There are eleven datacenters in Nigeria and the largest are expanding their capacity constantly in anticipation of a growing demand but the President, Institute of Software Practitioners Association of Nigeria (ISPON), Mr. Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu, has some worries.
The President of ISPON is worried because, currently the utilisation of capacity for these eleven datacenters, probably sits at below 30%.
He made ISPON’s feelings known in a goodwill message at a Technology Forum organized by the Nigerian Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA) in Lagos on Thursday, May 28, 2021, on the theme: “Achieving 30% Growth In Local Cloud Hosting By 2024”.
Mba-Uzoukwu said that the topic was timely even as “we are faced with a puzzling question: the housing estates that our friends are building against all odds in a super-challenging environment, will they be occupied by offshore tenants or ourselves?”
“There are 11 datacenters in Nigeria and the largest are expanding their capacity constantly in anticipation of a growing demand but currently the utilisation of capacity probably sits at below 30%.
“With four certified Tier 3 Constructed Facilities in Nigeria and more on the way, the Africa datacenter market is expected to cross $3bn by 2025, growing at a CAGR over 12%.
“This indicates that despite the forecasted growth in installed capacity, the patronage by way of utilisation does not match the expected levels”.
Unformed report also indicates that Galaxy Backbone Limited which is the only Uptime Institute Certified Tier 3 Datacenter in the public sector (in Nigeria) is currently estimated at 38% capacity utilisation of its 2.5MW capacity.
To this end, the President of ISPON said, “We must ask why”.
“The 2020 GSMA report highlights that availability of internet services has not translated to adoption while there is no established correlation between broadband availability and indicators of innovation such as hubs and software companies e.g. Aba, Enugu, Calabar, Benin and Jos have limited broadband and predominantly 2.5G/3G networks yet host significant innovation activity.
“ISPON’s research indicates that this puzzling scenario is directly related to local software – local in the sense of being developed by Nigerians for Nigerians to solve Nigerian problems.
“While we have seen phenomenal growth in the fintech space, the vector and velocity for the evolution of Software Nigeria as a whole remains constrained by the extent to which the Digital Economy which is emerging is anchored on local innovation and local utilisation.
“The datacenters performance is driven by users are large corporates and MNCs for whom data services are not taken lightly as they commit to long-term relationships on the basis of reliability especially High Availability which is indexed to global standards. In this context, Digital Transformation, especially in the public sector is critical pre-requisite.
“Digital Transformation delivers joined-up government that enables the policy and process of governance to ride on top of IT infrastructure from broadband to software solution stacks. It also presents opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation to flourish as solution providers get work to do. For this dynamic to be accelerated and proliferated, it is difficult to over-estimate or emphasise the importance of the Local Cloud which must be the initial point of access for a broad-based digital adoption and transformation strategy in a rising tide that lifts all.
“We often fail to recognise and prioritize this fundamental – perhaps it is an inconvenient truth?
“There is much to unpack in this but it will suffice to say that ISPON believes that the Software Nigeria and Data Nigeria are conjoined twins – separating the two is not only difficult but in this case, it is foolhardy because what we share is vital to the survival of each twin. Let us therefore proceed with this in mind!”
He also applauded NITRA for hosting the event, adding that ISPON sees the Association as an integral component of the technology ecosystem as partners as well as practitioners whose largely unsung efforts have been pivotal to the emergence of the industry we celebrate today as Africa’s most vibrant and fastest evolving technology ecosystem.
“ISPON celebrates you, one and all!
“We are therefore extremely pleased to be a part of this celebration and the discussions that follow will be one more block laid by NITRA in the tremendous role being played by your Association and members in the growth of the Digital Economy.
“We thank you for what you do and once again, give our assurances of a continued partnership.
The Chairman of Nigeria Information Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA), Chike Onwuegbuchi, said that the theme was carefully selected to enable stakeholders in the information and Communications Technology to discuss issues that will bring growth and development to the sector.
“This edition”, he said, “we are looking at local cloud hosting a very important aspect of technological development.
“Cloud computing has been described as the greatest game changer since the creation of the internet and is one of the fastest growing areas of technology today. It can be simply defined as renting time on a computing infrastructure over the internet, rather than building your own from the ground up. In a way, it could be described as outsourcing your computer infrastructure.
“Cloud computing offers scalability and reliability that cannot be matched by a single enterprise.
“Today, we are talking of data protection. How can you protect data that is warehoused outside of our shores?
“Local cloud hosting also helps to keep our local internet traffic local as local content providers host their content in-country.
He also recalled that NITDA in 2019 launched Nigeria’s Cloud computing policy and one of the goals of this Policy is to ensure a 30% increase in adoption of cloud computing by 2024 among Federal Public Institutions (FPIs) and SMEs that provide digital-enabled services to the government.
“The policy also targets 35% growth in cloud computing investments by 2024. It is on this that we selected the theme of today’s event.
“When we are talking about local cloud hosting we can’t achieve it if we don’t patronize local datacenters; this informed the presences of datacentre operators in this discourse.
The Forum attracted industry stakeholders including corporate organisations; Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA); Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN); Cloudflex; Layer3; Vintage Confluence LLC and industry associations – ISPON, ALTON, ATCON, NCS, amongst others.