Organizations are now seeking digital-first strategies to embrace the power of ecosystems and interconnections.
From the Equinix 2023 Global Tech Trends Survey, 47% of IT leaders in Nigeria who were interviewed noted that interconnection has increased the flexibility of their connectivity. Other interconnection benefits cited by respondents included network optimization (46%) and optimized end-user experience (45%).
This is consistent with the 2023 Global Interconnection Index, which forecasts interconnection bandwidth to grow at over 40% CAGR in EMEA and major metros through 2025. This is a key indicator of how many businesses are relying on interconnection to enable digital acceleration.
“The growth of interconnection bandwidth and associated IT budgets for interconnection and carrier neutral colocation show how businesses are embracing interconnection as a critical component of their digital strategy, and how they are future-proofing their digital infrastructure to gain competitive advantage,” stated Funke Opeke, CEO, MainOne – an Equinix Company.
On carrier-neutral colocation, the survey recorded a 35% increase in spending compared to the previous year, which recorded a 14% increase, an unsurprising result given predictions from last year, which forecasted a rise in digital deployments that will not only enhance digital transformation, but also build resilience. More businesses (29%) plan to increase their colocation spending in the next 12 months.
Analyzing their long-term technology strategies, respondents highlighted improving customer experience, accelerating innovation, and complying with data protection regulations amongst others as top priorities amidst their digital expansion plans.
Of the 100 IT leaders surveyed in 2023, 37% are planning to expand geographically into a new region, 30% into a new country and another 45% in a new city in an existing country, with data sovereignty laws as a top deciding factor for those plans.
79% of these respondents are likely to adjust their expansion plans in some form, in adherence to the data sovereignty laws implemented in these new markets.
According to Funke, “As businesses expand their infrastructure to meet the constant growing need for digital services, data sovereignty laws play a critical part in their expansion plans. This is because businesses need to ensure that their data is stored and processed in accordance with the laws of the country in which they operate.
However, strict data sovereignty laws can make it difficult for businesses to expand their infrastructure across borders.”
“With MainOne, businesses can leverage a globally interconnected ecosystem to expand their reach and tap into new markets, scale their operations and lower latency for critical services and applications, adapt to changing market dynamics and comply with regulatory requirements”, she added.
Rise in AI Uptake
As IT leaders in Nigeria continue to see a need for colocation and interconnection, they cannot ignore the need to embrace artificial intelligence (AI) for a sustainable future.
Results from the survey confirmed AI uptake is on the rise across all industries, with 93% of the 2,900 IT decision-makers polled globally seeking to benefit from the advantages of AI and already using or planning to use it across multiple key functions.
94% of businesses in Nigeria are likely to be using AI or planning to do so in cybersecurity, closely followed by IT operations (93%), and customer experience (92%).
Despite its widespread adoption across industries, only 3 in 10 (37%) of the IT leaders surveyed in Nigeria believe their team’s ability or existing IT infrastructure are fully prepared for the demands of artificial intelligence technology.
To create scalable AI solutions, businesses must ensure their IT frameworks can accommodate the required ingestion, sharing, storage and processing of massive and diverse data sets, while keeping sustainability in mind.
In addition to digital infrastructure updates, the survey also highlighted the need for education and collaboration to enable IT teams optimize the deployment of this infrastructure, with AI and machine learning expertise being sought by 52% of those growing their IT teams.
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