Microsoft expands cloud services in South African data centres to drive growth and competitiveness

Dynamics 365 and Power Platform are now generally available in Microsoft’s enterprise-grade data centres in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Microsoft’s move further reinforces its commitment to investing in South Africa and increasing cloud capabilities. Through innovation, agility, and resilience, this will enable organisations in the public and private sectors to accelerate growth.

The multiple hyperscale data centre locations within South Africa now provide Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Power Platform online services to support organisations as they reimagine ways of doing business to adapt to the rapid pace of change in today’s world.

“Leaders in organisations across industries and sectors are focused on finding ways to improve the flow of innovation and knowledge across the business in order to respond to market changes, customer needs and specific business and industry challenges at speed. They need digital solutions that break existing silos between data sources, people, processes, and insights,” says Karin Jones, Director Business Applications GTM at Microsoft South Africa.

Through South Africa’s expanding data centres footprint and an ongoing investment in Microsoft Business Applications, commercial cloud services are becoming available and extending. This provides leaders with the portfolio of digital solutions they need to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and ensure business continuity and disaster recovery.

Microsoft Cloud provides a flexible platform, productivity, business applications, as well as intelligent software for rapidly storing, analysing, and acting on data at scale and securely. Additionally, it makes it possible for people to connect with business resources – data, documents, databases, networks, and systems – wherever they are, at any time. Through this, collaboration, sharing, productivity, and learning are enhanced.

By delivering these cloud services from South Africa, local companies can move their businesses securely and reliably to the cloud while maintaining data residency and sovereignty. As a result, they will be able to comply with regulatory requirements.

Combined with the launch of Azure Availability Zones in 2021, they are further supported by the low latency, resiliency and high availability of business-critical applications and data that comes with in-region data centres – guaranteeing uptime and continuous access to critical data, applications, and workloads.

“Organisations in South Africa are increasingly recognising the value of the cloud, driving continued growth and adoption,” says Jones. The IDC State of Cybersecurity in South Africa report showed that nearly half (48 percent) of organisations in the country are using cloud as a platform and driver of digital innovation, and 61 percent of South African organisations said they were spending more on cloud solutions in 2021 than 2020. South Africa’s public cloud services market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.5% through 2025, up from $1.6 billion in 2021.

New services continue to open up opportunities. Integrating cloud-based services and products with industry-specific clouds – such as retail, manufacturing, healthcare, and financial services – can help extend the value and benefits of the cloud even further. Microsoft’s cloud portfolio includes these capabilities, solutions, and tools to help organisations transform – driven by Microsoft Business Applications and the capabilities of Dynamics 365 and Power Platform.

In this era of connected operations, Microsoft Business Applications provide organisations with integrated, purpose-built, adaptable business solutions that allow them to manage specific business functions, foster customer relationships, and quickly create low-code solutions.

On top of the Power Platform layer is Dynamics 365, a pre-built set of applications that helps companies optimise operations, empower cross-functional innovation, and improve customer engagement. With these apps, companies can quickly onboard users, deploy them quickly, customise them for their own workflows and processes, and provide ready-made business scenarios for marketing, sales, commerce, supply chain, and customer service.

Anyone in the organisation, from business users to professional developers, can build, test, and deliver customised solutions tailored to meet their unique needs in production with Power Platform, a low-code/no-code solution. IT resources are scarce, so the solution requires minimal coding. “This means businesses are able to adapt and respond to rapid developments in real time,” says Jones.

“Microsoft’s ongoing investment in local infrastructure and the expansion of cloud services in South Africa is helping build the capability and improve operational efficiencies of organisations of all sizes across sectors. This will accelerate digital innovation in the country by enabling businesses to become more agile, resilient, and competitive. This in turn will help unlock broader economic growth for South Africa,” says Jones

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