CONNECTING THE DOTS: 2021 TOP TRENDS
Where will your biggest opportunity lie in 2021?
Africa Tech Festival's research partners Omdia bring you unparalleled, world-class research and consultancy to navigate the now and create the future. The tech world of 2021 will be marked by the acceleration of key shifts in business models and investment in the aftermath of COVID-19. Understand the global key priorities driving 2021.
Download this report to discover:
- Enterprise top trends
- Enterprise and Service Provider AI investments
- Data exchange platforms
- IoT and 5G market readiness
- Telco responses to COVID-19
- Software defined automation
COVID-19 RECOVERY PLAYBOOK
The impact of COVID-19 on African tech
South Africa had one of the most severe COVID-19 lockdowns globally, starting in late March and launching most of the economy into an almost total standstill for five weeks, followed by a gradual reopening.
This led to a sharp deterioration in macroeconomic conditions, with unemployment and consumer confidence experiencing a severe slump. Many enterprises have been diminished by the pandemic, and will be fighting hard for the next 12–24 months to thrive again.
Close to 55% of South African enterprises said that they experienced a cut in IT spending of 10% or more. Only 18% indicated that they have an increased budget. Omdia expects that this will shave enterprise services spending by 6–7%, bringing overall enterprise services spending in 2020 down to negative territory for the year.
74% of enterprises reevaluated their relationships with their IT partners based on their experiences during COVID-19. The top-two areas of concern were solutions being below expectation, and IT partners not being responsive enough.
Crisis management is often touted as the litmus test to many IT-provider relationships, and there are strong indications that South African enterprises were underwhelmed with their experience during COVID-19.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TELECOM USE CASES IN AFRICA
Omdia estimates that spending on AI-driven software for telecom use cases in Africa will grow from $4.4 million in 2018 to more than $265 million in 2025.
The emergence of these telecom AI use cases will vary across the globe. The primary drivers for AI in telecom—cost savings from replacing or enhancing human workers and the rollout of 5G networks—are not immediate needs for CSPs in Africa. Barriers, such as the lack of reliable, consistent power and limited per-capita income are present in Africa. Due to less intense pressure from the market drivers and the force of the market barriers, the rollout and spending on AI-driven solutions in Africa will lag behind other regions.
AI MARKET MATURITY
Global AI software revenue alone will be $98.8 billion by 2025
By any stretch of the imagination, it is still early days for artificial intelligence (AI). That said, pioneering AI solutions providers and end-user companies have moved from proofs-of-concept to live deployments of AI solutions over the past few years. This Omdia survey examines the maturation of the market, with views of the AI structure and strategies of end-user and vendor companies.
This Omdia report provides the results of an online survey of 365 enterprises. The survey was sent to contact databases from Omdia, AI Summit, and AI Business. Surveyed companies across different vertical industries ranged in size from small startups with less than 100 employees to global companies with 10,000+ employees.
What role can 5G and the internet of things (IoT) play in Africa?
Understand the benefits and challenges of 5G and IoT in Africa
While global expectations around 5G are muted, African businesses are big believers in the potential 5G has to radically transform their business operations, products, services, and customer engagement.
This report looks at African technology investment priorities for the next 12 months and compares Africa’s view of the transformational potential of 5G with global expectations.
In much of the world, 5G is seen as a catalyst for massive machine type communications and an exponential growth in machine-to-machine connectivity.
Will 5G and IoT dovetail in Africa and stimulate the uptake of 5G services?
Outlook on Digital Technologies in Africa in 2020
Discover the growth prospects in digital services as well as in data connectivity.
There will be more than 1 billion mobile broadband connections on the continent within a few years, according to forecasts by Omdia.
This report sets out Omdia's views on the outlook for Africa's digital market. Omdia forecasts that there will be more than 1 billion mobile broadband connections on the continent within a few years, and there are good growth prospects in digital services as well as in data connectivity. But the industry and authorities across Africa need to develop their plans for the digital economy if the continent is to make the most of its potential.
Africa's digital market offers good growth prospects. Service providers are reporting strong growth in revenue from data access and digital services such as mobile money. Investment in Africa's tech start-ups is surging. The macroeconomic outlook is for economic recovery, and very strong population growth.
Mobile broadband and financial services are key growth segments. Omdia forecasts that there will be 1.08 billion mobile broadband connections on the continent by 2024. MTN recently reported that its financial services revenue grew by more than 30% over the past year.
Instability, poor infrastructure, and digital divide factors continue to hold back digital development in Africa. Just one example of the barriers to digital development in Africa is that in 2018 the average cost of a 1GB mobile broadband plan on the continent was equivalent to 8% of average monthly income – far above the affordability benchmark of less than 2% of income, according to the UN Broadband Commission.