Tech giant backs government in bid to embrace public cloud

30 October 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201916957

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IN a move aimed at accelerating the digital transformation of government services in South Africa, the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) and Microsoft South Africa have announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which paves the way for government adoption of public cloud services.

The MOU, which was announced at the Govtech conference in Durban on Monday, 28 October 2019, allows for government departments, through SITA, to move their services to Microsoft’s Azure Cloud and endorses Microsoft as a key partner for the South African government to enable Digital Transformation.

This comes as Microsoft prepares to celebrate six months since the launch of its South African datacentres, which offer enterprise-grade reliability and performance with local data residency.

Tech giant backs government in bid to embrace public cloud

“The inclusion of Microsoft in the government digital ecosystem is the first of many valued players that will collaborate with SITA to modernize and digitally transform government, enable new business outcomes and improve citizen experiences,” said Ntutule Tshenye, Acting CEO SITA.

Microsoft South Africa MD Lillian Barnard said the MOU would empower Microsoft to engage with national, provincial and local governments through SITA to “unlock value” from the existing government investment in the Microsoft ecosystem by ensuring the appropriate distribution and usage of procured software as well as build solutions utilising Microsoft’s Cloud Platform and capabilities as part of the Government Private Cloud Ecosystem (GPCE).

It would also assist government with the “responsible” adoption of cloud services and contribute to the development of SMMEs and skills.

“Microsoft welcomes this move by SITA. It is in line with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call for South Africa to embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the opportunities it presents,” Barnard said.

“At Microsoft it is important for us to partner with government departments to empower their digital transformation and help them to maximise their ability to build economic growth, broaden social inclusion, drive good governance, and achieve better outcomes for South African citizens.”

She said the adoption of Microsoft Azure in South Africa was gaining momentum following recent announcements that Nedbank, Standard, EXXARO and Altron would be migrating their services to the cloud.

“When we decided to invest in public cloud in South Africa, we did so believing that it would have a dramatic impact on the country. Cloud technology will not only help the public sector to transform and optimise service delivery, and to create more engaged citizens and empowered employees, but will also empower the private sector to innovate in ways that help to drive economic growth and job creation.”

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