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SMMES USING CLOUD COULD ADD BILLIONS TO SA ECONOMY

IT-Online | 21 November 2023


Enabling more of South Africa’s small, medium and micro (SMME) companies to adopt cloud computing could unlock R185.9-billion for South Africa’s economy by 2030, according to a new study by Access Partnership.

The research, commissioned by Amazon Web Services (AWS), shows how by using the cloud, SMMEs could create 142 000 jobs, reduce carbon emissions by around 4,74-million metric tonnes, and reduce cybersecurity incidents by 34,2%.

SMMEs are the backbone of the South Africa’s economy – especially in rural parts of the country – providing livelihoods for millions of people. Adoption of cloud technology could help these SMMEs thrive by giving them access to the same advanced IT infrastructure as large corporations at an affordable cost. Migrating to the cloud eliminates upfront hardware costs and ongoing maintenance burdens for small businesses. As well as levelling the playing field, cloud adoption will allow SMMEs to compete in South Africa’s digital economy by improving sector collaboration, driving efficiencies, providing data security, and helping them innovate quicker.

“The role of SMMEs is important for economic growth and the development of the South African economy,” says Yunus Hoosen, CEO of Invest SA at the Department of Trade and Industry and Competition. “Relevant support for SMMEs including start-ups in the digital technology, innovation and digital transformation space cut across Government Departments such as the dtic (Department of Trade and Industry and Competition), Department of Small Business Development, Department of Science and Innovation, and Department of Communications and Digital Technologies.

“The report is welcomed, especially the recommendations pertaining to government, and it should be noted that the dtic will continue to work with the mentioned other government departments and sector/industry role -players such as AWS to boost small businesses and to create jobs in the digital technology, innovation, and digital transformation space,” Hoosen adds.

Cloud adoption will enable SMMEs become more resilient to cyberattacks. By migrating to the cloud, South African SMMEs could avert over 88 800 security incidents between 2023-2030, allowing them to focus on their business instead of cyberthreats. Access to cloud enabled technologies like Artificial intelligence (AI) could unlock the potential of South African SMMEs to create jobs, enable innovation, support sustainability, and drive inclusive economic growth.

“As well as providing secure, affordable, and reliable IT infrastructure, cloud computing is democratising access to advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), thereby enabling South Africa’s SMMEs to use them to grow their businesses,” says Amrote Abdella, GM of AWS Sub-Saharan Africa. “Small companies in industries like agriculture, manufacturing, and healthcare can use these technologies to unleash their potential, become more agile and competitive, and play a key role in driving the country’s economic growth.

“By using cloud services and products anyone can access enterprise-class technology, scale rapidly, and free up resources to focus on business innovation and growth.”


‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.




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