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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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technology - Investors King

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.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Fintech

Lack of Digital Infrastructure and Mobile Services Affecting Remittance Risks Leaving Millions of Rural Families in Poverty – IFAD

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International Day of Family Remittance- Investors King

Despite a massive increase in migrants sending money home via digital transfers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of their rural family members struggle to access mobile banking services which could help lift them out of poverty.

The President of the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has called for urgent investments in digital infrastructure and mobile services in developing countries to ensure rural families are not left behind.

“Migrants have shown their continued commitment to their families and communities during the pandemic with more remittances transfers made digitally than ever before,” said Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD, speaking on the International Day of Family Remittances. “Unfortunately, families in rural and remote areas – where remittances are a true lifeline – the battle to access cash outlets or even more convenient alternatives such as mobile money accounts. Governments and the private sector need to urgently invest in rural digital infrastructure to address this.”

Mobile remittances increased by 65 percent last year, rising to US$12.7 billion. This change was driven by a switch from cash due to lockdowns that limited informal channels and social distancing rules for senders and recipients alike. In spite of the global economic recession due to the pandemic, migrants continued to send money home to their families, with remittances in 2020 reaching $540 billion – a drop of only 1.6 percent compared to the previous year.

However, in many countries, people living in remote rural areas have sparse local access to banking services or limited mobile connectivity. In addition, there is limited availability of agents offering mobile money services such as payouts in cash. Often mobile money service providers are only located in urban centers. This means millions of poor, rural people have to travel long distances to towns or cities, often at significant cost, to receive the cash sent digitally by their migrant family members.

Digital transfers are cheaper than traditional cash transfers, and mobile banking services also provide the opportunity for migrants and their families in their countries of origin to access useful and affordable financial products to better manage their finances, including savings, loans and insurance.

Across the globe, 200 million migrants regularly send money to their 800 million relatives. This plays a crucial role in their lives and livelihoods. Almost half of these families live in rural areas of developing countries, where poverty and hunger are highest. Families use the funds sent by migrant workers to cover basic household needs such as food, housing, school and medical bills, as well as to start small businesses. These resources can often transform both families and local communities.

“While the pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital transfers and mobile money accounts, it also highlighted pervasive gender inequality,” said Pedro de Vasconcelos, the head of IFAD’s Financing Facility for Remittances. “Research shows that women are 33 percent less likely than men to have a mobile money account. We must focus on closing the gap by addressing the barriers that prevent women from accessing and using mobile financial services.”

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MainOne, West Africa’s Leading Carrier-neutral Data Center Provider to Unveil Data Center in Appolonia City, Accra

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MainOne - Investors King

MainOne, the leading provider of connectivity, cloud and data center solutions in West Africa is set to launch the  Appolonia Data Center of its subsidiary, MDXi.

The new facility which is located 20 kilometers from the center of Accra, Ghana will expand MainOne’s already robust infrastructure and service profile in West Africa. It was built to cater to the increasing demand for colocation and interconnection services by multinationals and businesses seeking shared services for their ICT resources in a world-class facility.

Speaking on the upcoming launch, Gbenga Adegbiji, Chief Operating Officer, MDXi stated that “Appolonia Data Center is a state of the art facility that is being built to the highest standards required for todays digital infrastructure and consistent with the MainOne brand. With the assurance of high quality of service designed to meet business requirements for digital colocation and cloud infrastructure, the Appolonia (Accra) Data Centre will provide a highly secured,resilient and scalable solution for our customers’’. Adegbiji further said “the operations of the Uptime Tier III certified Appolonia data center will be based on the global MDXI Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) which have been proven with 100% facility uptime of the Lekki Data Centre since its launch in 2015.”

Set for launch in June 2021, the 100-rack Appolonia Data Center offers customers the opportunity to host infrastructure in a facility guaranteed to provide high levels of availability and rich connectivity with a global network of customers, partners and suppliers thus ensuring 24×7 online delivery of services to businesses.

“We established this Data Center in Ghana to bring the highly sought services which MainOne is known for closer to institutions in the country,” Emmanuel Kwarteng, Country Manager, MainOne Ghana noted. “We are confident that the Data Center will not only deliver state-of-the-art services, but also create jobs and ultimately contribute to the economic growth of Ghana.” All data center staff are directly employed by the company and are trained on the latest technology deployed to keep the data center running smoothly. There are staff dedicated to monitoring all critical systems in the data center to ensure that proactive actions are taken to guarantee availability on 24X7X365 basis.

The Appolonia Data Center has also been fitted with high-definition CCTV motion detection cameras, laser-based perimeter intrusion detection systems, and three levels of security barriers before access to computer rooms. Access to the data center is restricted to pre-authorized individuals with identification only and there is an access management system to record access history for audit purposes.

A dedicated service delivery team assists customers with onboarding and ongoing service management. Remote Hands and Eyes Support services are available for customers to troubleshoot or perform various maintenance activities to ensure their equipment operates as expected while allowing our customers focus on their core business.

The Data Center will be unveiled in the coming weeks and open to multi sector businesses and industries across Ghana.

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E-commerce

Global VC Investments in Marketplaces Nearly Triple to Historical High of $28 Billion in Q1 2021

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Marketplace - Investors King

Marketplaces are continuing to benefit from shifts born out of the pandemic and show no signs of slowing down.

According to the research data analyzed and published by Definanzas, global VC investments into marketplaces hit a new all-time high in Q1 2021. It rose almost threefold from $9.9 billion in Q1 2020 to $28 billion in Q1 2021. It is also $4 billion higher than the previous record.

Based on a Be STF projection, global marketplace sales are set to grow at a 20% CAGR between 2020 and 2025. In that period, the figure will rise from $3.5 trillion to $8.8 trillion. Their share of online sales will also grow, going from 19% to 24%.

Marketplace Unicorns’ Valuation More than Doubles to $5 Trillion

Besides the massive increase in VC funding into marketplace, unicorn valuations in the space have also surged remarkably. From $2.2 trillion in January 2019, the figure soared by 70% to $5 trillion in Q1 2021.

81 new unicorns joined the ranks in 2020, bringing the total number to 370. Among them, the top 30 marketplace unicorns account for 79% of total valuation or $3.9 trillion. That marked a $1.6 trillion increase in valuation.

According to eMarketer, eCommerce accounted for a 7.4% share of total retail sales globally in 2015. The figure rose to 13.6% in 2019, posting a huge increase to 18% by 2020. It is set to rise further to19.5% in 2021 and 21.8% by 2024.

B2C sales accounted for 53% of total B2C online sales in 2020 or $2.45 trillion. It will grow at a 14% CAGR between 2020 and 2025 to $4.723 trillion, accounting for a 61% share of the total. On the other hand, B2B sales, which had a 7% share and a $1 trillion valuation in 2020, will grow at a 32% CAGR in the same period. The remarkable growth will drive its total valuation to $4 trillion and the segment’s share to 14%.

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