The over-arching messaging from cloud providers the world over has long been “Ditch capex for opex by kicking your own tin to the curb and adopting cloud instead!” and “Deploy exactly what you need from the cloud and pay only for what you use!”, and that messaging has hit home in a big way, even here in South Africa.

But when margins are at risk and costs are always in need of cutting (while ever-improving service delivery is still expected), that should come as no surprise.

2017 saw South African businesses adopting cloud services en masse, thanks in part to the raw appeal of cloud, but also to the viability of overseas-based cloud services made possible by our slowly-improving internet connectivity. It could also be argued that an even bigger contributor to cloud adoption was our local telecommunications industry developing their own home-grown services, which they did.

You’ll see this in the results below, and how two of the top three places went to local providers of cloud services.

  1. Amazon Web Services (25.4%)

Despite being primarily known as an online storefront with amazing delivery times (if you’re in the US, anyway) that sells anything you can think of, Amazon’s cloud services have arguably led the cloud revolution for years, outselling even big names like Microsoft and Google after getting their proverbial foot in the door as far back as 2010.

That initial foray into cloud earned them a strong following; so much so that despite Microsoft pushing its Azure services aggressively in South Africa and Google being ubiquitous across the internet and their cloud products incredibly affordable, Amazon’s Web Services found favour with the majority of our SME voters, earning AWS 25.4% of the total vote.

  1. Afrihost (20.2%)

As good as Amazon Web Services are, when it comes to filling somewhat less-intensive needs like cloud-based hosting activities, our local telcos are in prime position to do exactly that, at prices our local SMEs like. And that’s what Afrihost is doing, apparently, going on their second-placed 20.2% vote tally.

Afrihost offers cloud hosting for organisations of every size, from small one-man outfits all the way up to hundred-plus-employee enterprises, both with and without software management functionality. Clearly, these options hit the right notes for local cloud users, pushing Afrihost firmly into second place in our survey results.

  1. Dimension Data (11.4%)

Third place in the survey results was South Africa’s own home-grown ICT services company, Dimension Data, a company that has been delivering ICT-related products, solutions, and services for 35 years now.

Dimension Data caters more for medium-to-large sized organisations, however, which is likely why more of our readers didn’t vote for them, but despite this, they still walked away with 11.4% of the votes. DD’s many points of presence across the land, the fact that they are so well-established, and their reputation for excellent service and support are likely behind their popularity here.

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Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.