Cloud is mainstream but few firms maximize value

Few organizations are maximizing the value that cloud can offer even if cloud adoption continues to accelerate, according to a global study sponsored from Cisco.

Developed by IDC, the study is based on primary market research conducted with executives responsible for IT decisions in over 6,100 organizations across 31 countries that are successfully implementing private, public and hybrid clouds in their IT environments.

Findings show that nearly 68% of organizations are using cloud to help drive business outcomes, a 61% increase from last yea’s study.

The increased cloud adoption is being fueled by cloud-native applications, including security and the Internet of Things (IoT) cloud-based solutions.

However, most organizations (69%) do not have mature cloud strategies and only 3% have optimized cloud strategies generating superior business outcomes.

In the study, IDC identifies five levels of cloud maturity: ad hoc, opportunistic, repeatable, managed and optimized.

According to the study, organizations face a number of obstacles to achieving greater cloud maturity, including capabilities and skills gaps, lack of a well-defined strategy and roadmap, legacy siloed organizational structures, and Information Technology/Line of Business (IT/LOB) misalignment.

On average, the most “cloud advanced” organizations see an annual benefit per cloud-based application of $3 million in additional revenues and $1 million in cost savings. These revenue increases have been largely the result of sales of new products and services, gaining new customers faster, or accelerated ability to sell into new markets.

The study also reveals that 95% of those leading organizations with optimized cloud strategies have built a hybrid IT environment that uses multiple private and public clouds based on economics, location and governance policies.

“Our customers are dealing with increasingly diverse and complex environments as their hybrid and multicloud deployments grow,” said Mike Weston, VP of Cisco Middle East.

“These customers want the freedom to choose the best environments and consumption models for their traditional and cloud native applications, which all drive a variety of business benefits,” said Weston. “Yet, as this research bears out, while many customers are embracing cloud, most are still in the early stages of their journey to an optimized cloud model.”