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Global IT Spending to Hit Over $4B in 2021, Software and Cloud-Based Projects to Account for 50% of Total IT Budgets

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Although the COVID-19 did reduce global IT spending last year, many companies were still forced to increase their IT budgets to adapt to new operational requirements and set up their employees to work from home.

According to data presented by AksjeBloggen, global IT spending is expected to significantly recover and hit over $4trn in 2021, 6% more than before the pandemic struck. Software and hosting/cloud projects are forecast to account for more than 50% of total IT budgets this year.

Hardware Budgets Drop, Software and Cloud Budgets Grow

According to the Spiceworks Ziff Davis survey, last year, hardware projects accounted for a third of IT budgets among business technology buyers, with differences depending on the company’s size. Smaller companies, employing between one and 99 people, allocated 35% of their budget to hardware, compared to 29% of companies with five thousand employees or more.

Software projects accounted for 29% of total IT budgets. Hosted/cloud-based projects and managed service projects followed with a 22% and 15% share, respectively.

However, the COVID-19 crisis caused significant shifts in global IT spending, with money allocated to hardware budgets slowly flowing into other areas.

While hardware budgets will still have the largest share in IT spending in 2021, their market share is expected to drop to 31% in 2021, compared to 35% in 2019. Statistics show that most companies, or 20%, plan to spend their hardware budgets on buying laptops this year, up from 17% in 2020. Desktops and servers are set to witness a drop in demand, while security appliances and external storage will slightly increase their share in total spending.

Software represents the second-largest category with a 29% share in overall IT spending, the same as in 2020. The survey also revealed that all products and services in this category are expected to maintain the same or increase their share in total IT spending. Around 12% of companies plan to use their software budget for buying productivity software, up from 10% last year. Industry-specific apps ranked second, with also a 12% share in total spending.

Statistics show that hosted/cloud services, as the third-largest category, will account for 24% of total IT spending in 2021, up from 21% in 2019. Managed services spending follows with a 16% share in 2021, up from 14% two years ago.

Online Backup, Recovery Solutions, and Online Productivity Software Hold the Top Spots in Cloud Services Spending

The growth in the cloud category has driven a massive adoption of productivity apps, cloud storage, and communications solutions, which are all relevant in the post-COVID-19 world where working from home is the new normal.

However, statistics show that online backup and recovery solutions and online productivity software will continue holding the top spots in hosted/cloud services spending, with a 25% share combined. Email hosting and web hosting follow with 9% and 8% share, respectively.

Analyzed by industry, companies from IT services plan to allocate 32% of their overall technology spend to cloud budgets in 2021, much higher than the 24% average among all industries. Around 11% of their cloud budgets will be spent on Infrastructure-as-a-service, compared to an average of 6% among all sectors.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Fintech

Flutterwave Celebrates Inclusion in CNBC’s Top 250 Global Fintechs

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Flutterwave has been recognized as one of the Top 250 Fintech companies globally by CNBC and Statista.

Joining the ranks of industry giants like Ali Pay, Klarna, Piggyvest, and Mastercard, this accolade underscores Flutterwave’s impact on the financial technology sector.

This honor follows Flutterwave’s recent inclusion in Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list, highlighting the company’s pivotal role in transforming Africa’s payment landscape.

The recognition is a testament to Flutterwave’s dedication to innovation and excellence in providing seamless payment solutions across the continent.

Expressing gratitude, Flutterwave acknowledged its talented team, supportive board, reliable partners, and loyal customers for contributing to this success.

The company continues to drive progress in the fintech industry, reinforcing its commitment to enhancing financial accessibility and inclusion in Africa and beyond.

Flutterwave’s recognition on these prestigious lists marks a proud moment and a significant milestone in its journey, reflecting the company’s growing influence and leadership in the global fintech arena.

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Startups

Google Leads $250 Million Funding Round for Glance

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A logo is pictured at Google's European Engineering Center in Zurich

Google is leading a $250 million funding round for Glance, a mobile content provider.

This infusion of capital aims to expand Glance’s reach and solidify its market position amidst growing competition.

Glance, a subsidiary of InMobi Group, offers a unique service that delivers news, entertainment, and other content directly to users’ mobile screens without unlocking their devices.

With a user base exceeding 300 million across India, the US, Japan, and Indonesia, the startup has gained significant traction since its inception in 2019.

The funding round, expected to close in the coming weeks, marks a continued partnership between Google and Glance.

Google initially invested in the company in 2020, and this latest round will further enhance Glance’s capabilities to innovate and reach new audiences.

This investment reflects Google’s strategic interest in India, the world’s most populous nation, where it competes with tech giants like Microsoft, Meta, and Amazon.

With India’s rapidly growing middle class and increasing smartphone adoption, the market presents vast opportunities for digital expansion.

The support from Google comes on the heels of a previous $200 million investment by Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s wealthiest individual, which valued Glance at over $1 billion.

The startup’s largest stakeholder, InMobi, continues to thrive as a pioneer in mobile advertising, with Glance benefiting from its expertise and resources.

As Glance prepares for this new phase of growth, it stands poised to redefine how content is consumed on mobile devices worldwide.

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Technology

Cyber Threats Surge as Nigeria’s Digital Economy Expands

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As Nigeria’s digital economy flourishes, it faces escalating cyber threats, prompting the Federal Government to issue 33 cyberattack advisories in the past year.

These warnings, issued by the Nigeria Computer and Emergency Response Team (ngCERT), highlight the growing vulnerability of the nation’s digital infrastructure.

Since July 2023, ngCERT has alerted Nigerians to new attack methods and vulnerabilities. With 22 advisories issued in 2024 alone, the surge in cyberattacks coincides with the accelerated digitization spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monthly internet usage in Nigeria soared from 125,149.86 terabytes in December 2019 to 753,388.77 terabytes in March 2024.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) notes that increased digitalization has heightened cybersecurity risks, necessitating robust protective measures.

According to Check Point Research, Nigerian businesses face approximately 2,308 attacks weekly across all sectors.

The advisories reveal various cyber threats, including ransomware and banking trojans. A recent warning highlighted Grandoreiro, a malware targeting over 1,500 banks globally, affecting 41 banking applications in Nigeria alone.

These attacks aim to steal sensitive financial data, potentially causing significant financial losses.

Nigeria’s critical infrastructure is also under threat. In August, pro-Nigerien hackers attempted to disrupt MTN Nigeria’s network, although they were unsuccessful.

During the 2023 elections, the government recorded 12.99 million cyberattacks, underscoring the scale of the threat.

Cybercrime costs Nigeria about $500 million annually. This includes data damage, stolen money, lost productivity, and post-attack disruptions.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation ranked Nigeria as the 16th country worst affected by cybercrime in 2020.

Experts emphasize the need for stronger cybersecurity measures. Adesina Sodiya, a professor of Computer Science and Information Security, warns that cyberattacks will continue to grow in sophistication.

He stresses the importance of building a cybersecurity curriculum and involving experts in creating effective strategies.

In response, NITDA plans to reduce cyberattacks by 40% by 2027. “As we digitize, we must build with security in mind,” said Kashifu Inuwa, director-general of NITDA.

The agency aims to implement comprehensive strategies to protect Nigeria’s burgeoning digital economy.

As Nigeria’s digital economy expands, it must address the growing cyber threats that accompany this progress. By enhancing cybersecurity measures and fostering collaboration among stakeholders, Nigeria can safeguard its digital future.

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