C-Level Execs are Turning to the Cloud in 2015
At the end of last year, Forbes published an article based on results from the KPMG study called 2014 Cloud Survey Report: Elevating Business in the Cloud. The study is based on 500 interviews with global C-level business executives (CEOs, CIOs, and CFOs) from enterprises with annual revenues between $100 million and over $20 billion, across a dozen industries.
According to Forrester Research, the public cloud market is estimated to reach $191 billion by 2020, which would be a significant jump in growth from 2013’s market size of $58 billion! So which factors are driving top level executives to harness the power of the cloud and transform their businesses? Following are some of the primary reasons C-level execs are looking to the cloud for enterprise VoIP and unified communications solutions.
Although cost-drivers continue to be a top reason to move to cloud-based communications in 2015, there is now a shift away from a purely cost-driven mindset toward a more customer-centric focus. This swing toward improving alignment with customers and using analytics for greater insights varies from the strictly cost-driven factors identified in KPMG’s 2012 survey.
Enabling Mobile Workers
Top executives provided this reason almost 300% more in 2014’s survey compared to the one taken 2 years earlier. That’s because today’s employees demand the same access, experience, and tools available on their PCs and mobile devices as they have on their personal devices. They can have their cake and eat it too through VoIP and unified communications cloud applications and services. And as organizations turn to the cloud to enable a more flexible and mobile workforce, they are finding increased employee productivity (54%) and higher employee satisfaction and flexibility (48%), according to the survey.
Improving Alignment with Customers/Partners
Retailers especially are recognizing the importance of using cloud-based applications and services to connect with consumers. For example, mobile-optimized e-commerce or customer support tools can give retailers a competitive advantage during peak holiday seasons. They can use these tools to provide a customized and instantaneous service for their clients, which leads to more sales and strengthened relationships.
In the area of healthcare, one specific way Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) are harnessing the power of the cloud is to advance patient relationships by looking at implementing cloud-based applications. These apps are focused on continuing the relationship with CTCA’s patients, both during their treatment stay and after they are discharged. Using mobile cloud-based technology, CTCA can receive more reports from patients throughout each day, allowing caregivers to adjust their treatment plans in real-time.
Using Cloud and Data Analytics to provide Insight
Business analytics can generate a competitive advantage for many of today’s enterprises. Formulating strategic decisions from the results of these analytics can enable organizations to compete effectively. And as 35% of respondents indicated, business analytics can be greatly improved by cloud technologies. The reason is, cloud apps and services enable greater levels of data access, making it easier to share data between IT systems and collaborate across the business. Also, because of the affordability of cloud storage and data capacity, organizations are able to produce and analyze large amounts of data (aka “big data”). Take, for example, Emerson, a climate system manufacturing company. Emerson can use cloud-enabled big data insights to offer innovative cost-saving air-conditioning, heating, refrigeration, and ventilation products to its supermarket customers.
Cloud-based applications and services can also be used to execute organizational transformation in other ways. The cloud enables IT to provision and modify complex infrastructure faster than traditional on-premises systems. Furthermore, it can enable businesses to be more nimble and responsive to changing business needs. Also, companies can take advantage of innovation more readily with cloud products as they reduce the need for incremental investments in technology infrastructure, instead providing comprehensive solutions.
Other Top Ways Businesses are Using the Cloud:
- New Product Development and Innovation – 32%
- Develop New Business Models – 30%
- Shift to Globally Shared Services Model – 28%
- Faster Time to Market – 28%
Regardless of the reason, the statistics above show that forward-thinking IT and other C-level executives continue to leverage the cloud to enhance and transform their businesses. Harnessing the power of cloud-based communications and enterprise VoIP can assist top-level execs in growing their organizations into the future. What do you consider the biggest benefits of the cloud?