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40% of Nigerian businesses leverage interconnection as 90% explores AI

By Adeyemi Adepetun
20 July 2023   |   2:41 am
Organizations are now seeking digital-first strategies to embrace the power of ecosystems and interconnections, a report has disclosed.

Funke Opeke

Organizations are now seeking digital-first strategies to embrace the power of ecosystems and interconnections, a report has disclosed.

From the Equinix 2023 Global Tech Trends Survey, 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 (46 per cent) and optimised end-user experience (45 per cent).

This is consistent with the 2023 Global Interconnection Index, which forecasts interconnection bandwidth to grow at over 40 per cent 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.

Chief Executive Officer, 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 projected a rise in digital deployments that will not only enhance digital transformation, but also build resilience. More businesses (29 per cent) plan 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 amongst 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. 79 per cent 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 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.”

With rise in AI uptake, the report noted that IT leaders in Nigeria continued to see a need for colocation and interconnection as 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. 94 per cent of businesses in Nigeria are likely to be using AI or planning to do so in cybersecurity, closely followed by IT operations (93 per cent), and customer experience (92 per cent).

Despite its widespread adoption across industries, only three in 10 (37 per cent) 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 per cent of those growing their IT teams.