The introduction of uncapped ADSL has changed the online landscape in South Africa, and opened up new opportunities for cloud computing to take off.

MWeb’s introduction of truly uncapped ADSL has led to lower connectivity costs and released the constraints on bandwidth, according to Andre Joubert, GM of MWeb Business. He adds that the move has helped to level the playing field, with  South African businesses of all sizes now free to explore the many benefits cloud computing has to offer.

Joubert points out that in regions like North American and Europe, where abundant bandwidth has been a way of life for many years, cloud computing is rapidly becoming mainstream.

He cites a recent report, “The Arrival of Cloud Thinking” by Management Insight Technologies and based on a survey of more than 400 IT professionals in Europe and North America, which clearly indicates that the cloud as a computing platform is real.

The survey found that over 80% of large organisations have at least one cloud service and many use up to six.

Most of these (75%) are collaboration services including hosted e-mail and web conferencing. The cloud is also widely used for disaster recovery backup and for software services including anti-virus/spam filters.

A growing number of respondents reported that they also host their critical applications in the cloud – albeit fewer in the public cloud than a private cloud.

The greater popularity of the private cloud can be attributed to security concerns – but these are being addressed by growing numbers of cloud vendors.

Most IT executives said they invested in cloud initiatives because they believed it saved money; made costs more predictable; improved efficiencies and productivity; and promised greater efficiency, flexibility and scalability.

“There is no question that these same benefits are now within reach of local businesses,” Joubert says. “We are already seeing increasing interest in our Cloud-based services such as Hosted Exchange, CRM and SharePoint, along with Virtual server hosting and Online backup services. We anticipate that adoption rates will increase as companies become accustomed to life without data caps and similar inhibiting factors.”