Back in May 2017, Microsoft first announced that it planned to build two Azure cloud data centres in South Africa. One in Johannesburg and one in Cape Town, these facilities were expected to open their doors at some point during 2018. But December 31 came and went. MS missed their self-imposed deadline and the local tech industry was left waiting and wondering what next?
Just a few weeks ago, Microsoft South Africa officially opened their data centre facilities giving customers access to Microsoft’s Azure cloud services, with additional offerings expected later this year. For companies that prefer to keep their data in SA, and for those who are legally required to do so, these facilities give them the option to do so.
According to an IDC report titled: “Economic Impact of IT & Microsoft in South Africa”, the increased utilisation of public cloud services and the further investments in private and hybrid cloud solutions allow organisations in SA to focus on innovation and speed up their digital business transformation. “In turn, this enablement will help businesses generate close to R81 billion in net new revenues over the next four years,” says Ashleigh Fenwick, public relations and communications lead at Microsoft SA.
Why is local data centre infrastructure important?
Here are the key benefits:
- Local data centres support and stimulate economic development for customers and partners.
- Local facilities enable companies, governments and regulated industries to enjoy the benefits of the cloud.
- These facilities foster innovation by enabling the technologies that support new and transformative projects.
- The new data centre locations connect customers with trusted cloud services that help them to meet local compliance and policy requirements.
- Replication of data in multiple locations across South Africa provides reliable protection for business continuity.
- For highly regulated industries that deal with sensitive customer information, like the insurance space, local data centres offer a level of security and compliance far beyond what any business could invest into on their own.
“Perceptions around the cloud are already changing even without the local data centres. However, their arrival will accelerate this and give South African business an improved ability to leverage the power of the Microsoft cloud,” says Lee Kuyper, COO of SilverBridge Holdings.
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