By Pierre Havenga, Managing Director, Vertiv in Middle East and Africa
Africa is rapidly emerging as a major player in the global data center market, with a number of countries investing heavily in the development of data centers. This growth is being driven by a number of factors, including the increasing demand for cloud-based services, the growth of the digital economy, and the increasing adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.
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The data center revolution in Africa has become a crucial step towards deploying technology for tomorrow. With the rapid growth of digital transformation in the continent, data centers play a pivotal role in ensuring that data is safely stored and made accessible for users. This transformation has also led to the emergence of edge data centers, which bring computing closer to end-users, thereby reducing latency and improving data processing speeds. In addition, there has been a significant rise in the adoption of cloud computing services in Africa, which have allowed businesses to reduce capital expenditure and focus on their core operations.
However, there are still challenges in the deployment of data centers, including inadequate power supply, limited fiber infrastructure, and high costs of internet connectivity. Addressing these challenges and continuing to invest in data centers will be essential for Africa’s digital transformation and overall economic growth.
This is where Vertiv comes in – as the data center revolution in Africa has become a crucial step towards deploying technology for tomorrow.
In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the trends that have and are going to continue shaping Africa’s data center market in the coming years.
Data Centers and the Future of Digitilization in Africa
Data centers are the backbone of the digital world, powering the operations of businesses across industries. As the world becomes more digital, the demand for data centers rises, and Africa is poised to become a key player in this market.
Vertiv provides connectivity solutions that enable businesses to leverage the power of digitalization. By connecting physical infrastructure to the digital world, Vertiv enables customers to unlock the potential of the Internet of Things (IoT). As digitalization continues to drive innovation and growth, Vertiv’s solutions can help businesses take advantage of the opportunities presented by this technological revolution.
Additionally, the growth of the data center market in Africa presents an opportunity to create jobs and spur economic growth in the region. As data centers continue to expand, they will create new opportunities for employment, both directly and indirectly, in various verticals such as education, government, healthcare, construction and operations. Thus allowing companies to accomplish tasks with greater efficiency and flexibility. Digitalization has enabled businesses in various industries to increase their reach and revenue potential, as customers are now able to access products and services from anywhere.
The rapid growth of the African data center market presents a unique opportunity for businesses. Finding the right balance between investment and energy efficient solutions is still a challenge for certain businesses. As the demand for data centers continues to grow, it is essential that businesses operate in a sustainable, transparent, and responsible manner, to ensure the long-term success of the industry.
The Rise of the Cloud
The growing demand for cloud-based services is one of the major drivers of the African data center market, with the public cloud segment accounting for the majority of the market, highlighting the importance of cloud-based services in Africa’s digital transformation. Vertiv’s technology is showcased at multiple locations across Africa, providing clients with scalable and flexible solutions supporting their need for growth and energy efficiency.
Africa is an immensely diverse and heterogeneous continent, resulting in significant internal differences and setting it apart from other regions. Developing infrastructure that optimally fits such poses an obvious challenge. While traditional approaches may still apply in certain countries, particularly South Africa, others will require unconventional and innovative solutions. A major issue throughout the continent is grid instability and availability, with generators and UPS systems being relied on as primary power sources, while the grid serves as an unreliable backup. On-site renewables, such as solar, are gaining traction, with some colocation providers already investing in them. This trend could potentially lead to new models of revenue generation through feeding excess power back into the grid, subject to regulatory requirements in each country.
Increased Investment in Data Centers
The growth of the African data center market is also driven by increased investment of international data center operators to host hyperscalers as well as an increase in enterprise customers moving into the Colocation space. As reported in IntelligentCIO, Africa’s data center market is expected to attract $5 billion of investment by 2026.
In conclusion, the future of digitalization in Africa is closely tied to the growth of the data center industry. The rise of the cloud and increased investment in data centers will continue to support the growth of technology in the region and drive the digital transformation of businesses and governments.