While South Africa and the rest of the continent are slightly behind the Cloud curve, Andrew Cruise, managing director of Routed, says there is opportunity aplenty during this period of digital transformation where Cloud migration is on everyone’s lips.
“Specialist expertise like ours however is much harder to come by. We partner with service providers, typically MSPs and ISPs/Telcos, and SaaS and PaaS providers. Our providers resell our Cloud as the foundation for value added managed services or connectivity services and usually host their internal applications on our platform too.”
Cruise adds it used to be the case that local South African internet infrastructure simply wasn’t up to the task of meaningful Cloud uptake, but now the country is well positioned to be a digital services hub for Africa. “Fast, reliable, cheap Internet (i.e. fibre) is a necessary and a sufficient condition for successful Cloud business strategies. We need good Internet for Cloud to be an option, and once it’s an option it becomes a no-brainer.”
Today, with vastly improved connectivity, there is no obstacle, apart from outmoded ways of thinking, to utilising Cloud for almost any workload. “It would be nice if South Africans in general can be persuaded to buy local. The presence of the hyperscalers like Azure and AWS is a blessing and a curse: their marketing machines promote Cloud as an option, but immature thinking also persuades some that there are no other genuine alternatives like Routed.”
“Local businesses like ourselves need to be encouraged and promoted so that the Cloud landscape is not dominated by large faceless global giants.” Cruise says the corollary challenge of businesses’ legacy approach will still take some time to overcome. “Generally, a more educated public is a benefit to us, as we are not trying to be the silver bullet which fixes every Cloud problem but do want our use cases to be promoted more widely.”