61% of African companies will shift their operations to the cloud within two years - report

According to a PwC report, a number of companies on the African continent have adopted cloud capabilities due to pressure from clients, partners and competitors. Picture: Freepik

According to a PwC report, a number of companies on the African continent have adopted cloud capabilities due to pressure from clients, partners and competitors. Picture: Freepik

Published Feb 16, 2024


In a landscape of rapid advancements in technology, chief executives on the African continent are positioning their investments to secure a competitive advantage through emerging technologies such as generative AI, advanced analytics and industry cloud.

Among these technologies, it is vital for optimising value is cloud transformation — the process of migrating work to the cloud including data, apps, software programs.

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

The report surveyed 2,209 business and tech leaders across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and assessed cloud adoption across public as well as private companies in seven major industries.

These major industries include industrial products, financial services, consumer markets, energy, technology and media and telecommunications.

The urgent case for cloud transformation in Africa

According to results from the survey, for a majority of companies with EMEA, their cloud transformation journey has been gradual. However, due increasing pressure from clients, partners and competitors, most businesses have sped up their plans to develop new cloud-based solutions.

Mark Allderman, PwC South Africa Cloud and Digital Leader said: “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.”

The survey showed that companies across EMEA are prioritising and pursuing large-scale migrations towards new technology platforms. African companies in particular opting for a more “iterative” approach.

Figure 1 (below) shows that 40% of African organisations are focusing on a combination of migration, modernisation and cloud-native development to change their businesses.

Graph: Supplied

Cloud adoption is at a turning point in Africa

Tshifhiwa Makhari, PwC South Africa Technology Consulting Partner said that increasing cloud adoption is giving businesses the edge when it comes to leveraging cloud scalability and innovation to meet diverse business needs.

Cloud adoption is also becoming increasingly recognised as an enabler of economic growth across Africa.

In Africa, only 12% of businesses said they have a high cloud maturity which means that they are all-in on cloud solutions and have it scaled throughout the business.

38% if African businesses said that they had a medium cloud adoption maturity level, as they have adopted cloud in many parts of their business and evolved their operating model.

Africa’s cloud-driven future

Allderman said that Africa is emerging as a key player in the global cloud ecosystem, and the strategic investments on the continent by major cloud providers signify the potential of the continent.

“With cloud transformation enabling businesses to navigate challenges, adopt emerging technologies and compete on a global scale, Africa’s cloud-driven future holds great promise,” Allderman concludes.

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