One of the fastest-growing countries in the world when it comes to IT spend, South Africa is currently embracing a new, transformative reality: cloud computing, writes Byron Clatterbuck, SEACOM CEO. With many employees still working from home and more remote meetings than ever before, investing in cloud technology has become a no-brainer for local organisations wanting to adapt quickly and effectively to change.

By adopting cloud-first strategies, including software as a service, platform as a service and infrastructure as a service, companies across sectors can overcome business challenges, increase operational efficiency and move into the digital future of work.

Let’s look at why these rapidly deployed services are so appealing and how they can aid socio-economic development in South Africa.

The profitable power of cloud

By enhancing the scalability, flexibility, performance and security of IT systems, cloud-based solutions provide organisations with a wide range of productivity, reliability and cost-saving benefits. From easy access to available resources and reduced capital expenditure to more efficient projects and fewer operational issues, the value of cloud can’t be stressed enough for digitally-evolving businesses.

The move to cloud drives significant growth for companies, allowing them to dedicate more of their time and energy to other areas of business, including continuity and customer value. By providing access to world-class enterprise technology, cloud computing helps organisations to deliver results quicker and cheaper, offering an agile edge in a highly competitive business landscape.

More so, using or combining cloud services gives innovative enterprises the opportunity to develop new business models, value propositions and revenue streams.

A new approach to education

Cloud and other emerging technologies are driving positive change in business, so it makes sense that they have the potential to uplift the education sector too. The very same cloud services can be used to bridge our country’s skills gap, educating workers and young South Africans to thrive in jobs suited to the digital age.

With an increase in online learning platforms and courses, more locals have the opportunity to study and upskill themselves – regardless of where they live. And with fibre finally extending beyond major cities to underdeveloped areas, more students will enjoy widespread access to high-speed digital learning.

By using cloud platforms to enable education, academic institutions also benefit from more students taking their courses while saving on physical onsite infrastructure costs. Cloud-driven education offers enhanced, personalised and widely accessible learning experiences – ideal for our skills shortage and high unemployment rate.

In short, the future is cloud

Cloud technology is a natural fit in an evolving world, helping businesses and individuals to unlock their full digital potential. In many cases, they level the playing field, giving small and big businesses, urban and rural South Africans access to the same rapidly deployed services. From providing cost-effective, easy-to-manage business solutions to ensuring that the need for education is met, this innovative technology is reshaping how South Africans not only interact with one another but lead their everyday lives.

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