Cloud investment set to soar in 2024

 ·15 Feb 2024

CEOs in Africa are increasingly investing in cloud transformation – the process of migrating work, such as data, apps and software programs, to the cloud.

According to PwC’s inaugural Africa Cloud Business Survey 2023, 50% of companies have already adopted cloud technologies, and, within two years, 61% of companies will have moved their operations to the cloud.

The report, which surveyed 2,209 business and tech leaders across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), showed that cloud transformation has been gradual.

With increasing pressure from clients, partners and competitors, most businesses have sped up their plans to develop new cloud-based systems.

“Despite progress in cloud migration in Africa, businesses still face numerous region-specific challenges such as budget constraints, skills shortages, cybersecurity risks, and navigating the changing regulatory
landscape on crucial topics like data sovereignty.”

“Therefore, businesses need to learn how to strike a delicate balance between economic considerations, skill development, and the strategic advancement of their technological infrastructure,” said Mark Allderman, PwC South Africa Cloud and Digital Leader.

The survey showed that organisations across EMEA are looking to pursue large-scale migrations towards new tech platforms.

In Africa, 40% of respondents are focusing on a combination of migration, modernisation and cloud-native development for their businesses.

Compared to businesses in the EMEA, modernisation is seen as the first step in adopting the cloud.

Source: PwC

The survey results show that it is crucial for African organisations to accelerate their cloud transformation to stay competitive in the global market.

“Increasing cloud adoption, especially in the near term, is not only key to giving businesses the edge when it comes to leveraging cloud scalability and innovation to meet diverse business needs, but is becoming increasingly recognised as an enabler of economic growth across Africa,” said Tshifhiwa Makhari, PwC South Africa Technology Consulting Partner.

Only 12% of businesses in Africa said they have a high cloud maturity, meaning they are fully committed to the cloud and have scaled it throughout the business.

38%, the largest proportion of businesses in Africa, said they had a medium cloud adoption maturity level, as they have adopted the cloud in some parts of their business.

Cloud investment is expected to increase as businesses realise its tangible benefits.

Over the next years, CEOs’ top cloud priorities will include:

  • Increasing productivity (42% in Africa, 49% in EMEA);

  • Improving profitability (36% in Africa, 48% in EMEA);

  • Saving on costs (36% in Africa, 43% in EMEA); and

  • Enhancing stakeholder trust (28% in Africa, 38% in EMEA).

“While we cannot compare Africa’s cloud adoption to other continents and regions yet, there is enormous potential for cloud solutions. We are on the cusp of major change, and Africa’s customers and businesses are driving that change,” Makhari said.

“The cloud transformation maturity curve goes hand in hand with data strategy maturity. Data is now a
fundamental aspect of business architecture and the foundation of intelligence, automation and
insight,” Isabel Papadakis, PwC South Africa Technology Consulting Partner, added.

“Almost half of survey respondents in Africa have an enterprise-wide strategy for modernising their data distinct from specific cloud initiatives.”

“To achieve this, they are streamlining their architectures to create an integrated view and are investing in the right governance structures, building the right skills and encouraging comprehensive alignment on business strategy.”

Read: Rise of AI, complex clouds and evolving work-from-home – major tech trends to look out for in 2024

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