Over 90 percent of all the data in the world was created in the past two years, and the total amount of data being captured and stored by industry doubles almost year on year.
It is expected that by 2020, the amount of digital information in existence will have grown from 3.2 zettabytes today to 40 zettabytes.
Every minute we send 204 million emails, generate 1,8 million Facebook likes, send 278 thousand Tweets and up-load 200 thousand photos to Facebook.
Coupled to this, cellular phones are now even more accessible to the general population than they ever have been, with 17.9percent of rural households in South Africa alone accessing the internet from mobile devices and 30.8 percent of South African households using mobile devices to access the internet, according to Statistics South Africa’s General Household Survey report published in June 2014.
The sheer size of the African continent, coupled with the fact that Sub-Saharan Africa’s population is rising faster than the rest of the world (Population Reference Bureau predicts that Africa’s population will double to 2.4 billion by 2050) means that there are already several hundred million internet users who are demanding internet performance, and this number will rise at an inconceivable pace.
Peter Greaves, Aurecon’s Expertise leader for Data & ICT Facilities comments:
“The impact of this is that telecom operators will have to find better, smarter ways to serve a data-hungry population throughout Africa. Corporations and governments are also becoming aware of the increased need for data centres and the fact that outsourcing these services allows them to focus on their core activities. Concerns about unreliable power and inadequate security can similarly be delegated to a dedicated third party that will guarantee the required uptime and data integrity.”
He adds: “While it’s true that data centres can be remote, countries (especially African countries) need to start looking at more local solutions in order to ensure data sovereignty and efficient network performance. This demand will drive a significant data centre build-out in both East and West Africa over the next 20 years and now is the time to start reassessing the number of data centres in Africa, where they are located and how we can create scalable solutions to meet future data needs.”
“There are many complexities involved with building data centres that become long-term assets. Creating long-term, dynamic, scalable data centres in Africa will require us to draw on the key lessons learned from around the globe as well as the knowledge from local experts in the field,” believes Greaves.