Survey: Load-shedding a key factor in move to cloud

ITWeb partnered with Huawei Cloud for a survey exploring cloud’s positioning and usage in local businesses.
By Alison Job
Johannesburg, 05 Dec 2023
Jay Zhou, Managing Director of Huawei Cloud.
Jay Zhou, Managing Director of Huawei Cloud.

ITWeb conducted a survey on cloud trends, in partnership with Huawei Cloud, to gain a better understanding of the cloud’s positioning and usage in South African businesses, as well as concerns when moving to the public cloud. 

Respondents were asked how they perceive themselves and their company when it comes to moving applications to the cloud. Just under a third (29%) of the survey respondents identified themselves as front-runners in cloud migration; nearly half (45%) said they were comfortable migrating to the cloud, but it needs to be planned and will take as long as necessary; and 22% said they were reasonably comfortable, but have other projects taking a higher priority right now, and will migrate when they are ready.

Jay Zhou, MD of Huawei Cloud South Africa, says these findings are aligned with their interactions with customers and partners. “We engage with many customers that are not yet ready for the cloud and are still wondering what it is all about and how it might or might not benefit them.”

The five main technology drivers of cloud adoption, according to the respondents, are: to improve business continuity (61%); disaster recovery (60%); to reduce the risk of downtime (58%); application modernisation (58%); and to reduce cost (52%). 

Zhou says: “We agree with these findings. We believe that business continuity was ranked top of the list, which is certainly influenced by South Africa’s load-shedding situation. Security and cost factors are also key drivers for cloud adoption.”

The cloud deployment model that most respondents would consider is hybrid (65%), followed by private (14%), multicloud (13%) and public cloud (8%). “Most companies today follow a hybrid deployment model. We don’t foresee that this trend will change in the near future as the cost of total cloud adoption is still considered to be an inhibitor,” Zhou notes.

The majority (66%) of respondents have less than 50% of their workload in the cloud. Zhou feels this is going to change, with hybrid becoming the de facto model of the future.

Security and cost factors are key drivers for cloud adoption.

Nearly half (46%) of respondents believe they have complete visibility into data stored across the organisation. Twenty-six percent say they have some visibility, 13% have limited visibility and 9% have very limited visibility.

“Most customers want to have complete visibility," says Zhou. "We find that big data is still very much bespoke and organisations are trying hard to build data lakes, and warehouse that data, to attain complete visibility.”

The three main concerns cited by respondents when considering the move to a public cloud are: understanding the full costs in moving to the cloud (51%); understanding the full costs of maintaining operations in the cloud, going forward (47%); and security (40%). 

Zhou agrees, saying that cost is definitely the key concern for all companies today. “We have put a tremendous amount of effort into empowering our partners and customers to proactively manage costs with free tooling that not only helps implement budgetary controls, but also provides detailed cost analysis and, most importantly, cost anomaly detection. Complimentary optimisation recommendations are also offered as both a platform and advisory service.”

The most important operational challenges that respondent organisations face or foresee from their cloud migration strategy in the next 12 to 18 months are: ensuring adequate IT talent and skills availability (56%); ensuring consistent access control, security and compliance (53%); and achieving desired business outcomes (41%). 

“Having a comprehensive cloud strategy is the starting point to all of the above. Huawei Cloud offers free certified training to all our customers and partners.”

Huawei Cloud views security and compliance as of the utmost importance. This is highlighted by its president, Ren Zhengfei, who states: "We place trustworthiness above all else, whether it's functions, features or the product schedule."


The ITWeb / Huawei Cloud survey on cloud usage trends among South African businesses was conducted online during September and October 2023. 

A total of 167 valid responses were captured, with 63% of respondents being at executive or middle management level. While almost a third (31%) of the survey respondents came from the IT sector, 16% from financial services and 14% from government, the remaining 39% represent a wide range of other industry sectors.