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Accenture: Maximise your cloud value

Why companies should turn to cloud migration to improve elasticity, efficiency and innovation - the key to survival post COVID-19, reports Accenture

Janet Brice
|Nov 27|magazine9 min read

Nearly two thirds of companies have not fully embraced cloud adoption despite the urgency from COVID-19 to force their hand, according to a new report from consultants Accenture.

However, top cloud adopters have achieved distinct benefits, though results vary by adoption rate, company size and geography, reveals a survey by Accenture who polled companies on their cloud initiatives.

“With companies moving more workloads to the cloud, nearly two-thirds of companies are failing to capture the full value expected from their initiatives,” comment Accenture.

“Businesses have increasingly turned to cloud migration to improve elasticity, efficiency and innovation,” says the report. 

“The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic turned cloud adoption into a mandate: Becoming "cloud first" is now recognised as key to surviving in an era of socially distanced remote work, online commerce and a more challenging business environment generally.”

But the road to the cloud’s transformational benefits can be complex involving multiple dimensions including rethinking strategy, technology, skills development, business processes as well as organisational design.

In the new Cloud Outcomes research, Accenture surveyed companies to pinpoint how far they are advancing in terms of the business value achieved from cloud initiatives.

The results, outlined in the report Sky high hopes: Navigating the barriers to maximizing cloud value, are a wake-up call for business. Accenture’s last survey in 2018 found that 35% of companies had fully achieved their expected outcomes from cloud. Nearly two years later the report reveals the following: 

  • Full achievement of outcomes has not increased - holding steady at 37% 
  • Even high adopters struggle, with 52% reporting they have failed to achieve the expected value from their cloud initiatives
  • The percentage who say they are very satisfied with the cloud outcomes achieved to date showed little change: 45% in 2020 (versus 44 % in 2018) 
  • Only 29% are confident their organisation’s cloud migration will deliver the expected value
  • One in four organisations always or usually run into unexpected complications during cloud migration initiatives

“We discovered that most adopters haven't fully achieved their expected outcomes while leaders' confidence in the migration is relatively low. The results should serve as a wake-up call to business leaders: As you navigate to the cloud, be aware of the barriers that can erode value,” commented Accenture.

The survey shows that cloud adopters are seeing real benefits, namely: greater cost efficiencies, improved service levels and faster speed to market. Cloud migration has enabled them to re-imagine their business models and build resilience into their companies.

“High adopters tended to be ahead of the curve in working with partners to achieve their cloud results: We found that 29% of high adopters use cloud managed services “to a great degree,” nearly three times more than moderate adopters and ten times more than low adopters,” says Accenture.

Two other characteristics common to the most successful cloud adopters were larger companies, with $10B or more in revenue, and were often based in Latin or North America. “The largest companies saw the most success in the areas of speed-to-market and service level benefits.”

Four steps to capture value from the cloud

  1. Business value focus

Develop a cloud strategy anchored to economic business cases to identify revenue upside and cost efficiency opportunities while aligning goals.

  1. Workforce and culture change management

Implement talent readiness programmes and new operating models to evolve culture, transforming how people work and how they meet rapidly changing needs.

  1. Data and AI

Unlock industry and function-specific data insights trapped in legacy systems through cloud data models.

  1. Partnering for success

Leverage the skills and experience of appropriate partners. Cloud managed services can help companies access key skills while keeping costs down.

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