South Africa in the clouds
A digital story was about to gain importance and all propelled by a crisis – the COVID 19 pandemic.
A study conducted by market research leader World Wide Worx, in partnership with F5, Dell Technologies, Digicloud Africa and Intel, found that eight out of 10 respondents believed cloud computing had made a significant contribution to government's efforts in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Presenting the findings, the single biggest benefit from cloud computing for government had been remote working. The second benefit was communicating with the public, followed by crisis co-ordination. Within the SME sector, cloud computing provides access to advanced IT technologies, which were previously only accessible to larger enterprises, thereby enhancing entrepreneurship and innovation.
Some 82% of South African businesses increased cloud spend. Zimbabwe followed with 59%, and 50% in both Nigeria and Botswana. There is growing awareness of the benefits of cloud computing for various-sized companies. Global players like AWS, Google and Microsoft are now fully operational in South Africa. As South Africa welcomes local data centres from global players, it’s clear the cloud conversation is about to become more vocal.
Standard Bank plans to migrate production workloads that include customer-facing systems and strategic core banking applications to the cloud. SBSA has signed up Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred cloud provider. Group CIO Alpheus Mangale believes Standard Bank could be the first financial institution in South Africa, if not Africa, to announce a cloud migration of such magnitude.
Business flexibility and scalability will be key to enabling growth, while reducing unnecessary costs as a result of more streamlined operating systems and access to more markets and a wider range of service providers.
Since the introduction of localised pricing a year ago, Zoho has seen a huge take up on its SaaS products in SA. In March 2020, Forbes identified Zoho as the “The Most Successful SaaS Company You May Have Never Heard of” Attributed to its focus on small-medium businesses and the plan for minimizing the adoption barrier of its operating system for business. It is clear that with platforms such as Zoho SA businesses have an opportunity to aim for impact by transforming quickly and cost-effectively on the path to becoming a digital nation.
Telkom Business recently announced its support to SMEs in their digital journey with software as a service solution with the introduction of Zoho SaaS products in its e-commerce platform.
Zoho is a business software solutions company with over 20 years of experience in business software development. Zoho began with its Zoho CRM platform in 2005 and has expanded to all different departments of business and enterprise. Zoho also offers an enterprise-level subscription called ZohoOne. Zoho One has all 40+ of Zoho’s apps bundled together to make for a connected “operating system for business.” Zoho has over 50 million users in over 180 countries globally.
Overall, the investments into South Africa mean that customers are starting to seriously look at the adoption of the public cloud. There’s been a big uptick in interest in the public cloud, and there have been some significant announcements around adoption. Having said that, organisations are already adopting digital services that are not necessarily available in their on-premises environments. These are typically around data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of things (IOT).
At Centrax Systems, we believe that Cloud is the new normal and to support that we have engineered an eco-partner system with companies such as Zoho, AWS, Veeam, Automation Anywhere so we can successfully workclosely with clients to understand their complete digital transformation needs. To support a cloud journey strategy, our experts develop business cases with a metrics-driven ROI roadmap. We build a framework for public, private and hybrid cloud approaches, cloud types (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS), reference architectures, security policy and cloud management platform.
With the help of our strategic partnerships, we assess the current state of applications and infrastructure, and recommend the most efficient and optimal to-be state, enabling businesses to adjust to the digital disruption and become fast and innovative.