The cloud evolution is here | HCLTech

The cloud evolution is here

No longer just a scalable and cost-effective way of delivering computing, executive boards need to think about cloud more deeply to avoid getting left behind
5 minutes read
Nicholas Ismail
Nicholas Ismail
Global Head of Brand Journalism, HCLTech
5 minutes read
The cloud evolution is here

HCLTech’s new research, which surveyed 500 senior executives across both business and IT, reveals that cloud strategies are having to evolve rapidly to respond to new business needs, and to keep pace with the adoption of new technologies.  

However, not all businesses are using cloud technology to the full. Most say they could boost innovation if they used the cloud more effectively and that security concerns, company culture and skills shortages are holding them back.  

Dialogue between business and technology teams is critical to uncovering how business strategy drives the cloud journey. However, while the two functions agree that there should be more investment, they have different perceptions of how well the cloud is understood across the business. 

The exclusive research findings below uncover how businesses can make their cloud strategy integral to their overall business strategy, the challenges associated with this and the rewards that will follow.  

Cloud powers agility 

Businesses are contending with several major challenges at once, with rapidly shifting customer preferences causing the most concern. Most leaders have had to pivot their overall business strategy at least twice in the last three years, showing the need for continuous transformation and modernization.  

Cloud presents an opportunity to get ahead, with leaders saying it has helped them respond more quickly to a range of critical issues. According to the survey, 87 percent of leaders who have successfully pivoted their strategy say they could not have done so without leveraging the cloud, while over 90 percent of senior executives reveal that cloud has helped them respond quickly to changing customer preferences, cyber-attacks and sustainability targets.  

All respondents from consumer services, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, IT and manufacturing sectors find that the cloud has helped with regional/sovereign compliance changes. And, Information Technology (IT), consumer services and transport, logistics and distribution sectors are most likely to say that cloud has helped them adopt new business models. 

Cloud: The catalyst for innovation

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Maximizing cloud potential 

Despite these positive sentiments, most leaders (73 percent) reveal their business is only just beginning to unlock the potential of the cloud—and 59 percent of respondents say senior leadership do not understand that their business strategy must drive their cloud journey.  

This suggests many organizations still face a gap between what they are currently achieving in the cloud and what they know is possible, with 82 percent revealing they would have more of an edge on their competition if they used the cloud more pervasively. 

Security concerns were identified as the biggest barrier to achieving more in the cloud and 70 percent say skills shortages hinder how effectively the cloud is used, while 58 percent believe company culture has held them back from innovation in the virtual environment. 

Conflicting agendas 

Maximizing the cloud’s potential could be achieved with more synergy between business and IT leaders. IT leaders are much more likely to believe the cloud’s potential is understood across every department, compared to business leaders.  

More than half of all leaders say they are not making enough strategic decisions outside the IT department on their cloud-based projects. To take their cloud journey to the next level, leaders must align on its direction and connect it to their broader strategic vision. 

This is confirmed with the vast majority (91 percent) of IT leaders saying that the potential and power of the cloud is understood across every department, compared to just 78 percent of business leaders. 

However, both IT leaders (86 percent) and business leaders (81 percent) are broadly in agreement that there is a strong appetite to invest more in the cloud.  

Powering transformative technologies 

Business leaders are excited about the potential of new technologies such as generative AI. But they know their organization can’t benefit from them without the right cloud strategy, and 83 percent reveal their cloud strategy roadmap goes hand in hand with their generative AI strategy.  

Organizations which neglect their cloud strategy or fail to adapt it to the rapidly shifting technology landscape risk being left behind, as those who can take advantage will be able to embrace innovation and modernize with ease.  

Despite conflicting agendas and the challenges of maximizing the cloud’s potential, the findings have revealed that overall, the cloud is viewed by both business and IT leaders as an agility enabler, the platform for transformative technologies and ultimately, the catalyst for innovation and business growth. 

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