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Brainstorm July 2020 Issue: Cloud

Ride the hybrid cloud tornado

Welcometo the inaugural editionof theBrainstormCloud Special Report,a supplement devoted to providing anoverview of the fundamentals of the cloudecosystem.
Cloud computing has been aroundfor a number of years, but today’s cloudenvironment, dominated by hyperscaleplayers, can actually trace its beginnings, in large part, to South Africa, thanks toa team of local engineers working forAmazon back in 2003.

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Due to its connected and global nature,local organisations have been using cloudtechnologies and services for some time.However, Amazon finally closed its SA loopas it launched its first African datacentreregion in Cape Town earlier this year. Thisfollows in the footsteps of Microsoft andHuawei, which both landed their owndatacentre regions here in 2019.
Solving latency and data sovereigntyissues, having hyperscale cloud presenceon African soil has acted as a catalysttriggering further interest and investmentinto the capabilities and businessadvantages it offers. Combined with theavailability of multiple undersea cablesincreasing bandwidth onto the continent,a rapidly expanding fibre infrastructuredelivering connectivity to homes andbusinesses, and a growing penetrationof smartphones among the population, alocal ecosystem able to benefit from cloudis now ready and open for business.
The Covid-19 crisis and resultinglockdown forced organisations to enableas many of their employees to workfrom home as possible. In large part, thecloud played a key role in this. And if itdidn’t, then organisations that surviveshould certainly be re-examining theircloud strategies as a pillar for futureoperations and digital transformation.As people continue to work from homeand social distance, we’re seeingincreasing numbers of consumer-facing businesses offering online retailservices, and if they’re expectingsuccess, they will be underpinned by thecloud. And, of course, cloud can benefit all manner of organisations, whatevertheir size or industry.
With South Africa’s economy havingfaltered over the years, in fact nosedivinginto recession and junk status earlierthis year, cloud computing could play asignificant part in helping to kickstart it.Before his attention was distracted by thepandemic, President Cyril Ramaphosa waspushing the Fourth Industrial Revolution(4IR) as the answer to the unemploymentcrisis we face, having failed to createnew jobs. Ramaphosa’s hope is that thistechnology-driven economic movementwill hit a reset and provide a platformfor innovation and new opportunities,rebalancing power in the economy.
In Greek mythology, the titan Atlas isresponsible for holding the heavens on hisshoulders, and cloud plays that role in the4IR, underpinning technological progress.As we shift to a more digitally savvypopulation, cloud will only continue to growits influence and impact.
The aim of this publication is to providea guide to everything the businesspersonneeds to know about what cloud is, whatit offers, why there’s so much fuss aboutit, and how it can be used to enable theirbusinesses.
There are a wide variety of topicscovered in these pages. I hope you find thepublication informative.


Adrian
Editor

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