Have we reached Cloud breaking point?

Published 11/07/2019 by Jon Wrennall, Chief Technology Officer, Advanced

The Cloud is fast becoming the preferred choice for positive digital disruption. In fact, recent figures from Gartner show that Cloud spending is soaring. It’s no surprise. It allows organisations of all sizes to focus on driving their core business, as well as minimise cost and leverage economies of scale, improve end-user experience and reduce operational risk.

However, it seems the Cloud isn’t giving organisations what they want on a number of levels. That’s according to our new 2019 Digital Business Report, in which over 500 UK senior business decision makers have their say on the state of digital transformation.

Only 44% say the flexibility of the Cloud has lived up to their expectations, followed by efficiencies (31%), productivity (30%) and mobile (21%). Just 19% say it has given them a greater user experience. These concerns are felt across the board too – every size of organisation in every industry is seemingly missing out on the Cloud’s true potential.

The Cloud can – and should – deliver flexibility, efficiencies, productivity, mobility and more. It begs the question: are organisations being distracted by hyped-up Cloud tools over prioritising software that is relevant to their own unique needs? Are they not being given the right third-party support to realise the Cloud’s value? And is there a lack of leadership to ensure the Cloud is used by the workforce correctly and confidently?

The right strategy and guidance will help organisations get the maximum benefits from the Cloud. What’s more, the right leadership will ensure that employees are prepared to change their ways of working as a result. This means leaders will need to identify and support staff who are resistant to change, as well as those who lack the confidence to embrace the Cloud.

Julian David, the CEO of techUK, which will soon release its Cloud Vision report, agrees. He told us: “It’s great to see so many UK businesses choosing to adopt Cloud computing services to improve their business efficiency. As the Digital Business Report outlines, it’s incredibly important that any strategy acknowledges the need to change processes and behaviours in order to make a successful transition to the Cloud. The report helpfully outlines key takeaways that can help organisations to realise the full potential of Cloud services.”

So what are these key takeaways?

You can read them in our report here, but one of our recommendations is to work with a partner to develop a digital strategy that encompasses a change in both people and processes in order to deliver the maximum benefits from the Cloud.

However, not all partners are equal which is why a move to the Cloud should be considered with the same level of due diligence as any other significant investment within a business.

Organisations need to be able to work closely with their Cloud partners to identify the most important functionality needs. Similarly, not all businesses are equal – they operate differently and they have different needs. Therefore, organisations should favour partners with track records in delivering sector specific Cloud-based solutions and services.

We advise that every decision maker ask themselves the following four questions:

  1. How will a transition to the Cloud impact my team and customers? Traditional ways of working can consume a significant portion of employees’ time. A Cloud-based system enables staff to accelerate their productivity. It also accommodates the growing demands of a mobile workforce, meaning staff no longer need to be at their desks to make decisions and can interact effectively with their customers.
  2. Am I in a safe pair of hands? When considering tenders from software service providers, organisations should select a partner that can illustrate a clear and structured pathway for moving their staff and data from their existing system to the Cloud. They should also select one that writes its own Cloud service, minimising the number of moving parts and hand-offs.
  3. Is my Cloud provider going to be a long-term value adding partner? A transition to the Cloud demands a long-term mutual commitment from all parties to ensure proven durability. Questions to ask include: what are your service levels, what are the guarantees and what is your longevity? Find out their long-term vision and how many developers, project managers and professional services make up their team (and how accessible they’ll be).
  4. Is my Cloud service provider in it for the long haul? A move to the Cloud is a recurring cost so it’s vital to understand the commercial implications this can have. Decision makers must be robust in their appraisal process and invest time into the pre-tender work. It is key to ensure they know what questions to ask to deliver the project their organisation needs in order to do business more efficiently and cost effectively.