South Africa’s voracious appetite for IT will continue into grow in 2019

microsoft azure cape town johannesburg servers

While the rest of the world’s fumbling around the change pocket, South Africa’s out here in 2019 throwing big bills on IT infrastructure.

According to a report by data firm Gartner, the country’s IT spend is set to grow by 3.9% in 2019. This beats the estimated global growth rate of just 0.8%.

And if you’re wondering if SA’s growth rate is particularly high, yes, it is. In fact, it’s the fourth highest growth rate globally.

South Africa is still behind in terms of overall IT spending and continues to have a technology debt to pay off. However, by achieving 3.9% growth in 2019, South Africa will be one of the fastest-growing countries in the world,” noted John-David Lovelock Gartner’s research VP.

gartner south africa technology spend 2019

However, that 3.9% is still lower than 2018’s 5.6% growth. And each sector bar IT services will see a lower growth rate this year compared to last.

The bulk of this year’s spend lies in the communication services sector, set to grow by 2.3% in 2019, topping R133-billion. But notably, even that’s a slowing rate over 2018’s growth.

Device expenditure will grow by 3% in 2019, topping R45.9-billion.

However, data systems took the biggest knock. A decrease of 5% over 2018 means the sector will shrink by nearly R500-million. This, combined with software’s 11.4% growth, suggests that cloud computing is the new normal for IT-reliant companies in SA.

Cloud computing is a new reality in South Africa,” said Lovelock. “South African organisations are consuming significant amounts of cloud services, including software as a service, platform as a service and infrastructure as a service. CIOs in South Africa have started adopting cloud-first strategies.”

And Lovelock believes this will only grow, as Amazon and Microsoft plant their server seeds in South Africa in 2020.

As for 2020’s IT spend, Gartner believes South Africa’s hunger will slow to just 1% growth. Devices are set to plummet by 12.3%, shedding R5.6-billion from the sector, while spend on software will continue to grow by 11.5%.

Feature image: A Microsoft’s Azure server room, by Microsoft

Andy Walker, former editor


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