Here below are the top trends recently identified from various sources for the IT sector globally, while filtering those based on observation of the African realities:
1. Security & Cryptography:
It is currently the most fast growing sector in the IT industry. You could position yourself in that field, either as local distributor of foreign solution or as local consulting and audit firm.
It’s a highly profitable niche, with lot of demand from private and public sectors.
In any case partnership with international solution provider would be necessary, and building domestic expertise will be a long-term investment that would also yield high profit.
Here are few ideas to explore the field with confidence: 10 Ideas for Profitable Business in Data and Networks Security in Africa
2. Social medias marketing
In Africa, for most of Internet users, the Internet is equal to Facebook. Though online marketing is not yet mature in many countries in Africa, positioning in that field could be a good idea, however client education and sales could take long period of time to yield desirable results.
3. Bank & Finance
The avalanche of new banks, insurances and financial companies in Africa means more demand for IT solutions. Most of these organizations come with proven and foreign developed solutions. However, the segment of microfinance, credits unions, and cooperatives is currently underserved while in high need of operations solutions for their productivity, security and growth.
This segment has a lot of needs but public market is highly unpredictable and not easy to address specially for small firm.
Here are few niches that could be profitable: 10 Ideas for Profitable Business Empowering African Governments with Technology
5. E-commerce/M-commerce/ R-Commerce
The recent development of online and mobile payment solutions would help e-commerce grow in Africa.
The most promising ideas and niches here:
– Africa e-commerce: Beyond the Hype
– Africa e-Commerce: The Missing Ingredients
– Nigeria eCommerce Adaptation to Survive: From e-Commerce to Street Kiosk Business!
– Forget the Web or the Mobile, Radio is the Biggest Media in Africa
6. Data mining & infographics
It’s one of the hottest segment with big demand from private and public sector. SaaS solutions already exist and quite well proven.
This sector will definitely grow and become more critical in business operations. Developing an early adopter and local competency in this field could be a good strategic move.
This market would be suitable for NGOs, International organization, national statistics institutes, banks, financial institutions, etc.
Few ideas for positioning:
7. Strategy consultancy
In developing market like Kenya or similar countries, demand for intellectual leadership, and guidance is high. Buyers want to learn more before investing, but also receive education about market solutions.
Small firm generally don’t have enough resource to invest in intellectual leadership and publication of research papers and white papers.
Still, this field could be an adjacent activity not only for brand development purposes but also customer acquisitions and retention. Management consultancy coupled with IT solutions are the core competency of huge consulting firm like IBM, Ernst & Young, etc.
8. Local cloud infrastructure
Private cloud is on the rise as well as public cloud. There are already proven solutions and technologies for private and public cloud.
This sector could be a good niche for positioning. However, the presence of huge player on the field could limit the ability for small players to do this business profitably.
Ways to position new entrants in the value chain here:
– 49 Ideas For Mobile Business in Africa
– African Students in Finland: 7 Ideas for Business in Africa
– 100 ideas to Start a Profitable Business in Africa
9. Technology powered education
Africa is a place where technology is the least used in education. There is a big underserved market of public schools, however it might be even more promising to target the growing number of private schools with either demand-driven solutions or SaaS.
Here are few niches and ideas that could be profitable and helpful:
– 10 Ideas for Profitable Business Empowering African Governments with Technology
– The God Approach: A Guaranteed Path to Success in Business
– Africa: Your Business Should be Profitable in 45 days or Die