PWC report reveals ambitious cloud adoption plans in Africa

Christopher Tredger
By Christopher Tredger, Portals editor
Johannesburg, 20 Feb 2024
Mark Allderman, PwC South Africa cloud and digital leader.
Mark Allderman, PwC South Africa cloud and digital leader.

According to the PwC Africa Cloud Business Survey 2023, 50% of companies have already adopted cloud in all or most parts of their business, and 61% of companies will have all their operations in the cloud within the next two years.

The consulting firm surveyed more than 2 000 business and tech leaders across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

The report highlights that 12% of African respondents said their business had a high cloud maturity - meaning they are all-in on cloud solutions, and have it scaled throughout the business, compared to 14% across EMEA. The largest portion of businesses in Africa (38%) said they had a medium cloud adoption maturity level, as they have adopted cloud in many parts of their business and evolved their operating model.

Examining the top reasons for leveraging cloud technology, the study shows (Figure 1) that many organisations in Africa are going beyond a mere ‘lift and shift’, with over 40% focusing on a combination of migration, modernisation and cloud-native development to change their businesses. 

Figure 1: Primary reason for leveraging cloud technology
Figure 1: Primary reason for leveraging cloud technology

more than 50% of Africa’s survey respondents said they are already realising measurable value from cloud technology adoption in the following areas: increased productivity, enhanced customer experience and improved decision making.

These are closely followed by enhanced stakeholder trust, cost savings, increased agility, faster time to market and innovation in products and services.

Mark Allderman, PwC South Africa cloud and digital leader, comments: “Despite progress in cloud migration in Africa, businesses still face numerous region-specific challenges such as budget constraints, skills shortages, cyber security 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.”

Cloud priorities

The PwC report also shows that businesses across EMEA and Africa are prioritising bottom-line business benefits – increased productivity, improved profitability and cost savings – over the next 12 months.

In Africa, the drivers for cloud adoption are closely aligned to EMEA’s overall, but with a more pronounced focus on ESG/sustainability benefits, improved cyber security posture and increased agility.

Commenting on the statistic that 61% of the respondents indicated they would shift all of their operations to the cloud in the next two years, Allderman says: “Such a move, whether undertaken incrementally, via migration, modernisation, or adoption of cloud native technologies, requires business transformation and investment in multiple transformative programmes and / or projects in a short time frame. The investment that hyperscale providers are making in Africa through in-country presence or country regions also supports the statistics that have come out of the survey.”