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

What’s driving industry cloud migration?

The pace of cloud adoption is speeding up and businesses have  an increasingly sophisticated view of the cloud’s benefits. But what issues are driving companies down the path to value?

Which of the following are most affecting your business today? Select up to three. Click to enlarge.WindstreamQ11As you can see in the chart of our total respondents, technology change is a top factor affecting businesses today. This is especially pronounced in government/education, retail, and financial services firms—48% of respondents from those industries said technology change is the top factor affecting their industries.

Legislative changes like the Affordable Care Act are having a pronounced effect on the healthcare industry—47% of respondents from that industry said increasing regulatory requirements were affecting their businesses, followed closely by economic uncertainty at 45%.

Professional services firms are an outlier—the top factors affecting that industry  are greater supply chain complexity (39%) and economic uncertainty and economic uncertainty (36% each). Product obsolescence is also significantly affecting more professional services businesses—28% vs. 17% of the total respondent pool.

 

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.

How do companies measure cloud success?

How do companies measure cloud success?

We’ve already seen the wide range of business functions that companies are moving to the cloud. But once that migration is complete, how are these companies quantifying cloud success? The 350 business and technology executives we surveyed cited a variety of metrics.

How do you quantify success in the cloud? Select all that apply.Q24.   How do you quantify success in the cloud? Select all that apply.

We saw in another question that respondents see collaboration among business units as a major benefit to cloud adoption, both today (63%) and in two years (83%), yet collaboration is not described here as an important measure of success. While companies may be sophisticated in migrating business functions to the cloud, they may not have a fully mature view of the benefits and successes a cloud migration can bring.

Why are smaller companies late to the cloud?

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A recent survey shows that SMEs are slow to adopt the cloud; only 28% of the 400 SME respondents have implemented cloud solutions for their businesses.

These data roughly track with the findings from a previous Oxford Economics survey of SMEs; as you can see in the chart below, we found that 35% of SMEs worldwide were using the cloud last year, which will increase to 48% by 2016.

SMECloud

Yet SMEs could reap a lot of potential benefits from moving to the cloud. Our survey found that technology is key to a SME’s business transformation; cloud’s scalability and low cost allow companies to roll out social, mobile, and analytic innovations more efficiently, all of which drive customer engagement and improve product and service development.

Our survey found that the top barriers for cloud adoption were security concerns, closely followed by a lack of understanding of the benefits of the cloud, and a lack of skills.

SecuritySME

Our latest cloud survey—the core of the Path to Value program—shows that some of these issues are still hindering cloud adoption. More details on that soon.

Cloud adoption lags down under

Mid-size firms in Australia are falling behind the rest of the world in cloud adoption, says Intel’s managing director in that country, Kate Burleigh. Speaking at a “Momentum for the Mid Market” event, Burleigh said that although smaller companies—those with revenues between $10 million and $250 million—are consuming a lot of technology, they are failing to innovate, which spells trouble for companies wanting to spur growth.

Kevin Ackhurst, Enterprise Google Australia’s managing director, stressed cloud adoption as a key factor in company growth and said companies need to rethink the way they invest in IT. As the nature of IT changes, the conversation needs to be less about budget and more about using technology to meet business needs.

Our survey data shows how US companies are dealing with cloud migration. We’ll be sharing some of those results soon. 

Cloud news roundup

An interview with Miao Song, CIO of the Singapore-based Golden Agri-Resources, discusses her company’s migration to the cloud. One of the biggest benefits? The cloud frees up time so the CIO can be “part of the business, rather than just an IT leader,” Song said.

Hybrid clouds are on the rise, especially for IT systems used by the government. A recent study predicts that the federal government will spend nearly $9 billion on cloud computing by 2017. Additionally, by 2015, 75 percent of large enterprises are expected to have hybrid clouds.

Five reasons cloud skills should be on everyone’s resume. Topping the list: Professional and industry best practices are embedded in cloud services and cloud offers rapid iteration and experimentation abilities. Migrating to the cloud gives you the flexibility and agility to innovate successfully.

Study shows rapid cloud adoption growth

The use of cloud services is accelerating rapidly, according to a new study that aggregates real cloud usage data from over 250 companies. A total of 3,571 cloud services are being used by more than 8.3 million users at the subject companies; last quarter, there were 2,675 cloud services identified.

Another finding: The number of services used per organization grew from 759, on average, compared with last quarter’s 626.

An area of concern is a service’s “enterprise readiness,” a measure determined by the study that takes into account factors like data protection, and security features. Only 7% of cloud services were determined to be “enterprise ready,” down from last quarter’s 11%. Disconcerting, especially considering that security concerns are the main barrier to cloud adoption.

The study also found that cloud services are increasingly fragmented—on average an organization is using 24 file-sharing services and 91 collaboration services. Additionally, 18% of companies have at least 1,000 devices accessing a public cloud using Windows XP, an OS Microsoft no longer supports—another potential security risk.

Our own cloud adoption survey is yielding some interesting initial results, and we’ll be reporting on those soon.

Cloud News Roundup

The SaaS model still dominates the cloud services market, but other models are beginning to experience rapid growth. Revenues from SaaS products are expected to reach $53 billion worldwide by 2018 and make up about 59% of the public cloud computing market.

The Wall Street Journal reports that cloud adoption is lower than expected—about 17.6% of companies with more than 1,000 employees use cloud email services. Healthcare, government, and financial services organizations are 40% less likely to adopt cloud-based email than all other organizations.

Even though the main barriers to cloud adoption are security concerns, a new study found that businesses are still storing vulnerable information unprotected in the cloud.When adopting the cloud, security responsibility falls on both sides.”It is really incumbent upon the user of the services as well as the provider of the services to join forces,” Larry Ponemon, the lead author of the study, said. “You can’t just rely on one side or the other.”