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

Microsoft has now made Dynamics 365 and Power Platform generally available in its enterprise-grade data centres in Johannesburg and Cape Town. This move reinforces Microsoft’s commitment to investing in South Africa and increasing cloud capacity and capabilities to enable organisations in the public and private sector to accelerate growth through innovation, agility, and resilience.

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.

The availability and extension of commercial cloud services through South Africa’s growing footprint of data centres – underpinned by an ongoing investment in Microsoft Business Applications – equips leaders with the portfolio of digital solutions they require to: cut costs, improve efficiencies, and drive business continuity and disaster recovery.

Providing flexible platform, productivity, business applications and the ability to rapidly store, analyse and action on data with intelligent software, the local Microsoft Cloud is able to create value at scale, fast and securely. It also allows people to connect with each other and business resources – data, documents, databases, networks, and systems – that they need from anywhere and at any time. This harnesses greater levels of collaboration, sharing, productivity, and learning.

Having these cloud services delivered from South Africa additionally means local companies can securely and reliably move their businesses to the cloud while maintaining data residency and sovereignty and meeting compliance and 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 alone is expected to expand 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.

Microsoft Business Applications are integrated, purpose-built, adaptable business solutions that enable connected operations, help organisations manage specific business functions, build customer relationships, and rapidly create low-code solutions for unique needs.

Powered by Azure and sitting on top of the Power Platform layer is Dynamics 365, a set of pre-built applications that help companies optimise operations, empower cross-functional innovation, and better engage customers. Organisations can onboard users rapidly, deploy these applications quickly, customise them for their own workflows and processes, and provide ready-made business scenarios for business functions from marketing and sales to commerce, supply chain and customer support.

Power Platform is a low-code/no-code solution that allows anyone in the organisation, from business users to professional developers, to rapidly build, test and bring custom solutions that are tailored for their unique needs into production without having to involve scarce IT resources. “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.