SMEs in South Africa beginning to embrace cloud transitions

04 May 2018 Authored by Consultancy.co.za

As business priorities tilt from cost-effectiveness towards enhanced security, the migration of company operations to cloud platforms is becoming an increasingly popular option, particularly amongst small and medium enterprises (SMEs) – according to co-founders of Executive Solutions Richard Levine and Gavin Bodill. 

While cloud-based operations have become a global trend, the primary subscribers to the technology, particularly in South Africa, have been larger corporations that possess the resources to make the transition.

The migration to cloud entails the transfer of data storage and applications to the online sphere, which allows for greater flexibility, increased automation of functions, remote access and, most importantly, enhanced security. Digital advancement is causing critical disruptions to businesses across the world, while also diversifying the threats being posed to organisations – which has pushed larger corporations to transition to the cloud in an attempt to remain competitive.

Smaller firms, on the other hand, have been resisting the cloud phenomena, preferring to save on the costs of transition. According to co-founder of Executive Solutions, Richard Levine, the reluctance has stemmed from the complex nature of migrations processes, the hidden costs associated with migration, and questions about the security of the core cloud servers. 

SMEs in South Africa have begun to embrace transitions to cloud

However, true to form, the disruptive effects of digital advancement have now made their way into the SME segment, as more of these firms have begun to opt for cloud options – a shift that can be attributed to a number of circumstances.

According to Levine, “One is that productivity and continuity are crucial, and cloud-based systems enable these. Also, migration to the cloud is becoming a lot simpler and security management significantly more effective, thanks to advances made by vendors such as Microsoft and Fortinet.”

The emergence of new measures to secure core servers has also played a big role in winning over SMEs. According to fellow co-founder at the firm, Gavin Bodill, these new measures include the Fortinet Security Fabric, as well as the development of software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WAN).

Fortinet allows firms to mitigate key risks, while SD-WAN allows for enhanced performance. “With these advances, we are able to offer our customers enhanced security and improved SLAs (service level agreements). This helps customers sleep at night and gives them more confidence about moving to the cloud,” said Bodill.

This shift in priorities spells opportunity for digital consulting firms in South Africa, a number of whom have begun significantly ramping up their operations, either through key senior appointments or through operational restructuring

Executive Solutions is a South African Technology consulting firm that was established in 1998, with the primary objective of delivering IT infrastructure services. The firm consults at every stage of IT transformation, from conceptualisation to implementation and maintenance, with an emphasis on offering customised solutions based on individual needs and budgets. 

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