Adebayo Sanni
Managing Director of Oracle Nigeria, Mr. Adebayo Sanni

Emma Okonji

The Managing Director of Oracle Nigeria, Mr. Adebayo Sanni, has highlighted the trends and challenges affecting the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) landscape and the future of digital transformation within the African region.

Citing statistics released during the IDC CIO Summit META in 2016, which found that public cloud adoption in Nigeria was already close to 40 per cent, with 20 per cent of organisations looking to implement cloud solutions by end of 2018, while a remarkable 25 per cent has no plans to adopt cloud, Sanni said as for private cloud, not only did the statistics show that a mere 11 per cent were set to implement it by the end of 2018, but raised the concern that a staggering 40 per cent had no plans to implement it at all.

These statistics, he said, raised questions around Nigeria’s ability to innovate in ICT and ride it to the next level of success. He questioned if there was a lack of interest in cloud that could lose the country ground in the technology revolution, or is adoption merely a trend away?

According to Sanni, the challenge that every country faces right now, not just Nigeria, is in creating a cloud-based infrastructure that is capable of capturing the potential of technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), automation and robotics. In a recent report released by PwC on IoT, the benefits include: real-time analytics for improved decisions and costs, enhanced productivity, better customer service, effective communications, and new revenue streams. Without access to the backbone of IoT, cloud and its central nervous system, connectivity, which is the enterprise, countries are likely to lose ground, he said.
Sanni however advised that business and government have to remain relevant and competitive if they wish to participate on the global stage, and the adoption of cloud and the technologies that surround it are instrumental.

“The past few years have seen Nigeria steadily emerge from an economic recession that has forced organisations to relook IT spend and focus on targeted and relevant IT investment. It has been almost a blessing in disguise as it has catapulted many organisations away from legacy and weighty architecture towards the light and scalable agility of the cloud. Nigeria is definitely cloud ready, but there are still some challenges that need to be overcome,” Sanni added
One of the most prevalent challenges in Africa, according to him, is, of course, connectivity. Internet consistency and speed had remained a barrier and access is patchy and costly.

The emerging IoT economy that has dug into Nigerian soil will likely continue its steady growth with both government and private sector organisations paying close attention to cloud and its potential.

“It seems that lack of interest is not the issue – it’s budget – and as the costs come down and the infrastructure goes up, Nigeria is shifting into new gears and markets,” Sanni said.