There is a Microsoft data centre coming to South Africa!
This is all I have been hearing for the last two months every time I mention the words ‘Microsoft Azure’. I see a lot of excitement around it in the channel, and the best part is that this development offers so many benefits to the SA market that we are currently in discussions with our channel about cloud like never before.
We’ve also seen a lot of uptake in the Microsoft Azure space recently, and this is happening without the local datacentre even being ready yet.
‘Hybrid Cloud’ seems to be another topic we come across regularly, and it is also one of the most rapid deployments in the market at the moment. This has truly allowed the digital transformation space to fully mature, and brought local companies’ transitions in line with the transformation trends of the first world.
I am continuously learning as I go along with each business on their digital transformation journey, from both a technical and business outcome perspective. All the buzz words like IoT, AI, and Machine Learning that seemed very futuristic and not available to us are now within our reach, and this means that from a development perspective our contribution to these global trends is increasing more rapidly than expected.
Opportunities to innovate
Apart from the development contribution, business now has a better and easier opportunity to innovate and achieve the long-term visions they have set for themselves. With Microsoft datacentres going live in our country in the coming years, not only does it show confidence in the local market by a big player like Microsoft, but it addresses some of the concerns around latency and connectivity as well data residency within the borders of SA.
With all-new industry trends and all-new ways of changing how we traditionally do business, there comes a natural mindset change that we see people adapting to, that have led to the many positive outcomes we’ve seen.
Innovative thinking required
All businesses can have access to the best digital and data tools in the world, but if they do not adapt to the fundamental innovative thinking, this wouldn’t mean much to them. In a previous article by our former CEO Jonathan Kropf, “The CIO is not an IT Manager“, he refers to the change and transformation that the title “CIO” now carries, and how this title now relates to the approach of how businesses see and use technology.
I am delighted to say that this is something that I see actively happening in our channel, and I am excited for the maturity this brings to the innovative roles business needs to play. From building things like bots and logic apps in the Microsoft Azure platform, I have seen that this brings some of that innovative thinking and allows for ideas to be created and communities to be built.
I once thought only the bigger organisations would be users in the IoT space; I had made that mistake of not realising that even some of the smaller farms in SA are using IoT solutions to better the efficiency of their climate-control and irrigation.
SMBs adopting IoT
I also became aware of SMBs doing IoT tests for some of the ideas and outcomes that they plan to execute and achieve. These are not technology companies, but they have an innovative mindset of how they could benefit from this new trend.
With an open-scale platform like Azure operating in our back yard and our market, I believe we need to make sure that we maintain an open-scale mindset and no longer feel limited by the ideas we have.
Microsoft Azure has brought this shift in thinking to me personally, and I believe as we get ready for locally-hosted datacentres, we should start our journey immediately by testing and playing with some of the technologies that this brings now.