Get Your Head in the Clouds

By Samuel Greengard

The march to cloud computing has accelerated to a sprint over the last few years. Nevertheless, many CIOs and other senior executives overlook or are unable to unlock the value of clouds, according to a new report from cloud provider Canopy, in conjunction with Vanson Bourne, which recently conducted a survey of 950 CIOs, CFOs and other decision-makers.

The study found that 81 percent of CIOs and CFOs in the U.S. fear their business will become uncompetitive, with a large majority of them (74 percent) believing this will happen as soon as the next 15 months. In fact, these executives estimate that their businesses lost a collective $41 billion in revenues last year due to the lack of ideal cloud solutions.

Today, digital transformation is touching every corner of the enterprise, including marketing, sales, operations and human resources. While 94 percent recognized the need to embrace cloud-based applications and infrastructure to deliver digital transformation, more than two-thirds (68 percent) admitted that a lack of cloud investment was holding back their company’s vital digital initiatives.

Moving to the Cloud

CIOs will face enormous challenges in the months and years ahead. But it’s clear that one of the most critical tasks before them is weaving private and public clouds into the DNA of their organization. IT is no longer the puppet master that pulls the strings on IT investments and oversees daily operations on cloud systems. There’s a growing need for a more strategic and holistic approach that spans departments, silos and domains.

The Canopy survey found that digital transformation is only occurring in pockets, and that organizations are continuing to struggle with real and perceived obstacles and barriers, including security (60 percent), data protection (40 percent), protection of intellectual property (26 percent), and fears of vendor lock-in (36 percent).

Moving forward, organizations must become more agile and flexible in order to tap into the potential rewards of the digital business environment. This survey—along with a growing body of industry research—indicates that the effective use of digital technologies, including clouds, will magnify winners and loser in the months and years ahead. The ability to plug in SaaS, IaaS, PaaS and other capabilities in a highly strategic way will ultimately determine whether organizations turbocharge results or breathe the digital exhaust of their faster and more agile competitors.

About the Author

Samuel Greengard is a contributing writer for CIO Insight. To read his previous CIO Insight blog post, “The Sorry State of Cybersecurity,” click here.

Samuel Greengard
Samuel Greengard
Samuel Greengard writes about business, technology and other topics. His book, The Internet of Things (MIT Press) was released in the spring of 2015.

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