by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG – SMALL and medium enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa are increasingly putting their faith in the cloud, thanks to new assurances that it can be more secure than on-premise systems.
Technology industry executives said trends had changed significantly over the years, with cloud and security now emerging as top of mind issues for many of the organisations.
“We see this trend emerging particularly among our mid-sized enterprise customers such as Gautrain and Safair,” said Richard Levine, the Executive Solutions co-founder and Managing Director.
Where only a few years ago, SMEs were reluctant to move their critical systems and IP to the cloud, mainly due to concerns around the complexity of migration, hidden costs of cloud services and security of core systems and data; many are now moving mission-critical systems and data into the cloud, Levine said.
He attributed this to several factors.
“One is that productivity and continuity are crucial, and cloud-based systems enable these. Also, migration to the cloud is becoming a lot simpler and security management significantly more effective, thanks to advances made by vendors such as Microsoft and Fortinet,” Levine added.
Executive Solutions, recently named Silver Partner of the Year in the Fortinet Southern African Development Community (SADC) Regional Partners of the Year awards, has specialised in IT consulting and management services for local SMEs for over 20 years.
Gavin Bodill, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, noted that developments such as the Fortinet Security Fabric and software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) were giving SME customers confidence in cloud migration and security management.
“With these advances, we are able to offer our customers enhanced security and improved SLAs (service level agreements),” Bodill said.
He said for example, with customers moving into the cloud, their connectivity became a massive single point of failure.
However, with Fortinet they are now able to manage this risk more effectively, and with the refined SD WAN, they can ensure a link not only functions but delivers the expected levels of performance.
“This helps customers sleep at night and gives them more confidence about moving to the cloud,” Bodill added.
Executive Solutions, with a lengthy history in supporting SMEs across South Africa, is stepping up its focus on cloud and security in line with changing demands from its customer base.