Why Cloud Computing Adoption is Essential for South African SME Growth | News24

Cloud computing is a technology solution that can help SMEs grow, but they avoid it.

  • Technology dependence is increasing globally and local SMEs can leverage technological advances to grow.
  • Cloud computing is one such technology solution that can boost the growth of SMEs, but they shy away from its use.
  • That’s because they think it’s meant for big business, but it can be affordable and it’s needed, said one tech expert.
  • For more stories, visit Tech and Trends first page.

Cloud computing is a crucial tool to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMBs) grow, yet they often shy away from adopting the technology solution due to the perception that it is only for large companies.

However, SMBs adopting cloud computing offer huge benefits to these organizations.

In simple terms, cloud technology or cloud computing is storing and accessing programs and data using the internet instead of hardware, such as your own hard drives for data storage.

Various cloud technologies or cloud computing services include access to servers, storage, databases, networks, software, analytics, and internet intelligence to help run your business faster and more efficiently.

Some of the simpler benefits of using cloud technology for SMBs include data protection, data backup and recovery, big data analytics, antivirus applications, test and development, e-commerce applications, and more.

More than anything else, it allows companies to scale, maintain flexibility and focus their efforts on business operations and not on managing a complex IT infrastructure.

According to One Linkage Chief Operating Officer, Pragasen Naicker, the adoption of cloud computing services by SMBs in South Africa is not yet strong because many of these companies are unaware of how to integrate the technology solution into their business ecosystem.

To combat this, Naicker said education initiatives for SMEs are needed.

One Linkage is a cloud technology company that offers enterprise services that enable the development and integration of cloud services for SMBs.

“I would say adoption is very low and the main reason is that there may be a lack of awareness, a sense that cloud is too technical for SMBs and also a lack of understanding of where the opportunities lie,” Naicker said at News24.

Event hosted by One Linkage together with SA companies on using cloud technology to grow SMEs (Phumi Ramalepe / News24)


In the past, companies had to obtain individual licenses to access various software applications and services, and this was often a very costly endeavor.

With cloud computing, getting these services is more cost-effective.

This is because cloud services provide multiple functions in one. While it’s more affordable than past solutions, it can still be considered steep in some cases, but Naicker said it’s worth the investment.

“Affordability is a concern and it’s a sacrifice in terms of building that productivity tool into your business upfront,” said Naicker.

“If you can afford it, it helps a lot. At One Linkage, we recognize that small businesses need the support and are reaching out to companies to help them integrate the technology into their ESD programs.

“If companies can help SMBs up front with the initial set of technology tools or productivity tools and integrate it into their system, SMBs can become more productive and hopefully sustainable beyond that of the two years of support companies give They”.

Business support to SMEs

Many large companies in South Africa have Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) programs aimed at promoting the creation of sustainable growth partnerships between companies and entrepreneurs.

Companies, such as Telkom and Sasol – among others – have several initiatives to foster the growth of SMEs, using cloud technology.

READ MORE | Google will join competitors in launching an SA Cloud region, but remain coy about when

According to Sasol’s head of business and supplier development, Jabulile Ratsibe, the chemical and energy company uses One Linkage to “provide SMEs with access to the opportunities available within Sasol” – and the company also shares the SMB offerings that engage with their existing customers, creating a continuous ecosystem of opportunities.

Sasol and other organizations involved in One Linkage then step in to elevate these small businesses to where they need to be to become suppliers.

Currently, Sasol has over 1,000 companies from all sectors registered to be serviced on the One Linkage platform.

“SMBs should try to get their businesses out there on platforms like One Linkage, so that there’s that visibility – and, when opportunities arise, companies like Sasol can check on the platform to see who’s there and what they’re doing. ” Ratsibe said.

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