Cloud computing in South Africa: Prospects and Challenges

by GILLWALD, A., MOYO, M. & ALTMAN, M., 2012
In Unlocking the Benefits of Cloud Computing for Emerging Economies (eds Cowhey, P & Kleeman, M. Monograph, University of California-San Diego.

Cloud computing is scalable, on-demand provision of remote computing and data storage. Its dramatic growth is captured in a 2011 study that predicted that by 2014, over 60% of the world’s server workloads would take place on virtualised cloud servers, up from 8% five years earlier. This growth stems from the cloud’s advantages of scale and scope, which lower costs, improve speed, increase flexibility, and reduce risks in IT deployment. The cloud also enables an ecosystem of innovative ICT applications in low- and middle-income economies, which can assist them in achieving their economic and social goals. Cowhey and Kleeman consider migration towards a cloud environment. The opening and closing essays examine the technological requisites for successful cloud computing, how the cloud fits into global economic trends, and related policy issues. Three other essays document the cloud’s ample potential for helping India, Mexico and South Africa achieve their development goals, and address the numerous challenges to achieving this potential. The article by Gillwald et al focus on South Africa.