A recent Oxford Economics survey report titled, The Cloud Grows Up, demonstrates that the cloud has moved solidly into the mainstream, with 69% of the 200 global business leader and IT executive respondents planning to make moderate to heavy cloud investments over the next three years. What is perhaps even more striking, however, is the shift in the perception of the cloud from a way to save money and increase efficiencies to a strategic tool for completely transforming the business.
Representing the banking/capital markets, retail, consumer products and telecommunications industries, the survey respondents presented a picture of the cloud as a growth and change agent:
- 31% said that the cloud has already transformed their business performance and 58% expect it to impact their top-line growth in three years.
- 50% said the cloud allowed them to enter new markets and 38% said it had enabled their businesses’ geographic expansion.
- 59% use the cloud to manage and analyze data anytime from anywhere.
- Within three years, 51% plan to have developed completely new lines of business and 61% plan to develop new products and services in the cloud.
- More than half expect the cloud to have a significant impact on new business models in three years, including improved collaboration among employees and with customers and partners/suppliers.
The report also finds that rather than having vague cloud fears and concerns such as security, as they did in 2012, respondents are now focused on the nuts and bolts of addressing specific real-world challenges, such as ways to protect corporate and customer data and intellectual property. In fact, organizations recognize that many cloud providers have better security and more expertise than they do in house.
The key to this transformative power is the incredible agility and speed the cloud enables for ramping up, scaling and shutting down technology initiatives in weeks or days, with little to no upfront investment. This allows companies to experiment with new strategies with much less risk than implementing in house on a project-by-project basis. Organizations recognize that this freedom to experiment without risk (and fear) has the potential to drive change across an organization much more quickly than ever before.
Enabling the Multi-Cloud
According to the study, organizations have found new ways to enhance that agility even further. For example, while two-thirds of companies were building their own cloud business networks in 2012, only 38% were doing so today. More than half participate in cloud interconnection solutions Ì¶ such as the Equinix Cloud Exchange Ì¶ set up by partners or IT/data center providers. Thirty-six percent say they only work with cloud-based service providers with built-in connectivity to other cloud-based services.
This makes a lot of sense, as it allows organizations to ramp up not only one cloud service, but a complete multi-cloud architecture that strings together and integrates multiple cloud services to deliver one or many different capabilities with the same speed as a single cloud service.
When you use a one-to-many cloud interconnection platform such as the Equinix Cloud Exchange, you also get direct, secure connections for your sensitive data-not to mention enhanced performance.
The report concludes: “Cloud is the new normal, and as companies work through the realities of adoption, the sharpened focus on operational details should accelerate the transition of cloud as the transformative force that will help organizations re-imagine their businesses, develop new and innovative offerings, open up opportunities to drive customer success and loyalty, and, ultimately, transform their business.”
Heading towards the cloud? Learn more about the ways it can help you transform your business.