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.


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

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. 

Cloud strategy varies by industry

Cloud migration brings benefits across the value chain, but different industries see things differently. As you can see in the chart of the total respondent pool below, almost a third of respondents say new geographical markets or lines of business are driving growth.

Q12. Which strategic initiative is most important to driving growth at your firm? Select one.WindstreamQ12

 The story is different for retail, where 29% of respondents say operational efficiency is driving strategic growth. Healthcare, on the other hand, is significantly more driven by new geographical markets (44%). Professional services lies on the other end of the spectrum—only 20% said that new geographies were driving growth.

While financial services also value these growth drivers, a healthy 26% say that new product and service development within existing lines of business are driving growth. Government/education organizations are the least likely industry to have strategic growth driven by new product and service development—only 16% of respondents said that was so.