Report: Over 40% of Nigerian Businesses Leverage Interconnection, 90% Pursue Benefits of AI

Report: Over 40% of Nigerian Businesses Leverage Interconnection, 90% Pursue Benefits of AI

Emma Okonji

A recent report from the Equinix 2023 Global Tech Trends Survey, has revealed that 47 per cent of Information Technology (IT) leaders have increased the flexibility of their connectivity due to interconnection. 

According to the report, 47 per cent 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 optimisation at 46 per cent and optimised end-user experience at 45 per cent. 

This, according to the report, is consistent with the 2023 Global Interconnection Index, which forecasts interconnection bandwidth to grow at over 40 per cent CAGR in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and major metros through 2025, which is a key indicator of how many businesses are relying on interconnection to enable digital acceleration.

Analysing the report, the CEO, MainOne, an Equinix Company, Funke Opeke, said: “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.” 

On carrier-neutral colocation, the survey recorded a 35 per cent increase in spend compared to the previous year, that recorded a 14 per cent 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. The report said about 29 per cent of businesses were already making plans to increase their colocation spend in the next 12 months.

Analysing their long-term technology strategies, respondents highlighted improving customer experience, accelerating innovation, and complying with data protection regulations among others as top priorities amidst their digital expansion plans. 

Of the 100 IT leaders surveyed in 2023, 37 per cent are planning to expand geographically into a new region, 30 per cent into a new country and another 45 per cent in a new city in an existing country, with data sovereignty laws as a top deciding factor for those plans. The report further said about 79 per cent of the respondents was likely to adjust their expansion plans in some form, in adherence to the data sovereignty laws implemented in the new markets. 

According to Opeke, “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,” Opeke added.

Addressing the rise in Artificial Intelligence (AI) uptake, Opeke said as IT leaders in Nigeria continue to see a need for colocation and interconnection, they cannot ignore the need to embrace AI for a sustainable future.

Results from the survey confirmed AI uptake is on the rise across all industries, with 93 per cent 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. 

The report said 94 per cent of businesses in Nigeria were likely to be using AI or planning to do so in cybersecurity, closely followed by IT operations of about 93 per cent and customer experience of about 92 per cent. 

The report added that despite its widespread adoption across industries, only three in ten, which is about 37 per cent of the IT leaders surveyed in Nigeria, believed their team’s ability or existing IT infrastructure are fully prepared for the demands of AI technology. To create scalable AI solutions, the report advised that businesses must ensure their IT frameworks accommodate the required ingestion, sharing, storage and processing of massive and diverse data sets, while keeping sustainability in mind.

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