The State Information Technology Agency (SITA) and Microsoft South Africa have signed of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which paves the way for government adoption of public cloud services.
The MOU, which was announced at Govtech in Durban recently, allows for government departments, through SITA, to move their services to Microsoft's Azure Cloud.
This comes as Microsoft prepares to celebrate six months since the launch of its South African datacentres, which offer enterprise-grade reliability and performance with local data residency.
Ntutule Tshenye, acting CEO of SITA, says the inclusion of Microsoft in the government digital ecosystem is the first of many that will collaborate with SITA to modernise and digitally transform government, enable new business outcomes and improve citizen experiences.
The MOU will empower Microsoft to engage with the National, Provincial and Local government through SITA to unlock value from the existing government investment in the Microsoft ecosystem by ensuring the appropriate distribution and usage of procured software.
It will also build solutions utilising Microsoft's Cloud Platform and capabilities as part of the Government Private Cloud Ecosystem (GPCE) and assist government with the responsible adoption of Cloud Services.
It if foreseen that it will, furthermore, contribute to the development of SMMEs and skills in the country.
Lillian Barnard, MD of Microsoft South Africa, said when they decided to invest in public cloud in South Africa, the company did so believing that it would have a dramatic impact on the country.
"Cloud technology will not only help the public sector to transform and optimise service delivery, and to create more engaged citizens and empowered employees, but will also empower the private sector to innovate in ways that help to drive economic growth and job creation," said Barnard.