Oracle today announced the opening of its first cloud region in Africa, to meet the rapidly growing demand for enterprise cloud services on the continent. The Oracle Cloud Johannesburg Region “will boost cloud adoption across Africa while also helping businesses achieve better performance and drive continuous innovation,” says the company.
The opening marks Oracle’s 37th cloud region worldwide, with plans to have at least 44 cloud regions by the end of 2022, continuing one of the fastest expansions of any major cloud provider.
“The fourth industrial revolution, which is powered by cloud-led technologies, has significantly accelerated in South Africa and the wider African continent,” says Richard Smith, Oracle executive vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “In recent months, cloud technologies have played a vital role in helping African public and private sector organisations ensure business continuity, deliver essential services, and meet evolving customer expectations.
“The Oracle Johannesburg region offers a next-generation cloud to run any application faster and more securely for less, helping businesses build resilience, agility and achieve improved ROI.”
The Johannesburg region is built on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), which enables customers to migrate IT workloads and data platforms to the cloud or build new cloud native applications. In addition, Oracle offers a wide range of application modernisation and cloud strategies to help African organisations operate with global competitiveness.
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Oracle says African organisations are using it manage their mission-critical workloads and take advantage of cloud economics, and customers will benefit from significant performance improvements and reduced operational costs.
One of these is Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), which owns and manages a network of nine airports in South Africa, including the three main international gateways: O.R. Tambo International, Cape Town International and King Shaka International, which together process more than 40-million passengers annually.
Says Mthoko Mncwabe, CIO of ACSA:“Airports Company South Africa is mandated to advance South Africa’s national agenda of economic growth and development while delivering a sustainable and profitable business. Cloud-led digital transformation is vital for us to maintain an agile and profitable business model. The Oracle Cloud Johannesburg Region will offer us the flexibility to explore the latest technologies that can support our digital roadmap.”
The Government Pensions Administrative Agency (GPAA), which ensures the effective, transparent and accountable administration of pension funds on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GPEF) and the National Treasury of South Africa, is also a client.
Meiring Coetzee, CIO of GPAA, says:“GPAA is in the process of replacing legacy applications and refreshing its IT infrastructure. The timing of the Johannesburg region opening is perfect to enable us to lift and shift our existing and future Oracle deployments to the cloud. This will enable us to cut down on on-premises infrastructure and assist with the management of Oracle services, cybersecurity and disaster recovery.”
Reubin Layman, CIO of Openserve, the connectivity division of Telkom SA, says the Johannesburg region will boost the local infrastructure capability of South Africa and the wider continent, and help organisations kick-start their digital transformation journeys.
The cloud is critical to both innovation and cost reduction, says Kgomotso Lebele, technology lead at Accenture Africa.
“We have found that cloud-focused organisations in Africa and Asia Pacific were able to achieve 1.5 times more cost reduction and were reported to be 3.7 times more likely to innovate as compared to their competitors,” he says. “We have seen the benefits Oracle Cloud Infrastructure brings to our clients and know that the Oracle Cloud Johannesburg Region will further accelerate organisations’ cloud adoption and their ability to become agile, intelligent and digital businesses.”
Mark Walker, associate vice president for Sub-Saharan Africa at the Intenrational Data Corporation (IDC), says public cloud services adoption in Sub-Saharan Africa is accelerating at 25% compound annual growth every year between 2020 and 2025.
“The role of cloud in enabling innovation is underscored by the priority organisations have given to it as part of their digital transformation initiatives,” he says. “Cloud-based technologies have helped organisations weather the Covid-19 crisis and cloud is now helping them build resilient organisations that can withstand uncertainties.
“Our survey of CIOs in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria highlights that an in-country data center is an important factor for 60% of organisations that are planning to adopt cloud over the next 12-18 months. The Johannesburg region will boost regional cloud infrastructure availability. IDC believes that cloud has become an inseparable element of an organisation’s digital transformation and innovation roadmap.”