Path to Value in the Cloud program guide

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As the Path to Value program wraps up, we’ve put together a full list of the research findings, papers, and graphics.

The overriding theme of this work is that companies need to plan for every phase of cloud migration if they are to realize the full benefits of this new approach to information technology. We hope the data, action items, and real-world experiences documented here will help businesses make the transition as smoothly—and profitably—as possible.

  1. The Path to Value landing page, which includes all of the materials produced during the project.
  2. Briefing paper, an overview of the survey results
  3. Think piece: Building the Strategic Cloud
  4. Infographic: Cloud Drives Business Strategy
  5. Think piece: Where the Value Lies
  6. Infographic: Cloud Drives Business Value
  7. Think Piece: Security and Service
  8. Infographic: Cloud Security and Service
  9. Think piece: Trailblazers on the Path to Value
  10. Infographic: Trailblazers on the Path to Value
  11. Interactive infographic: The Path to Value in the Cloud

Cloud crucial to competitiveness

We started this research program with a quote from Nicholas Carr’s groundbreaking book about the cloud, The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google:

“Ultimately, corporate decisions are economic decisions—and the advantages of utility computing are going to push companies in that direction.”

Nearly seven years later, Carr’s prediction is looking solid.

Businesses exist to make money, and the financial performance of early cloud leaders suggests that the cloud helps them do so. Other companies need to catch up in order to remain competitive.

Path to Value in the Cloud in review

Our research program is now complete, and all of the analysis of our survey of 350 business and technology executives nationwide is now online. Taken together, this information offers key takeaways for companies pursuing their own cloud migrations.

The briefing paper outlines the main findings from the survey. Our survey revealed that while cloud is fundamentally changing the nature of business processes and collaboration, companies lack migration strategies and lack metrics to measure their own success in the cloud—or the effectiveness of their cloud vendors.

We then delved into the main findings with a series of short papers and infographics around each theme. The first examines how cloud is influencing and driving business strategy. The key takeaways from our cloud strategy think piece can be found in this infographic.

A second looks at the areas where companies are seeing the most value from the cloud (primarily collaboration and innovation)—and how they are measuring their success in the cloud. A snapshot of how cloud is driving business value can be found here.

Our third think piece highlights a persistent issue in the cloud—security. Security remains top of mind, and these concerns will remain relevant as firms move more business functions into the cloud over the next two years. But companies aren’t prioritizing security when it comes to choosing a cloud vendor. These findings are summarized in this infographic.

Finally, we detailed the characteristics and practices of those furthest along in their cloud migrations—Trailblazers. Trailblazers are seeing higher revenues and profit margins, and have more well-developed cloud migration plans. An infographic about Trailblazers  can be found here.

All of these research outputs can be found here.


Does cloud migration mean higher profit margins?


Our final think piece focuses on Trailblazers—those companies furthest along the path to value in the cloud. Trailblazers, who make up 14% of our survey respondents, have significantly higher profit margins and revenues than the rest of the respondents. Whether cloud migration engenders robust business or it’s the other way around, it’s clear that Trailblazers are creating more value for their shareholders than other companies.

Trailblazers have a forward-thinking approach when it comes to cloud migration. They are significantly more likely to have a migration plan in place (58% vs. 26% of the total), and they leave decision-making to a centralized group or committee at the regional or local level. They’re also far more concerned about data security in the cloud; to that end, they are significantly more likely to have SLAs in place and conduct internal audits of cloud services. Click here for the Trailblazer think piece.

Infographic shows importance of cloud security

WindstreamSecurityInfographicClick to see full infographic

Our survey showed that cloud security is a top concern for companies migrating to the cloud. And with data breaches popping up regularly, this issue isn’t going away. This topic is fleshed out in our think piece on the topic, and this infographic shows some top-level findings.

A key takeaway? Despite executive concerns about security, they haven’t assessed their own needs from cloud vendors or their own readiness, and they’re not emphasizing security when choosing providers.