TechInAfrica – Microsoft was planning to launch its data centers in two South African cities: Johannesburg and Cape Town. The planning was announced in 2017, yet the realization seems to be happening this year. Located in these big cities in South Africa, Microsoft is targeting the growth of cloud services on the continent. Through this data centers, Microsoft is expected to introduce Microsoft Cloud—Microsoft Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365—to the continent.
The Head of Communications of Microsoft, Ashleigh Fenwick explained that these data centers would support digital transformation as well as make data residency beneficial to the country. Fenwick ensured that these data center locations will offer excellent performance and reliability that will be combined with South Africa’s data residency.
Fenwick said: “This provides our customers trusted cloud services that help them meet local compliance and policy requirements. In addition, replication of data in multiple data centers across South Africa gives customers reliable protection for business continuity in both pure and hybrid scenarios.”
“Furthermore, in our experience, local data center infrastructure supports and stimulates economic development for both customers and partners alike, enabling companies, governments, and regulated industries to realize the benefits of the cloud for innovation and new projects, as well as bolstering the technology ecosystem that supports these projects”, added Fenwick.
The cloud services enable true digital transformation, allowing businesses to develop and transform their current business models into digital business models. Even more, they also improve operational efficiency, strengthen customer engagement, and encourage employees, and, unexceptionally, transform products and services to be innovative.
“Moreover, the IT sector in South Africa is expected to grow at a five-year compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.25% to reach R175 billion by 2022. This growth is fuelled by public cloud growth – the cloud market is expected to reach R11.53 billion by 2022, representing a CAGR of a whopping 21.9%. This could potentially lead to 119k net new job opportunities.
When asked about what their specifications when selecting data center sites, Fenwick explained, “When choosing data center sites, we consider more than 35 weighted criteria, including proximity to population centers, an ample and reliable power source, and fiber optic networks, a large pool of skilled labor, and affordable energy rates to determine the long-term viability of each site.”