Cloud, Digital Strategies Woefully Lacking as Top Execs Take the Reins

By Edward Gately

Two new research reports highlight the challenges ahead for companies as they face crucial decisions regarding cloud adoption and digital strategies.

Some 70 percent of IT leaders view enterprise cloud software as central to their success, according to a survey by Cloud Sherpas; however, only half of executives surveyed have a formal cloud strategy or plan in place to accomplish their technology goals.

Respondents rated efficiency (71 percent) and collaboration (66 percent) as the top two improvements organizations hope to achieve by implementing cloud technology. They also said IT has benefited the most from moving to the cloud (73 percent), followed by operations (41 percent) and sales (40 percent).

Courtesy: Cloud Sherpas

The top cloud driver for organizations surveyed is providing agility (66 percent), followed by the need to reduce costs (56 percent) and improved customer service (46 percent).

Top business improvements from cloud software include employee collaboration (59 percent), efficiency (55 percent) and engagement with internal or external customers (46 percent).

“When stakeholders across the business, including executives, come together on a strategy and execution, companies will get the most benefit from …

… moving to the cloud,” said Matthew Johnson, Cloud Sherpas’ vice president of advisory services.

Courtesy: Cloud Sherpas

The online survey, conducted last fall, examined cloud software adoption, usage and trends in global midsize companies, including their attitudes and plans, drivers and barriers, top providers, business benefits, challenges and staffing.

Also out this week, a report by C-Suite Network and HCL Technologies questions the traditional role of IT leading enterprise digital planning and calls for C-level executives to step up and guide strategy. Editor’s Note: That topic was at the core of this discussion at the Spring 2015 Channel Partners Conference & Expo.

While digitization impacts every aspect of business, the process for both innovation and implementation historically has been “random and primarily driven by IT organizations,” according to the report.

“Many companies mistakenly believe their IT department should handle digital planning,” said Thomas White, C-Suite Network’s CEO and co-founder. “However, this report reveals that the source of change needs to come from the C-level executives. They have the power and initiative to assure a solid game plan is implemented consistently across the entire enterprise.”

The report examines how organizations are addressing enterprise digitization issues. Many are putting their digital strategy under the oversight of a chief digital officer, while others are authorizing their operating executives to develop the best digital strategy for meeting their goals.

Still, others are simply ignoring the issue.

“We hope this report is a catalyst to drive discussion and convince enterprises to seriously reexamine their digital planning,” said Matt Preschern, HCL Technologies’ executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

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