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Oliver PotgieterOliver Potgieter

With cloud computing already entrenched and proven in some of the world’s most substantial companies and savvy startups, South African businesses should be asking themselves a simple question. Why isn’t more of my stuff in the cloud?

One possibility is that you’re being actively dissuaded from moving to the cloud owing to the vested interests of your managed services provider (MSP). Security concerns are played up, reliability and connectivity is raised and the spectra of data sovereignty can be fabricated.

Many MSPs are under pressure; they enjoy lucrative returns based on rapidly becoming outdated business models. Their value propositions are overtaken and they must now become accustomed to thin margins and annuity-based revenue streams. The benefits of economies of scale cost to end users has a punitive effect on the MSP, which is geared towards selling the time of its staff rather than the outcomes that end user clients want (which the cloud is able to deliver).

For MSPs seeking to become cloud services providers, further challenges await. Owning and operating data centres locally, especially with regards to addressing data sovereignty issues, has advantages, but there are significant capital costs to setting up and operating these facilities. Consequently, only larger MSPs are able to do so.

But it isn’t all bad news, especially for MSPs servicing larger businesses where migration to the cloud is more complex. Specialist expertise is required particularly with hybrid architectures and where cloud services integrate with existing processes and systems. And there is still the requirement for devices, local and wide area networks, and more.

The cloud is proven with the country’s top businesses benefitting from improved performance, massive reductions in capex and reduced operational effort required as there is no longer any need to update servers and their software.

If you are finding resistance from existing service providers, it could be time to get external, impartial advice. When your competitors are benefi ting from reduced cost and greatly improved efficiency, can your company afford not to expedite its own move into the cloud?

About the author: , director at Alto Africa