets, a dozen "nearly ready" as of 2018
2021 projections: More cloud-ready markets, but most will be near-ready only
DECIPHERING AFRICAN DEMAND FOR CLOUD SERVICES
Africa cloud adoption - sample views by country
Why they use the cloud - African established banks
Why they use the cloud - Africa's emerging fintechs
How they use the cloud - African financial services
Why and how they use the cloud - African retail
Why they use the cloud - the African public sector
How they use the cloud - African public sector
African startups and the cloud - Starting small, with considerable scale potential
How they use the cloud - African startups
PART II AFRICAN CLOUD MARKET SIZE & INVESTOR VALUE
HOW BIG IS THE AFRICAN CLOUD SERVICES MARKET?
African (total) cloud services: a ~$1.7bn market
The African public cloud: growing 3x faster than the global average
The African cloud market: South Africa, then everybody else
The private cloud still dominates - but the public cloud is picking up
SaaS is still the larger category - but IaaS is growing 2x faster
WHAT IS THE REVENUE UPSIDE FOR CLOUD SERVICES IN AFRICA - AND WHERE IS IT?
Africa cloud forecasts: a snapshot
The upside: the African cloud services market will double in size over the next five years
The upside: the African cloud will be mostly private, and increasingly hybrid
Where African cloud growth lies - IaaS
Where the growth lies: South Africa, then everybody else
Where the growth lies: Other African markets
WHERE IS THE INVESTOR VALUE IN THE AFRICAN CLOUD?
The global cloud services investor value: $700bn in market capitalization
Looking for value in the African public cloud
Looking for value in the African cloud
PART III - WHO WILL WIN THE AFRICAN CLOUD? A KEY PLAYER ANALYSIS
AZURE, AWS, HUAWEI AND THE BATTLE OF THE HYPERSCALE
The hyperscale battle for the African cloud
The hyperscale cloud in Africa: AWS, Azure lead, others follow
Building up: global cloud player Africa presence
Azure: An Office 365-driven dominance - but facing stiff challenge on IaaS and PaaS
AWS: Lacking Microsoft's African presence and reach - but stronger on IaaS
The others: Google lagging, Oracle and the strong VMWare challenge
The others: Huawei emerging, OVH dominates French-speaking West Africa
The hyperscale cloud in Africa: how they stack up
What African cloud customers are buying - a snapshot
Hyperscale cloud - key African customers by key platform
WILL GLOBAL CLOUD PLAYERS WRECK THE AFRICAN MSP MARKET - OR WILL THEY REJUVENATE IT?
African MSPs: the new dinosaurs?
Surviving the hyperscale: playing it local, navigating the cloud minefield, and the VMWare factor
Mapping African cloud MSPs
The outlook for the African MSP
The local stars of the African cloud - Node Africa, Cloud Temple, Routed and the others
DOES THE RISE OF THE PUBLIC CLOUD MAKE AFRICAN TELCOS IRRELEVANT IN THE CLOUD SERVICES SPACE?
How African telcos play the cloud market
The cloud outlook for African telcos: not as dire as it may seem
PART IV COUNTRY ANALYSIS
STATE OF CLOUD: SOUTH AFRICA
South Africa cloud market summary
South Africa: cloud infrastructure readiness
Africa's best cloud demand fundamentals
South Africa cloud service adoption - awareness is strong, pace of adoption is uneven
A strong impetus for migration in the financial and retail sectors
South Africa's public sector cloud push
The supply side: South Africa's cloud services value chain
Mapping South African cloud MSPs
South Africa cloud providers: service portfolio mapping
SA cloud players: Azure and AWS lead the way - VMWare is right up there too
SA cloud players: IBM holding, Google Cloud lagging, Huawei starting
Hyperscale cloud channels in South Africa
The SA telco cloud: from connectivity enablers to reselling IaaS and building SaaS marketplaces
Who are they using? Key cloud enterprise contracts in South Africa
How big is the South African cloud?
The South Africa cloud opportunity - time for take-off
The South Africa cloud opportunity - IaaS and SaaS
STATE OF CLOUD: KENYA
Kenya cloud market summary
Kenya: cloud infrastructure readiness
The Kenyan impetus for cloud services: innovate or die = more cloud
Kenya cloud service adoption - rising fast
Kenya demand for cloud services - Financials and the public sector lead the way
The supply side: Kenya's cloud services value chain
The global cloud providers in Kenya: AWS, Azure, and a surprising Oracle
The telcos and MSPs - Enough competitive room to serve the SME market
Kenya cloud providers: service portfolio mapping
Who are they using? Key cloud enterprise contracts in Kenya
How big is the Kenyan cloud?
The Kenyan cloud opportunity - revenue slated to double
STATE OF CLOUD: NIGERIA
Nigeria cloud market summary
Nigeria: cloud infrastructure readiness
Nigeria and the cloud: few need it more; few trust it less
Nigeria demand for cloud services - Financials and e-commerce lead the way
The supply side: Nigeria's cloud services value chain
The Nigerian cloud market - still an open field
Alternative telcos and MSPs lead the way
Who are they using? Sample cloud enterprise contracts in Nigeria
How big is the Nigerian cloud?
The Nigerian cloud opportunity - all upside - and subject to supply conditions
CLOUD MARKET OVERVIEW: MOROCCO, EGYPT, IVORY COAST AND GHANA
Cote-d'Ivoire: Still discovering the cloud
Egypt: cloud potential held up by supply-side challenges