Business leaders increasingly drive cloud migration

Vanson Bourne polled 500 UK IT and business decision-makers who have either been through or are currently planning a cloud migration project. They found that the decision to migrate business applications to the cloud is now coming directly from the boardroom rather than the IT department.

According to the study, the lure of cloud comes from its ability to give businesses a competitive edge and is the reason for CEOs, business leaders and Board of Directors being the main sponsor for six in ten (61%) cloud migration projects. This high level of buy-in for cloud is significant as technology is increasingly being expected to drive innovation, boost efficiency and ultimately, impact the business’s bottom line.

The process of moving data, applications or other business elements from an organization’s on-site computing stack to the cloud has historically been driven by technical requirements identified by the IT department. Of businesses surveyed who have already migrated to the cloud, increased resilience (50%), security (38%), agility (38%) and stabilizing platforms and applications (37%) remained significant motivators, however wider benefits to the business were also experienced.

Darren Norfolk, MD, Rackspace UK, says: “A move to the cloud is now an organization-wide business activity rather than simply a function of the IT department. Whether business leaders understand the practicalities of a cloud migration project or not, there appears to be broad acceptance that it is a ‘platform play’ that they can use to innovate and grow. Increased communication across all levels of the business will create new opportunities for the cloud to have a direct impact on the bottom line.”

Of those surveyed, more than a third (37%) of completed cloud migration projects were motivated by the ability to enable or accelerate innovation. Surveyed organisations with more than 5,000 employees were most likely to cite this as a key driver (46%), conceivably to keep pace with more digitally-enabled and nimble disrupters. In addition, nearly two-thirds (61%) of the surveyed group said they embarked on the project to reduce IT costs, and one in five (22%) were striving to keep up with competitors.

While business leaders will be looking to the IT department to make their ambitions a reality, just a third (33%) of the IT decision-makers surveyed said they have good experience or are highly experienced in operating a cloud-based infrastructure.

With mounting expectations from the business to deliver, more than half (53%) of surveyed IT decision-makers who have already been through a cloud migration turned to a third party to support their team. Working with migration experts enabled organisations to focus more on wider business objectives alongside their migration including streamlining operations (49%) and making sure their operational model fitted (48%). This is in contrast to those not using a third party specialist, whose biggest considerations were making sure they had the right tools (44%) and making sure they had the right skills (42%).

Around nine in ten (88%) surveyed respondents feel that their organisation’s business goals were met to some extent by their migration to the cloud, with more than half (58%) saying they were met completely. An additional 8% of surveyed respondents said it is too early to tell if they were met. Proven success could be a contributing factor to just one in ten (16%) surveyed respondents saying they were concerned about justifying business value.

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