Things are looking up for local cloud adoption – and home-grown content and services will only increase prospects for vendors and fuel demand in the market.
This is the view of Kevin Hall, National Sales Manager at ICT services and solutions firm Elingo, focused on multimedia contact centre and enterprise IP telephony.
One of the main factors affecting adoption is the demand for local presence of international cloud platforms.
“The current platforms being deployed are based on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure platforms, and there is certainly a need for local presence. Based on the legislation of data-governance, clients in the financial services industry may not allow their customer data to leave our shores. This means some limitations of services and other technologies which can be implemented locally,” says Hall.
He explains that other factors include the cost of the international data and bandwidth, as well as delays in service that cause boundaries to entry and which could be eliminated.
“South-Africa could also then be seen as the entry into the rest of Africa for these services, in countries which need cloud the most,” Hall continues.
The Elingo executive explains that local presence of international platforms is already in place.
“AWS is already doing some market research, and considering their contact centre and customer service presence in Cape Town, with the linked IT skills, we believe this will be a natural pathway of improvement and innovation. Azure will simply have to increase a local presence considering the local investment from public sector in the Microsoft platform,” Hall adds.
He says both the Salesforce and Office365 technologies are seeing huge increase in volume; however Office365 might be leading the charge due to the current office footprint.
While sectors like retail and micro lending are leading in cloud adoption, with banks and fintech firms quickly catching up, relevant skill-sets remains an issue and could speed up adoption and monetisation.
“As the increase of skills and cost of development becomes cheaper, and the millennials start demanding more apps, using more services, and developing better interfaces like any cloud industry in the world, a boom will happen eventually if there is money to be made,” Hall continues.
“The skills will follow the demand, if the IT teams start demanding more skills, the training will be developed and the skills will follow,”
From an Africa point of view, the continent is still plagued with connectivity challenges. However, as Hall explains, countries like Kenya and Nigeria are making substantial inroads in their ability to innovate and build cloud systems focused on the consumers.