AWS and Microsoft Azure shake up hosting in South Africa

The arrival of cloud computing services such as AWS and Microsoft Azure in South Africa has had a major impact on businesses and the local hosting market.

One of the main reasons for this is how easily companies can use cloud services without the technical knowledge needed to build and maintain such complex systems themselves.

Absolute Hosting director Jade Benson said it’s adapt or die for the hosting companies in South Africa.

However, he also said that their shared hosting services have not been affected by the arrival of international cloud platforms in South Africa, as they offer customers a simple product that explicitly targets the .za namespace.

“Customers don’t need the skills, software, and licenses needed to deploy simple online services like WordPress hosting, email hosting, and domain registration,” said Benson.

While standard shared hosting services have been relatively isolated from the rise of cloud computing, platforms like AWS and Azure have come to dominate larger enterprises for their business benefits.

In 2022, the International Data Corporation surveyed 106 South African chief information and technology officers, 70% of whom said public cloud applications are essential to their organization’s technological transformation.

80% also said cloud-based solutions had helped their organization maintain operations during the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

Vodacom managing executive for cloud, hosting and security Kabelo Makwane said these statistics were not surprising.

“This is in line with our claims several years ago when we embraced cloud hosting and expected more organizations to use the technology to accelerate their digital transformation journeys,” Makwane told MyBroadband.

Makwane said the advent of international cloud services has helped Vodacom Business’s evolution from a telco to a technology company.

Barry Kemp, head of Vox’s cloud division, said they have also developed their services and started offering multi-cloud products, including cloud facilities for virtual data centers.

Kemp said connecting different cloud platforms is the key to success in this area.

“The other significant change was staff training across multiple cloud solutions to provide customers with turnkey solutions.”

Kemp said the advent of platforms such as AWS and Microsoft Azure provided opportunities for local providers and South African businesses to leverage technologies previously unattainable.

“Platforms, products and services that help customers scale, run and innovate their businesses are now readily available,” he said.

“Local providers have rapidly retrained to build, deliver and support a wide range of services delivered both internationally and locally.”

According to Benson, companies that are not moving with the times may be left behind, as greater adoption of cloud computing services is a certainty.

“I suspect that hosts that haven’t invested in deploying their own cloud services that can compete with these large companies are seeing an exodus to some degree,” Benson said.

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