Back in May of this year, Microsoft announced that it planned to build hyperscale data centres in both Cape Town and Johannesburg offering a range of service locally.

Naturally this caused a rather big (and positive) stir in the local IT and business communities, since once the data centres go live in 2018, companies and entities will be able to enjoy services such as Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365, at lower charges and with better latency.

According to SEACOM, this could see the barriers for affordable cloud services lowered quite significantly.

“This represents a significant step forward for South Africa’s IT industry because it means organisations can access Microsoft’s rich selection of cloud services from a local data centre,” said Robert Marston, ‎Global Head of Product at SEACOM.

“This will not only give them more  reliability, faster speeds and lower latencies than they can get when accessing cloud services from data centres in Europe or the US, but will also cut out international connectivity costs which have typically been a barrier to entry for the move to the cloud.”

Marston also says that Microsoft’s data centres could prompt more cloud service providers to invest in the local infrastructure.

“The investment from Microsoft is a signal that the cloud market in South Africa and the rest of Africa has come of age. This is a great time for companies who have not yet made extensive use of cloud services and applications to jump in,” he said.