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Over half of businesses in Nigeria planning to expand locally despite supply chain and cyber-security challenges, report

December 8, 2022

Nigerian survey data also shows that 34% of IT decision makers in Nigeria are planning to move to a new region and 33% into a new country; 58% of IT decision makers in Nigeria view a shortage of personnel with IT skills as one of the main threats to their business; Equinix completed the acquisition of Nigeria’s MainOne earlier this year

As part of the Equinix 2022 Global Tech Trends Survey, 100 business leaders in Nigeria were interviewed about the opportunities and challenges their organizations are facing – and their plans for the future.

As Equinix’s survey data highlights, there are huge opportunities for Nigeria’s businesses to successfully expand into new markets and reach new customers.

The survey in Nigeria revealed that 54% of respondents are planning on expanding in an existing country in the next 12 months, 34% into a new region and 33% into a new country. And that 93% of IT leaders in Nigeria said enhancing customer experience is a priority.

However, a number of potentially limiting factors were identified by businesses when it came to global growth including concerns and challenges in supply chain, cyber security, and staff retention and recruitment.

Supply Chain Challenges

55% said their business was plagued by global supply chain issues and shortages, while 50% specified the global microchip shortage as a threat to their business.

Cyber Security

There remain significant concerns around cybersecurity in Nigeria. Ensuring expansions are supported by resilient digital models is business-critical, particularly at a time of increasing volatility and emerging global threats.

As part of their digital-first strategies, 85% of respondents in Nigeria confirmed a key priority is improving cybersecurity. 88% said complying with local market data regulations is critical, while 85% highlighted the need to futureproof their businesses. According to IT specialists in Nigeria, the most feared threats were cyberattacks (73%), security breaches and data leaks (68%).

Staff retention and recruitment

Despite having one of the youngest populations and workforces in the world, 58% of IT decision makers in Nigeria view a shortage of personnel with IT skills as one of the main threats to their business. The survey showed that among the most common concerns for businesses in Nigeria are candidates with the wrong skill sets applying for jobs (56%), pay and compensation (49%), changing expectations around ways of working (41%), and the retention of current talent (38%).

Additionally, In Nigeria, the most in-demand tech employees are those with skills in areas such as AI/machine learning, data analysis, cloud computing specialists, data protection, security software development, IT technicians and security analysis

Tools To Grow Businesses

To help grow their businesses, 77% of IT leaders in Nigeria said they plan to move more business functions to the cloud including business-critical applications and security functions.

Hybrid cloud models were the preferred approach for 36% of respondents in Nigeria, although 18% still rely on a single cloud provider and 2% not using the cloud at all.

40% in Nigeria said they plan to facilitate global expansion plans by deploying virtually via the cloud, with over a quarter (26%) – 21% among IT decision-makers in Nigeria – doing so using a bare metal solution.

Meanwhile, 47% globally (46% in Nigeria) said they expect increased spending on carrier-neutral colocation solutions to facilitate the planned rise in digital deployments, while even more (59% at global level, 70% in Nigeria) said they intend to increase investment in interconnection services as they plan to progress digital transformation and build resilience.

COVID accelerates digital evolution

The pandemic also continues to have a significant impact on businesses’ digital strategies. More than half of IT leaders in Nigeria (64%) say they are accelerating their company’s digital evolution because of the COVID-19 crisis. Indeed, over half (64%) confirm their IT budgets have increased as a direct outcome of its legacy—an insight into the now broadly acknowledged necessity for robust digital infrastructure to pivot to evolving business needs in an instant. Furthermore, almost three-quarters of respondents (73%) believe the technology changes and investments implemented during the pandemic are here to stay.

Funke Opeke, Managing Director, MainOne, An Equinix Company said: “The acceleration in digital transformation in Nigeria reinforces the need for businesses to have access to single points to interconnect locally. Increased speed of connectivity, increased flexibility of connectivity, and reduced cost of connectivity were identified by IT decision-makers in Nigeria as the most beneficial aspects of interconnection. MainOne provides a rich interconnection ecosystem that allows customers connect to each other multiple telecoms networks, and Cloud, Payment and Content Providers in a single location.’’

Earlier this year Equinix, Inc., the world's digital infrastructure company™, expanded into Africa through the US$320m acquisition of MainOne, a leading West African data center and connectivity solutions provider, with presence in Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.

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