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Small businesses using cloud technology could add R185.9bn to South Africa’s economy

19th January 2024

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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The adoption of cloud computing by South Africa’s small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) can potentially unlock R185.9-billion for the country’s economy by 2030.

Further, the use of the cloud by SMMEs could create 142 000 jobs, reduce carbon emissions by about 4.74-million metric tonnes and reduce cybersecurity incidents by 34.2%

This is according to a new research study, commissioned by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and undertaken by Access Partnership, which also found that cloud adoption by SMMEs will level the playing field and enable them to compete in South Africa’s digital economy by improving sector collaboration, driving efficiencies, providing data security and helping them innovate quicker.

“The adoption of cloud technology could help these SMMEs thrive by giving them access to the same advanced information technology (IT) infrastructure as large corporations at an affordable cost,” the report highlights, adding that migrating to the cloud eliminates upfront hardware costs and ongoing maintenance burdens for small businesses.

Migrating to the cloud could also enable South African SMMEs to avert over 88 800 security incidents between 2023 and 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, says AWS sub-Saharan Africa GM Amrote Abdella.

“As well as providing secure, affordable and reliable IT infrastructure, cloud computing is democratising access to advanced technologies such as AI, thereby enabling South Africa’s SMMEs to use them to grow their businesses.

“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.”

The use of cloud services and products enables easy access to enterprise-class technology, enables small businesses to scale rapidly and free up resources to focus on business innovation and growth.

“SMMEs are the backbone of the South Africa’s economy, especially in rural parts of the country, providing livelihoods for millions of people. The role of SMMEs is important for economic growth and the development of the South African economy,” adds Department of Trade and Industry and Competition’s (dtic’s) Invest SA CEO Yunus Hoosen.

Hoosen adds that the dtic will continue to work with other government departments and industry role-players, such as AWS, to boost small businesses and to create jobs in the digital technology, innovation and digital transformation space.

Relevant support for SMMEs cuts across the departments of Small Business Development, Science and Innovation and Communications and Digital Technologies, besides others.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

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