The combination of big data, mobility and cloud will have the greatest impact on market dynamics
Although big data is a rapidly growing buzzword in the African ICT market, the technology's actual application is not properly understood. Enterprises are gaining access to more data sources and collecting vast amounts of data, but the key challenge is finding a way to effectively utilise and, ultimately, monetise this information.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Big Data Outlook in Africa, finds that most companies in Africa will still be learning how to utilise big data efficiently over the next few years. Addressing appropriate concerns, particularly the integration of the solution with other aspects of the business, will be critical to facilitating the effective implementation of a big data solution.
"It is important to understand the full value chain of big data, from initial acquisition to its management, processing and eventual application," advised Frost & Sullivan's ICT Team Leader, Gareth Mellon. "Often, new users jump straight to the analytics segment of the value chain, neglecting the fact that the most successful solutions are those where all aspects of the process are integrated."
Technological advancements at each stage of the big data value chain, notably the proliferation of connected devices such as sensors, will continue to drive the big data trend in Africa. Continued investments in network infrastructure and the ease of adoption of various analytics platforms will also contribute to the emergence of big data solutions.
"As big data solutions become entrenched within company operations, providers will move to more specialised offerings for acquisition, management, processing and application," noted Mellon. "Big data solution providers will also begin to offer industry-specific applications to meet particular customer needs."
Since big data is inextricably linked to two other technological trends – mobility and cloud – it is the combination of the three that will have the greatest impact in the market. Hence, telecommunications operators will play an increasingly important role in big data solutions as they look to leverage this tremendous opportunity in the African market.