KPMG has just released its 2014 Cloud Survey Report on the insights gained from a web-based survey of 539 global business executives undertaken for KPMG by Forbes Insights. It's a wake-up call for any organisation that has not wholeheartedly embraced cloud computing.
"Are you keeping pace with the rapid evolution and impact of cloud on businesses today?" it asks. "Are you leveraging your cloud investment to connect with your digitally savvy customers and employees? Are you prepared to seize the opportunities available from the next wave of cloud technology?"
If your answer to any of these questions is 'No', then, says KPMG: "You have some considerable catching up to do.
The insight from the survey, according to KPMG, is that "Cloud has clearly come of age. Driven by the demand for speed, flexibility, scale and anywhere access, consumers have fully embraced a cloud-enabled world.And in business, more organisations are relying on cloud to achieve benefits that extend far beyond cost efficiency. Executives are increasingly realising that cloud can be a catalyst for process improvement as well as a driver of business transformation."
Some of the most interesting insights from the survey emerge when responses are compared with those of a similar survey two years ago. In 2012, "better enabling a mobile workforce" was cited as a cloud driver by only 14 percent of respondents, but for 2014 that figure jumped to 42 percent.
Cost efficiencies remain the number one reason for using cloud (49 and 48 percent in 2012 and 2014 respectively) but in 2012 the second most important reason was 'speed to adoption' at 28 percent. In 2014 a much richer set of reasons was offered: improve alignment with customers/partners (37 percent), better leverage data to provide insight (35 percent), new product development innovation (32 percent), develop new business models (30 percent), shift to a global shared services model (28 percent).
One thing that has not changed is the ranking of concerns and challenges of cloud adoption: data loss and privacy risks and risk of intellectual property theft were rated the most challenging areas by 53 and 50 percent of respondents respectively. "Comparing 2014 results with the answers from our 2012 survey, security and data privacy have become greater concerns than cost efficiency," says KPMG.
However while these challenges might have been seen as showstoppers a few years ago, they are now challenges that must be overcome, such is the perceived importance of cloud.
KPMG says: "Five years ago data loss and privacy risk were primary concerns and contributed to slower cloud adoption rates. Today, most organisations realise that cloud is a platform they have to integrate and support, so they’re more focused on operating effectively. The question is no longer: ‘How do I move to the cloud?’ Instead, it’s: ‘Now that I’m in the cloud, how do I make sure I’ve optimised my investment and risk exposure?’"