Almost half of respon­dents in KPMG’s 2014 cloud computing survey are using cloud to drive cost effi­cien­cies, with a similar number utilising it to better enable their mobile workforce.

The study, of 500 global C‑suite execu­tives, saw a variety of ways in which busi­nesses are using cloud to drive business trans­for­ma­tion. Aside from cost savings (49%) and enabling a mobile workforce (42%), CXOs also see the benefit of cloud as improving alignment with customers and partners (37%), more effec­ti­vely leve­r­a­ging data to provide insight (35%), and aiding in new product devel­op­ment (32%).

The results show an inte­res­ting change when compared to KPMG’s last survey, The Cloud Takes Shape, in February 2013. Cost reduction was again the main driver for cloud trans­for­ma­tion, yet speed to adoption, new market entry, business process trans­for­ma­tion, and improved customer inter­ac­tion were also cited.

Not surpri­singly, security was seen as the key benchmark when seeking a cloud solution, cited by 82% of survey respon­dents. Price (78%) was only the third most important metric, behind data privacy (81%). The report argues the results are to be expected, descri­bing data security as a “burning business issue across all areas of an organisation.”

Cloud isn’t just a cost saver, and any company changing their IT infra­struc­ture for that reason alone is missing out

The report also examined the impact cloud has in terms of employee mobility and expecta­tion. Cloud enables enter­prise mobility and, through that, increases worker produc­ti­vity (54%) and satis­fac­tion (48%), as well as improve field service opera­tions (45%) and gain a compe­ti­tive advantage (44%).

Cloud to drive business - survey

The KPMG report concludes with five key takeaways for orga­ni­sa­tions looking to implement cloud solutions:

  • Make cloud trans­for­ma­tion a conti­nuous process: Cloud should be seen across the whole orga­ni­sa­tion, not just a tech or IT project.
  • Drive cloud trans­for­ma­tion from the top: A lack of hierarchy could be costly to your imple­men­ta­tion – instead, cloud projects should be managed centrally with a senior level team that guides strategic decisions.
  • Focus on strong leader­ship and enga­ge­ment: Companies should look at changing their corporate culture to align with a cloud shift, focusing first on getting buy-in from senior business leaders.
  • Avoid silos: Similar to previous points, business and IT profes­si­o­nals should work side by side as cloud is brought into the enter­prise, instead of creating poten­ti­ally harmful shadow IT scenarios
  • Measure success: Orga­ni­sa­tions should come up with “realistic” outcomes for their cloud trans­for­ma­tion which, crucially, tie back to key business objectives.

Yet the most important conclu­sion the report draws is in terms of business mindset to moving to the cloud: cloud isn’t just a cost saver, and any company which goes into changing their IT infra­struc­ture for that reason alone is missing out.

Making such changes to an orga­ni­sa­tion are costly and time consuming, but such a large increase in responses signals the tremen­dous impact, beyond cost reduction, that cloud can have on an orga­ni­sa­tion,” the report argues.

These results suggest that for many orga­ni­sa­tions, cloud has truly become a trans­for­ma­tive solution.”

You can read the full report here.

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