Delays to Digital Transformation Create Concern for CIOs

Despite the maturity of cloud technology, many traditional barriers to cloud investment remain, including concerns due to security and data protection.

IT management and cloud

Three-quarters of chief financial officers think their businesses are missing out on revenue opportunities by not having the right cloud applications and infrastructure in place to support digital business transformation, according to a recent survey of chief information officers, CFOs and business decision makers.

The Canopy study found U.S. CFOs believe their business missed out on an average $41 million of revenue last year by not having the right cloud solutions in place to support their digital transformation.

As a result, 81 percent of CIOs and CFOs fear their business will become uncompetitive, with a large majority (74 percent) of them estimating this will happen as fast as the next 15 months.

Canopy’s research, conducted by Vanson Bourne, surveyed 950 CIOs, CFOs and business decision makers in midmarket and enterprise firms in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France and the Netherlands, including 200 respondents based in the United States.

"Many organizations under-estimate the complexity and thoroughness required to execute an on-time transition of existing applications, workloads and data into the cloud," Zac Backlin, vice president, Head of Americas for Canopy, told eWEEK. "Many key considerations are often overlooked or under-reported by customers, which results in missed deadlines and expectations. Like many non-cloud projects, transitions to the cloud require planning, analysis and proper due diligence for success."

Backlin explained once the initial applications are transitioned into the cloud, it is much simpler to migrate them to other cloud providers throughout the application’s life cycle.

While the overwhelming majority (94 percent) recognized the need to embrace cloud-based applications and infrastructure to deliver digital transformation, more than two-thirds (68 percent) admitted that a lack of cloud investment was holding back vital digital initiatives.

Despite the maturity of cloud technology, the findings revealed many traditional barriers to cloud investment remain, including concerns due to security (60 percent), data protection (40 percent), protection of intellectual property (26 percent) and fears of vendor lock-in (36 percent).

"Our observations seem to point that CIOs and CFOs are working in tighter alignment with an approach toward mutually beneficial objectives, even in situations mandating significant IT cost reduction efforts," Backlin said. "Canopy’s aim is to work with customers, whether the CFO, CIO or the business leaders to reduce costs and maintain and increase IT service through cloud evolution and transformation."

Almost half of respondents in the global survey reported losing revenue due to a lack of cloud investment cited reasons including 57 percent in the U.S. reporting IT department not being able to develop applications fast enough and 39 reporting inability to complete enough product releases each day or week to keep their software highly competitive.

Backlin predicted that in the near future, cloud computing will be used as an enabler to digitally transform a business or organization, noting the five priorities highlighted in the survey were improving customer service, improving mobility, using digital channels for selling, supporting innovation and attracting talent.