Light Reading

Cloud Delivers Business Edge, Survey Says

Carol Wilson

Verizon Enterprise Solutions is touting a new survey of Harvard Business Review readers which shows that 74% of companies deploying cloud services say they've gained some kind of competitive advantage in the process and another 71% say moving to the cloud reduced complexity of their operations.

The entire report can be downloaded here. Verizon commissioned the survey.

There are still different levels of support for the cloud within the business community, however, as the study shows 35% are enthusiasts, 34% are moderate in their opinion and 22% are still cautious with the remainder reporting no particular standpoint. And those enthusiasts are much more likely to beat the cloud drum -- 56% of them report a significant competitive advantage stemming from using cloud services.

Those same enthusiasts say their companies are more agile and responsive to change since adopting cloud services and cite anytime/anywhere access to data and applications as a plus in enabling greater collaboration.

The other significant chunk of the HBR report looks at how survey respondents are using cloud services to reduce business complexity, which in term is reducing costs. Three-quarters of survey respondents believe cloud will reduce business complexity, two-thirds said it will reduce IT operations complexity and 69% say it will reduce costs. Other perceived benefits are an increase in employee productivity (61%) and responsiveness to customers (53%).

It's also interesting that one of the long-standing concerns about the cloud -- security risks -- is not a problem for this survey group. Almost two-thirds say that cloud either increases security or is neutral in its impact.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

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User Rank: Light Sabre
8/11/2014 | 9:46:19 AM
Re: Makes sense
@danielcawrey I understand that point of view, but wouldn't private clouds be beyond the means of smaller businesses?
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/9/2014 | 7:05:22 PM
Re: Makes sense
I wonder how much of a business edge is being gained in software as a service offerings versus private cloud architecture. I think that SaaS products have some security issues, especially when they store critical data sets. 

This is why I am a big fan of private cloud - I expect to see lots of growth in that area going forward. 
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/8/2014 | 8:39:16 PM
Re: Makes sense
@FakeMitchWagner, that should continue to be a driving advantage, with robust security systems.  The cloud providers will also be able to attract the talent and keep on staff security specialists that will be able to maintain the highest security levels and protect against breaches.

Carol makes a good point that Verizon's commission, and the leading edge customers, are probably not the typical representation and may be skewed in favor of building a case for justification for their initial cloud use.    But I do think the enterprise cloud will become a business necessity across the board and will gain the confidence of business users at large.
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
8/8/2014 | 8:21:07 PM
Makes sense

Makes sense that the cloud would increase security -- by outsourcing to the cloud, enterprises can gain the benefit of an organization with the resources to pay for the best security. IT is a cost for enterprises but it's a profit center for cloud providers.

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