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Only 10% of businesses report benefitting from cloud technology

While truly “cloud-powered” companies are among the minority, they are setting a global example on how to effectively transform operations, according to PwC

While cloud adoption continues to rise globally, only a small portion of businesses are yet to fully maximise the impact of their transition, according to new research from PwC.  

A survey of more than 1,000 business executives found that while 78% of leaders have adopted cloud technology in “most” or “all parts” of their business, just 10% have fully unlocked the potential to drive operational improvements and deliver tangible benefits for their organisations.  

This minority of “cloud-powered” businesses have effectively adopted cloud and are reaping the rewards of this process, with many expecting to see continued revenue growth of 15% - or greater - off the back of their transformation projects.  

Cloud-powered companies were four times more likely to say they face “no barriers to achieving cloud transformation” across a range of areas, PwC revealed.

This has enabled them to deliver marked improvements to organisational resilience, productivity, and decision-making, and unlock significant cost savings.

PwC identified four key areas of value that distinguish the so-called "cloud-powered" companies from those that aren't fully realising the potential benefits of cloud technology across their business.

A holistic approach to cloud 

Cloud-powered companies were found to be twice as likely to pursue a “multi-faceted” and non-linear cloud approach, meaning that they have bucked traditional transformation processes.  

Rather than going from workload migration and asset modernisation to cloud-native development, 70% of these organisations have adopted a combined approach which focuses on applying the method that “makes the strongest business case for their goals”.  

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“And once they decide, they’re committed,” PwC said. “Cloud-powered companies are nearly four times as likely as other companies to sustain their current strategic focus.” 

This sharpened focus on delivering tangible improvements in specific areas of the business has enabled them to maximise impact and avoid becoming bogged down in overburdening transformation programmes.  

“While most cloud-powered companies have implemented enterprise-wide transformations and moved operations to cloud, they also don’t shy away from considering when it doesn’t make sense to go there,” PwC said.  

C-suite collaboration is key  

Cross-functional collaboration is a key factor for success at cloud-powered companies, according to the professional services giant.  

CIOs at cloud-powered firms are far more likely to be “in sync” with key business functions and have stronger alliances across the C-suite, resulting in a more aligned and concise vision during the formative stages of cloud transformation projects.  

Additionally, cloud-powered companies were found to prioritise closer collaboration with chief human resources officers (CHRO’s) and talent teams to ensure that the organisation has the right talent to effectively realise projects.  

“This should come as no surprise given how critical it is to acquire or develop the right skills to make the most of cloud investments (while keeping legacy systems up and running),” PwC said. 

The importance of a formal data strategy 

Executives at cloud-powered companies “understand that data is at the heart of transformation efforts”, according to PwC.  

In fact, cloud-powered businesses are far more likely to have a formal enterprise-wide data strategy in place, with 88% establishing a clear-cut vision compared to just 59% among other firms.  

This concise focus on how to effectively leverage data has enabled cloud-powered firms to develop a more “streamlined architecture” to modernise their data and concentrate on “building the skills and operational changes needed to become a data-driven organisation”.  

Cloud governance and control focus  

Governance is a key concern for cloud-powered companies, according to PwC’s research, with 80% having cloud governance resources in place and 78% stating they have “formal and distinct cloud controls”.  

Increasingly, these innovative organisations consider the potential risks that cloud poses throughout the various stages of a transformation project, as well as the long-term considerations with regard to cyber security, data privacy, and compliance.  

Similarly, cloud-powered organisations were also found to have focused heavily on educating the C-suite and board on how relevant risks related to cloud technology can be identified and addressed. 

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