Most organisations worldwide (93%) are migrating to the cloud for critical IT requirements, but nearly a third (30%) say they have failed to realise notable benefits from cloud computing, largely because they have not integrated their adoption plan as a core part of their broader business transformation strategy, according to the first Unisys Cloud Success Barometer™. Surveying 1,000 senior IT and business leaders on the impact and importance of cloud in 13 countries around the world, including the UK, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands, the research discovered a strong correlation between cloud success and strategic planning.
Cloud Commitment is Key
The study found that, when cloud transition is core to business strategy, there is a more dramatic improvement in organisational effectiveness – in fact, 83% said that this has improved for the better since moving to the cloud. In contrast, amongst those who say the cloud is a minor part of their business strategy, just 30% say organisational effectiveness has improved since moving to the cloud.
Commitment through investment also produced positive results. Once organisations have experienced the benefits, they then continue to invest further in the cloud. Four-fifths (80%) of those who plan to spend substantially on their cloud computing in 2020 have seen their organisational effectiveness change significantly for the better.
Kevin Turner, Digital Workplace Strategy Lead, Unisys, said: “Our findings show that the majority of organisations are approaching their use of cloud computing from a tactical perspective – and whilst tactical moves can be very powerful – by taking a broader strategic view, and integrating with core business planning, cloud adoption will deliver greater results. Committing to the cloud with a considered approach, ensuring best practice supported by a robust methodology is imperative to leveraging the cloud to meet your objectives.”
The Future is Multi-Cloud
Meanwhile, only 28% of organisations have embraced multi-cloud solutions indicating more opportunity yet to reap business benefits, especially as multi-cloud users see the cloud as essential to staying competitive - 42% have been impacted by a competitor who leverages cloud innovations. By choosing multiple cloud providers, businesses can take advantage of the best parts of each provider’s services and customise these to suit the needs – and expectations – of the organisation. This partial transition could be a potential limit to the benefits of the cloud.
“Multi-cloud represents the future of cloud computing, and for obvious reasons. Organisations that adopt multi-cloud strategies can design applications to run across any public cloud platform, expanding their marketplace power,” said Turner. “Additionally, a multi-cloud strategy helps organisations gain greater sovereignty over their data, spread their risk in case of downtime and increase the business's negotiating leverage – as well as offering cost savings by allowing businesses to shop rates for different service needs from multiple vendors.”
Cloud Pros and Cons
Nearly three in four (73%) of senior business leaders say the benefits of cloud computing outweigh the barriers, and 66% have seen their organisational effectiveness significantly change for the better through the adoption of cloud computing. The top expectations of cloud benefits were; improved security (64%) and reduced costs (50%), higher staff productivity (40%), improved agility to meet demand (40%) and delivering better customer experience (40%).
The majority of business leaders (77%) said migration to the cloud had met or exceeded their expectations for security, improving the supply chain (75%) and driving innovation (74%). The areas that fell short in meeting expectations of our respondents were; improved staff productivity (32%), increased revenue (32%), managing or reducing cost (35%) and reducing headcount (38%).
“Closing the gaps on these business results – including revenues, costs, productivity, innovation and organisational effectiveness – requires more than a ‘lift and shift’ transition of IT applications and infrastructure to the cloud. It requires changing the way companies work to better suit customers and staff, and changing their attitudes to digital innovation,” continued Turner. “Strategic planning along with security, scalability, realistic timelines and upskilling staff are all key to successful cloud implementation.”