Microsoft says it is fully committed to cloud development in South Africa, with the company’s recently-launched Azure data centres expected to have a direct impact on the economy.
Speaking at the 2019 MyBroadband Cloud & Hosting Conference, Microsoft Cloud Specialist, Kevin George, said that between year-end 2017 and year-end 2022 Microsoft’s Azure data centres will generate nearly 112,000 jobs in South Africa.
Overall IT spending in South Africa is expected to total R175 billion in 2022, by which time IT employment will have surpassed 640,000, he said.
He added that the uptake of the cloud platform has been impressive in South Africa so far.
“We are committed to Africa and the Middle-East, and bringing world-class technology and skills to local markets.
“Now that Microsoft Azure has landed, customers are looking at how to migrate practically to the cloud,” George said.
Deputy minister of communications, Pinky Kekana, has previously said that Microsoft’s decision to invest in South Africa by building two data centres is arguably ‘one of the biggest Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) investments on the continent to date’.
“Not only is it a remarkable display of confidence in the South African Government, but it is also an illustration that the clarion call of Thuma Mina did not just end in Cape Town or around our borders – it also reached Silicon Valley with great speed,” Kekana said at a conference at the end of May.
Through the data centres located in Johannesburg and Cape Town government departments, State-owned Entities (SOEs), large businesses, small and medium businesses (SMBs) and citizens will be able to use massive computing power to fuel South Africa’s inclusive growth, spur innovation, accelerate digital transformation, and advance technologies including Artificial Intelligence, cloud and edge computing in the local market, she said,
“This partnership will also serve as a catalyst for government to accelerate e-governance and the roll-out of citizen services at an unprecedented scale and speed and in that way, accelerate government’s digital transformation programmes.”