With worldwide spending on cloud services and infrastructure set to increase by 23.2 percent to $160 billion in 2018, businesses are noticeably interested in the technology.

That goes for us here in South Africa as well where we are anticipating the arrival of Azure data centres later this year.

The arrival of this technology means not only low latency to Azure services, but also compliance with local laws such as the Protection of Personal Information Act (PoPI).

While Microsoft Azure services are available in South Africa, many businesses held back adoption as it would mean transferral of data to a cloud that is physically located outside of the country.

The launch of local data centres may help to change those perceptions according to Othelo Vieira, Microsoft CSP product manager at Tarsus on Demand.

“They [businesses] had two major concerns,” explains Vieira. “The first was the compliance risk of moving data outside South Africa’s borders, especially with the introduction of the Protection of Personal Information Act; the other was high network latency between South Africa and Amazon, Google or Microsoft data centres situated in Europe or North America.”

But it’s not just business that has adopted a cautious attitude to the cloud, resellers have taken the concerns of their clients to heart too.

“We are seeing some resistance to moving to the cloud and Azure among South African resellers,” explains the manager.

“They share some of the compliance and latency concerns of their clients, and many are unsure how the pricing and revenue model will work. But that will change rapidly once the local Azure data centres go live,” says Vieira.

Resellers actually have an opportunity here. While many firms are well acquainted with the cloud many more aren’t and there is space for resellers to add value for customers by guiding them through what cloud computing is capable of and what tech can be used for specific business needs.

“The decisions about when to use the public cloud, when to use a private cloud, which apps to migrate, which providers to use, and how to manage the cloud and in-house infrastructure are complex, and resellers have a great deal of value to add,” continues Vieira.

In 2017 90 percent of local companies increased spending on cloud computing according to data from World Wide Worx and 83 percent of firms planned to increase cloud budgets in 2018, cloud uptake is booming and resellers that take note will likely find themselves smiling when the flood gates open.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]