Industries split on cloud migration concerns

As you can see in the chart below, the majority of the 350 business and technology executives we surveyed list security as the top concern influencing their cloud migration strategies.

To what extent do concerns about the following influence your migration strategies? Rate on a scale of 1–5, where 1 = Not at all and 5 = To a great extent. (Top 2-box scores) Click to enlargeWindstreamQ22The industries we surveyed—healthcare, government/education, retail, professional services, and financial services—each listed data security as a top concern. But there were meaningful variations by industry.

Respondents from the healthcare industry are far more concerned about data security—87%—likely due to the large amount of sensitive data handled on a day-to-day basis. Meanwhile, the government/education industry is much less concerned about cost than the total group (38% vs. 49% of the total). Retail, on the other hand, named cost as their second biggest concern after data security—61%.

Professional services firms are significantly more concerned than the total when it comes to platform compatibility. That concern comes second with 61%, vs. 52% of the total. Financial services, another industry with large amounts of sensitive data, placed outsized concern on privacy—63%.

While security consistently ranks as a top concern and barrier to cloud adoption, industries have a variety of specific concerns to address on their path to value.

Cloud critical to strategy across industries

This week we’ll be bringing you an in-depth look at some findings from our Path to Value survey of 350 business and technology executives. From previous posts, we’ve seen that companies are moving assets to the cloud, but planning is in short supply. We’ve also seen what our Trailblazers—those respondents furthest in their cloud migration—are doing to stay ahead.

But in what ways is cloud strategy critical to companies?

To what extent do you agree with the following statements about your company’s cloud strategy today? Two years from now? Click to enlargeWindstreamQ13


As you can see, cloud is growing in strategic importance across all areas. But each industry we surveyed sees the most growth in different areas. 55% of respondents from the healthcare industry expect cloud to enable them to move to new geographical markets in two years—a growth of 72% from today. 54% of government/education respondents say cloud will support business-model transformation at their firms in two years, another 70% increase.

Retailers tend to be laggards in our survey—yet nearly half say that cloud will be critical to their innovation strategy in two years, a growth of 77%. Finally, the majority of both financial and professional services respondents expect cloud to push control of IT to line-of-business users in two years—growing 78% for professional services respondents and 60% for financial services.

The Path to Value project update

This week was a big week for the Path the Value in the Cloud.

We released a briefing paper outlining the findings of our survey of 350 business and technology executives nationwide. We found that cloud technology is fundamentally altering business processes and changing the ways firms interact with customers, partners, and employees. But many companies lack a migration plan and metrics for measuring their success in the cloud. The full paper can be downloaded here. 

We also released an interactive infographic detailing some top-level findings of the survey in an easily shareable format. You can view the infographic here.

But we’re not done yet. In the coming weeks, we’ll be releasing four think pieces—short papers that delve deeply into some of the issues raised in our briefing paper, including cloud migration strategy, security in the cloud, how cloud is driving business value, and our cloud Trailblazers. We’ll also release infographics alongside these think pieces to provide a snapshot into these major issues.

And, as always, we’ll continue to update here along the way with key findings, cloud news, and project information.

Survey finds cloud a key to innovation and expansion

Our Path to Value survey of 350 business and technology executives across the United States revealed some surprising insights into how businesses approach and migrate to the cloud.

An article on InformationWeek’s website highlights key findings from the survey, including that businesses have a sophisticated view of the cloud, increasingly seeing cloud as “a key to greater collaboration and innovation, improved customer service, and business expansion.”

Strong majorities of companies think cloud will be a driver of innovation and expansion in two years, and companies are seeing measurable results from their cloud migrations. Additionally, we found a strong correlation between increased revenues and a more sophisticated adoption of cloud.

CVP Article(Click to continue reading)

Trailblazers know what they want from cloud providers

In addition to leading along the path to value in the cloud, our Trailblazers have a more sophisticated understanding of cloud services providers. We’ve already seen how Trailblazers overwhelmingly use SLAs and internal audits to manage the quality and integrity of their cloud services. But how do they choose a cloud provider in the first place?

How important are the following qualities in a cloud services provider? (Top 2 box scores) Click to enlargeWindstreamTrailblazers5Whereas the rest of our respondents are much more concerned about price, Trailblazers’ priorities reflect their cloud sophistication.

By valuing factors like scalability, SLAs, and pre-sales engineering, Trailblazers are more likely to get the most value from a cloud provider, and make their cloud migration successful.  Next we will look at what Trailblazers see as distinguishing factors between cloud services providers.

Trailblazers rely on SLAs and internal audits to manage cloud success

Companies that are ahead in migrating to the cloud—Trailblazers, as we call them—are seeing diverse benefits from cloud adoption, including collaboration among business units and partners, improved customer service, and time to market. But how are these companies measuring and managing this success in the cloud?

As you can see, Trailblazers are much more likely to rely on SLAs and internal audits compared to their peers.

How do you manage the quality and integrity of cloud services? (Click to enlarge)WindstreamTrailblazers4Worryingly, a quarter of non-Trailblazers have no formal processes in place for managing cloud integrity. Nearly 60% of our Trailblazers reported having defined metrics in place for measuring KPIs.

Coming up, we’ll take a look at what Trailblazers expect and value from their cloud service vendors.

Trailblazers see diverse benefits from cloud adoption

Our cloud Trailblazers, the group of survey respondents who are ahead on their path to value in the cloud, are far more likely to have migrated business functions to the cloud. They’re also seeing clear benefits from cloud adoption.

To what extent do cloud and managed services provide you with the following benefits today? (Top-2 box scores) Click to enlarge WindstreamTrailblazers3Nearly all Trailblazers are seeing increased collaboration among business units, improved customer service, and collaboration. Next we will look at how our cloud leaders are quantifying success in the cloud.

Trailblazers ahead in migrating functions to the cloud

Trailblazers—the 14% of survey respondents who are far ahead of others in their path to value in the cloud—recognize the benefits of the cloud and are using it to drive innovation strategy, and they’re far ahead in moving business functions to the cloud. All of our leaders are either partially or fully functional in the cloud, with the engineering/development and operations functions seeing near-universal adoption.

Q17. To what extent do the following business functions operate using cloud-based services now? (Top 2-box score) Click to enlargeWindstreamTrailblazers2Not only are Trailblazers ahead in migrating business functions to the cloud, they also are seeing clear benefits from cloud adoption. Next week we’ll take a look at the specific advantages Trailblazers are seeing from their cloud adoption strategies.

Trailblazers have a sophisticated understanding of the cloud

Our Trailblazers—those respondents who are ahead in their path to value in the cloud—have a sophisticated understanding of the benefits of the cloud. As you can see in the chart below, Trailblazers are significantly more likely to say the cloud is critical to innovation strategy, among others:

To what extent do you agree with the following statements about your company’s cloud strategy today? Rate on a scale of 1–5, where 1 = Strongly disagree and 5 = Strongly agree. (Top 2-box scores)WindstreamTrailblazers

Trailblazers are already far ahead in the path to value. Next we will look at what business functions Trailblazers have already moved into the cloud.