South African CIOs reach for the cloud as data centre options expand

Burgeoning investment in cloud infrastructure and services by global providers is great news for struggling companies feeling economic pressure, and for those with continent-wide growth ambitions.

While a migration to cloud computing has been building in the South African business sector for some time, the last few months of 2019 and early 2020 have witnessed a surge in interest and activity in the sector that is driving fundamental change in the ways that companies operate. 

This is partly due to the dire economic situation that many South African corporations find themselves in and the compelling cost benefits of cloud computing, and partly due to the fact that many more options are becoming available as global cloud providers seek to increase their footprint on the continent.

Last December's AWS re:Invent Conference gave a hint of what was happening. In Las Vegas, a healthy cross-section of South African corporate giants were in attendance, including the likes of established insurer Old Mutual, mobile service provider Vodacom and systems integrators such as EOH and Synthesis Software. To underscore how seriously they are taking their migration to AWS adoption, Old Mutual included 15 engineers as part of their touring party.

 "Re:Invent is not a traditional technology sales conference. It has a strong bias towards technical engineers," says Conrad Blignaut, the head of IT delivery at Old Mutual. "It is important for Old Mutual to take our people on the journey and to do this we need to expose them to the art of the possible. The sheer scale of the event and the passion and enthusiasm amongst the attendees was amazing and truly inspiring."

Banking and retail are big cloud customers

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