Collaboration and agility shows why enterprise cloud is “worth the effort”

A new report from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services argues that as cloud usage in the enterprise continues to rise, collaboration is now the key benefit ahead of business agility.

The research, which had more than 450 participants and was sponsored by Verizon Enterprise Solutions, found 84% of respondents agreeing their organisation’s use of cloud computing had increased in the past year. 72% said their use of cloud increased collaboration options, while 71% argued business agility had been increased. Essentially, the value of the cloud comes from speed as opposed to cost savings, enabling more fluid working relationships between traditionally separate entities.

One sign of a growing maturity in the space is that companies are not as quick to espouse the competitive advantage cloud normally brings. Whereas in 2014 30% of respondents argued cloud gave their organisation a “significant” competitive advantage, that number drops to 16%. The majority of this disparity is found in those who said cloud gave “a little” competitive advantage – 23% in 2015 compared to 11% in 2014.

Cloud is no longer a differentiator – however not being on it would be a significant disadvantage

Interestingly, as the benefits of cloud computing become more apparent to the C-suite, the number of respondents who admit they don’t know if their organisation has benefitted has dropped (18% in 2014, 11% in 2015). Yet as one respondent put it, “Cloud is no longer a differentiator; however, not being on it would be a significant disadvantage.”

As ever in these instances, security (29%) continues to be top of mind for qualities that matter in a cloud provider. Integration with other systems (26%) was also seen as important by respondents, alongside compliance (18%), long term financial stability (18%), and the ability to provide cloud management capabilities (14%).

Despite this, Siki Giunta, global SVP cloud at Verizon Enterprise, insists security is no longer the barrier to adoption it once was. “Cloud is no longer on the fringes of enterprise IT – but as it matures, there are new obstacles to be faced,” she wrote. “Only now the challenges aren’t about gaining acceptance, but about how to get more from cloud to keep driving growth and profitability.”

You can find the full report here (email required).