It’s no surprise to the IT community that the market for cloud-computing solutions is rapidly evolving. With increasingly broad adoption by all manner of enterprise and government organizations, cloud is achieving prominence as the de facto standard for IT and business transformation.
With greater acceptance of cloud computing, its value proposition is shifting. This shift is validated by a recently released report by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services. Sponsored by Verizon Enterprise Solutions and based on surveys with 452 business and IT executives from around the world, “Cloud: Driving a Faster, More Connected Business,” underscores the ongoing evolution of the cloud. Consider the following top-level findings based on feedback received from the survey respondents.
- 84% say their use of cloud has increased in the past year, with 39% saying it has increased significantly
- 40% of respondents credited cloud use for increased revenue
- 36% percent said it increased their profit margins
- 72% percent of this year’s respondents said collaboration was the number one benefit
So what does this actually mean?
Early cloud adopters experienced first-mover advantages in terms of time to market, and new business models and revenue streams. Now that cloud adoption is widespread, the relevancy of these competitive advantages is largely diminished. Cloud has created a leveled playing field phenomenon.
Increasingly, organizations are focused on the financial aspects of moving to the cloud. More and more organizations are reporting top-line revenue growth and increased margins directly attributable to their cloud deployments. The financial benefit is likely the most transformative aspect of the cloud, and I would expect this to increase significantly over the next few years.
Redefined value proposition.
Collaboration was identified as the key benefit of cloud computing by the respondents of this year’s survey. The ability to efficiently and securely share information with employees, customers and partners is critical to effective decision making in today’s highly competitive global marketplace. The core benefits of cloud-based solutions will always be agility, the ability to shift capital expenses to operating expenses and enabling organizations to focus on core competencies.
In fact, these are tablestakes and accrue to any organization adopting cloud. Going forward, success will not be measured by merely moving to the cloud. Success will be measured by combining favorable financials and user impact with enhanced collaboration and information sharing across a business’ entire ecosystem. Those IT departments that embrace the cloud through the creation and implementation of a comprehensive strategy — that includes strong and measurable metrics and a strong focus on managing for business outcomes — will be the ones we talk about as pioneers in the years to come.
Visit the “Cloud: Driving a Faster, More Connected Business” website to download the full report and view related resources.