What can the ICT industry expect to see in 2018, and how can players prepare for it? Kathy Gibson attended IDC Directions to find out more.

Africa is a unique and very different market to do business in, but there are as many challenges as opportunities.

“We live in a fast moving and dynamic political and social environment, says Mark Walker, associate vice-president: sub-Saharan Africa at IDC.

The biggest challenge for doing business in Africa is that fact that so much of it is still unconnected – both physically and virtually. “Moving data around is still a big thing,” Walker says.

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The state of the (IT) nation

The digital economy is at a tipping point, as organisations around the world use technology to fundamentally change their businesses.

Globally, we will see moderate growth in IT spending, but it will be transformative growth says Jyoti Lalchandani, group vice-president and regional MD: Middle East Africa and Turkey at IDC.

“Enterprise buyers will invest in 3rd Platform applications based on collaboration/social, mobility, cloud, security and analytics,” he says.

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The growth and growth of cloud

Cloud and data centre conversations tend to focus around the core question of how to achieve digital transformation.

“The most important message is that there is a still a balance between on-premise data centres and the cloud,” says Jon Tullett, research manager for IT services: sub-Saharan Africa at IDC.

In South Africa, the spend on infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is set to grow by 15,7&, with high-end servers set to actually retreat to -5,2%.

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IoT takes centre stage in 2018

The Internet of Things (IoT) will come of age in 2018.

This is the word from George Kalebaila, research director for telecoms and IoT: sub-Saharan Africa at IDC, who says the environment is right for IoT to flourish. “The cloud has become mainstream, networks are mature, and sophisticated analytics are now available,” he says.

South Africa is the leader in Africa when it comes to IoT, and the rest of the continent is looking to us for guidance.

The market opportunity in South Africa is set to grow about 16% a year to reach $1,7-billion by 2021.

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