On Monday, we published a column by Andrew Cruise is the managing director at Routed. In the column, Andrew notes that one thing the pandemic taught us is that remote work is a viable alternative to large, expensive offices and IT infrastructure and hardware.
Many African businesses have slashed their office space after realising that they could save money while still being fully operational remotely, and moved everything to the cloud.
“Work from home mandated as a result of the pandemic proved to many organisations that the need for physical hardware and infrastructure is fading as fast as the idea that everyone has to work from an office,” says Cruise.
In countries like South Africa, although only around 5% of the South African enterprise market is fully on the cloud, according to Cruise, many more are now considering this option.
The pandemic as we have highlighted in a previous column has accelerated the move to the cloud. According to data from Synergy,Cloud spend reportedly increased by 37% to $29 billion during the first quarter of 2020. Companies Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure also saw unprecedented demand during the early stage of the pandemic.
This surge of companies moving to the cloud is set to continue throughout 2021 as we navigate the future of work in a post-pandemic world. Gartner forecasts public cloud services will grow 18.4% in 2021.
“The pandemic validated cloud’s value proposition,” says Sid Nag, research vice president at Gartner. “The ability to use on-demand, scalable cloud models to achieve cost efficiency and business continuity is providing the impetus for organizations to rapidly accelerate their digital business transformation plans. The increased use of public cloud services has reinforced cloud adoption to be the ‘new normal,’ now more than ever.”
In sub-Saharan Africa, Cloud technology has helped business manage the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The third edition of the Cloud in Africa report, released last year notes that most of these businesses are increasingly turning to cloud to improve operational efficiency and COVID-19 has added fuel to the fire.
Moving to the cloud means you’re effectively renting hardware, which removes the hidden costs of mitigating against failures, disaster recovery and maintenance when you run your own hardware.
Last week, Vodacom Business Africa announced that it’s expanding its Cloud Connect offering across the continent.
“Africa is experiencing a boom in digitalisation. Combined with the disruptions of COVID-19, this is driving many organisations on the continent to seek out the benefits of cloud services. says Wale Odeyemi, Executive Head of Strategic Marketing at Vodacom Business Africa.
Africa Data Centres also officially opened its new 10MW data centre facility in Lagos, Nigeria. The facility is a key part of this expansion as Nigeria is a critical African market in terms of leading the charge for hyperscale customers to deploy cloud solutions to West Africa.
Simon Ngunjiri Muraya is Google Cloud Architect at Incentro Africa.