The launch of an Amazon Web Services (AWS) region in Cape Town has opened the door for new investments in cloud for South African businesses.
Offering more services for companies to choose from, different pricing options, and an end to issues around data residency, the new AWS region is opening up new opportunities for local organisations of all sizes.
Richard Vester, executive director and head of cloud at iOCO, explains that there are two main benefits of accessing AWS’s hyperscale environment in-region. The first is that latency is not an issue, because the local region is that much closer to end users. Secondly, the ability to store data in-country enables companies to adhere to data sovereignty requirements.
The local region is the 23rd AWS region globally, and the addition of services to new regions in line with customer demands has proved very successful in all of the other regions that AWS has launched, he adds. The South African region currently consists of three Availability Zones.
“While local customers have good reason to be excited about the fact that AWS has launched the South African region, those that are self-provisioning might not be getting all of the benefits they could be, simply because they are not aware of how to best optimise their AWS environments. The benefits of hyperscale environments like AWS are not only limited to cost savings and peace of mind around data residency, but enable businesses to deliver rich solutions that leverage the full advantages of the AWS ecosystem to rapidly meet the needs of their businesses,” says Vester.
“Success in a hyperscale environment requires an understanding of how an application works from the top down, and most businesses are struggling to gain the benefits because they simply don’t have the skills to ensure that applications are integrated and optimised. In addition, as companies look to leverage technologies such as AI, the Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality, and so on, they are finding that they need assistance to get the most out of these investments.”
Many rely on their partners to help them navigate this complex environment, but too many service providers are still focusing on running and operating customers’ existing environments, rather than guiding customers toward innovative business solutions and the right high-performance environments, Vester adds.
“There just aren’t enough MSPs that have the deep competencies needed to provide the level of support and the skills needed to help companies navigate the hyperscale multi-cloud world. Customers are looking for dynamic, business outcome focused solutions, not just ways to keep the lights on. Instead of just looking for a partner to help them provision their hyperscale environment, they are looking for experts to help them optimise their cloud environment to unlock agility and innovation in their business.”
Vester says that next-gen service providers are filling this role, creating high value solutions based on specific customer needs. “Next-gen MSPs have the deep expertise needed to help customers from a consulting, design and implementation perspective – particularly when it comes to highly automated and intelligent solutions. Today’s businesses don’t want a partner to tick a few boxes to spin things up.
“They are looking for solutions that deliver an outstanding experience on an ongoing basis. Businesses look to get the most out of the local AWS region need partners that can help them maximise the performance of their applications, and can help them innovate.”