Paper highlights cloud’s strategic value

Don’t miss the first of four think pieces created for our Path to Value in the Cloud program. This short paper details the way businesses are leveraging cloud in their strategic initiatives, rather than just using cloud as a driver of cost savings and process improvements.

WindstreamThinkPiece

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Interactive infographic shows cloud migration challenges and opportunities

CVP Infographic

This interactive infographic details some top-level findings from our survey of 350 business and technology executives across the US.

Click through to see what companies expect to gain from their cloud migrations, what functions they’re moving to the cloud, and how far along companies are on the path to value.

Paper reveals companies lack cloud migration strategies

CVP coverWe’ve now released all the components of the results from our survey of 350 business and technology executives nationwide. There’s a lot out there and many valuable insights for companies pursuing their own cloud migrations. Over the next few posts, we’ll be reviewing our output and findings from the study.

This 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.

What makes a cloud Trailblazer?

WindstreamTrailblazerInfographicClick to see full infographic

A small group of our survey respondents are farther ahead on the path to value. We know them as Trailblazers, and there are some interesting things they have in common, as seen in the infographic above. Trailblazers are significantly more likely than the rest of the respondents to have already moved applications into the cloud. Strategy is important to Trailblazers; they are far more likely to say that cloud is critical to their strategic visions and they have strategies for migrating to the cloud.

Most importantly, we found that Trailblazers have higher profits and expect higher revenue growth over the next two years. For more on Trailblazers, read our think piece on the topic. For an overview of the survey results, check out our white paper.

New paper highlights cloud leaders

TrailblazerThinkPiece

This week we’re rolling out our final think piece which focuses on the habits and practices of those farthest ahead on the path to value—Trailblazers, as we call them. Trailblazers, who make up 14% of our survey respondents, have significantly higher profit margins and revenues than the rest of the respondents.

Trailblazers have a strategic, 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.

The path to value can be a tricky one, but following in the footsteps of Trailblazers is a good starting point for cloud migrations. Click here for the Trailblazer think piece.

Cloud news roundup

Cloud security again dominates the cloud news cycle this week. We’ve reported in the past about government cloud adoption, but a new survey has some sobering numbers about those migrations. The survey found that only 20% of government IT executives are confident in their vendor’s security. But there is a bright spot—90% are taking steps to manage trust with their vendors. Given our survey results, other IT executives would do well to follow the government’s lead in this regard.

A flash poll from InformationWeek found that 40% of readers are less confident in storing photos and data in any cloud service. Yet only 12% of respondents said that they changed their personal practices or recommended some security tightening at work.

Finally, an insightful column on InfoWorld explores the hysteria surrounding the iCloud hack. Rather than blame “the cloud,” those worried about security should focus on their own and vendor’s practices.

Cloud strategy maturity varies by industry

Our survey shows that companies have a sophisticated understanding of the cloud and its benefits—and have ambitious plans about which applications and data they are moving to the cloud. But without a well-defined strategy in place, companies may still run into problems. As you can see in the chart of our total respondents below, a majority of firms have an understanding of their options, but strategies and metrics are in short supply.

Please indicate your agreement with the following statements about the maturity of your company’s cloud and managed services strategy (Top-2 box scores) Click to enlarge
WindstreamQ19industry

These numbers differ by industry as well. Professional services firms are significantly more likely to say they have an understanding of cloud options (66%), whereas retail lags by a wide margin—only 41% of those companies say so. Government and education are most likely to have clear expectations of cloud performance (49%), likely due to legislation and regulations in place for their cloud migrations.

Less than a third of our total survey respondents say they have a clear migration plan in place, which may spell trouble further along the path to value for these firms. This is especially true for financial services companies: only 20% of those respondents say they have migration plans. Government and education again lead the industry pack here—39% said they have a plan.

In case you missed it, you can read more about cloud strategy in our think piece on the topic.