Africa senses opportunity in commercial cloud formation


Africa continues to demonstrate heightened interest in cloud and 'as-a-service' offerings including backup and disaster recovery, with multi-cloud strategies emerging as a popular choice for businesses, irrespective of size.

It bodes well for service providers like enterprise cloud data management company Veeam, which announced in early May that it had exceeded US$1-billion in annual bookings and secured 350,000 global customers.

Kate Mollett, regional manager for Africa at Veeam, said the company was not at liberty to discuss exactly how much revenue Africa generated in contribution to the milestone, but did say its operations on the continent "continues to achieve double digit growth".

The company said that Africa recorded a 36% year-over-year growth in bookings in Q1 2019, with 100 new customers added in that period. New partners grew by 37% year-over-year during this quarter and the region increased Veeam Cloud & Service Provider (VCSP) transactions by 28%, year-over-year.

Growth is attributed to increasing interest in cloud and offerings like Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) and Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS), with businesses positioning the cloud at the forefront of their digital transformation agendas.

"From an availability perspective, local datacentres represent information being confined to within the borders of the country, ticking a further essential regulatory box. Businesses are embracing digital transformation and are using the power and elasticity of the cloud to deliver rich digital experiences to their users," said Mollett.

The regional executive believes cloud service providers are gaining more maturity and traction in the public and private sectors, and going forward will be scrutinised for service delivery excellence by their markets.

"Thanks to the recent arrival of Microsoft Azure datacentres in South Africa and with Amazon Web Services (AWS) set to open new datacentres in the first half of next year, companies are going to start expecting more services from their cloud providers."

The reason, in part, is because of the anticipated latency and workflow improvements associated with these local datacentres, Mollett added.

Skills and resources remain sought-after in Africa and Mollett explains that businesses are looking for solutions that are easy to managed, can run remotely and deliver what they promise.

"It is more important than ever to ensure your business invests in solutions that leverage automation, that are intelligent and self-learning/ self-healing, a solution that is continuously available and 'always-on'," said Mollett. "A resource hungry, complex environment requires a significant investment in IT resources and up-front capital expenditure, which few businesses can afford."

Veeam will continue to push its vision for cloud data management in Africa, which, according to Mollett, combines all the best practice of backup "but adds a layer of increased insight and visibility for IT teams, meaning they can orchestrate and automate tasks."

While Southern Africa has been a strong constant for the company, it has made significant moves across Central Africa and gained ground within private and public sectors in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria.