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April 17, 2019

It’s time for a public sector migration

By: Ian Houvet, Director at Boxfusion

As cloud computing continues to evolve, more and more businesses are making the decision to move their IT environments into the cloud. That is because cloud platforms offer enticing solutions to many of the challenges traditional on-premise servers create for businesses and software developers alike.

Of course, the public sector also faces similar difficulties to those experienced by the private sector. But until recently, the cloud was never a viable option for local government, because of issues around data sovereignty. This has all changed with the recent launch of the local Azure datacentres in both Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Now that government data can be kept on local shores, government can begin, and indeed some departments have already started, to migrate across to cloud-based services and solutions. One of the primary benefits of this migration, besides PAIA and GDPR compliance, is that the cloud allows for more reliable servers for the public sector, with far less downtime than is currently experienced with on-premise hardware.

Considering the recent spate of electricity shortcomings in the country, having cloud-based servers that can be accessed by officials on the go, regardless of power outages, can ensure that daily functions can still take place. But apart from the reliability of the cloud as opposed to on-premise, is the data recovery and replication ability the cloud offers. The built-in fault tolerance and data redundancy features of a cloud application like Azure ensures that government, and the citizens it serves, remain unaffected by disaster.

Part of the appeal of the cloud for an entity as large as the public sector, is the flexibility and agility that it offers. Not only does it do away with unused and wasteful shelfware through its pay-as-you-go/per-user Opex model, but it also allows for easy scalability, depending on demand. This means that as a department grows, more resources, like CPU and memory, can be added at the click of a button.

What is most exciting about the local Azure datacentres as a cloud provider on local soil, is that Microsoft has a Framework Agreement with government, making acquisition and migration of services even simpler than it already is. As one of the software solution service providers that works alongside government, the team at Boxfusion is also excited about all the potential that the Azure datacentres offer. Through our partnership as the only public sector ISV working with Microsoft, we can host and roll out our software solutions to government departments faster and easier than ever before.

The cloud, and specifically the local Azure datacentres, are changing the digital landscape of South Africa. There’s never been a more opportune time for the public sector to make the move to the cloud, alongside reliable service providers like Boxfusion and Microsoft.