The cloud adoption curve should plateau in South Africa. As a result of the rapid digital transformation taking place, cloud engagement is on the increase. IDC research also states that 93% of South African companies are developing cloud strategies, and are either in the implementation phase or planning implementation in the near future.
There is a clear shift towards more agile platforms and the establishment of South Africa as a natural hub for regional expansion. The establishment of two Microsoft Azure cloud data centres in Johannesburg and Cape Town is clear evidence of this transformation. The emergence of companies like Microsoft, into the local market, is likely to see a move away from personal clouds, favoured by business, to more powerful and reliable public clouds.
Having adopted a new mindset, local organisations have started to address the three main stumbling blocks for cloud adoption: cloud infrastructure, data protection concerns and conservative financing structures. Digital transformation and its sub-sets such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine Learning (ML) are all increasing the pressure on local organisations to more quickly adopt a cloud strategy. Mobility will also continue to play a role in the overall cloud-effectiveness of organisations.
Having addressed security concerns, cloud providers have strengthened their platforms, easing the potential cloud-adoption burden for organisations. The next shift will come as workloads are migrated to the cloud. We anticipate this shift to take place in the fintech space as well as in the manufacturing sector over the next five years. There is a belief that this will assist with accelerating time-to-market and reinvigorate new business models.
The increasing competition between cloud vendors such as Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Amazon’s AWS will assist in further developing the local cloud market. Not only is competition healthy, but this brings further investment and development, all of which bodes well for South Africa.
The burgeoning SME sector will also increase its use of cloud technology in an effort to better compete and achieve long-term success. Local cloud vendors will need to continue to find ways to address this growing market and assist in serving the needs of entrepreneurs. Cloud strategies can assist to redefine business models and business boundaries; ultimately helping SMEs compete more effectively.