[Column] Simon Ngunjiri: South Africa is one of the biggest cloud markets in Africa

South Africa has been described as one of the biggest cloud markets in Africa. The country is also Africa’s largest data center market, accounting for ~60% of the continent’s available MTDC power supply.

SA has seen a rapid introduction of new CSPs, with Microsoft Azure Cloud and AWS entering the market as a gateway for the rest of Africa.  Businesses are also taking advantage of Google cloud as they try to revolutionize their businesses. 

SA is witnessing increased adoption of cloud-based solutions among enterprises and is rapidly emerging as a center for public and private cloud hosting, which will encourage more data center developments in the country. Cape Town and Johannesburg are the major preferred locations for data center development. The manufacturing, financial services, and healthcare sectors are among the major contributors to data center investments as these sectors are rapidly adopting cloud computing. The South African data center market is also increasingly adopting cloud technology.

Companies like The Argility Technology Group (ATG),  a fast-growing, South African enterprise software company are capitalizing on this opportunity. The company recently opted to stop running its own data centers and instead move its entire infrastructure to the public cloud.

A report released by cloud software provider, Nutanix, recently also revealed that in 2020, 50% of businesses in South Africa moved with speed to adopt hybrid cloud. According to the report, Hybrid cloud is the ideal IT operating model for most respondents in South Africa and elsewhere, with most IT respondents (88%) locally and globally (87%) reporting that the hybrid cloud is the ideal infrastructure model for their organization.

While there is an increase in the African market, South Africa in particular, it’s a strong hybrid cloud trend. 

Last month, Chinese tech giant also announced that it will be expanding its cloud computing presence in South Africa, with a new “availability zone” to be built in Cape Town in the next year or two. The company sees massive opportunities in the country. Recently, it announced that its cloud business has generated more than $5 million in revenue over the past year and garnered more than 1 000 partner organizations in Africa.

Stone He, president of Huawei Cloud in Southern Africa,  said South Africa, is “quite important” for Huawei’s global cloud computing road map as it eyes grabbing market share from “hyperscale” cloud market leaders Amazon Web Services and Microsoft.

Cloud computing is viewed as having the potential to significantly bolster economic growth through the provision of cost savings and efficiencies, including the cost of management of data and security. In Africa, South Africa ishas been described as an exceptional case, as the growth of cloud-computing services is demand-side driven through the corporate sector.

Simon Ngunjiri Muraya is Google Cloud Architect at Incentro Africa.

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