By Olubunmi Adeniyi
Lagos. February 11, 2013: Business and Information Technology (IT) leaders across the globe have cited implementation and integration as the biggest challenges of cloud adoption, according to a survey conducted by KPMG, the global network of professional firms providing audit, tax and advisory services.
In the survey, “The Cloud Takes Shape”, KPMG notes that the leaders are finding cloud adoption to be more complicated than many had originally anticipated.
According to the report, nearly 33 percent of all executives surveyed say that cloud implementation costs have been higher than they expected and a similar percentage say that integrating cloud services with their existing IT infrastructure has been particularly difficult.
As the market for cloud matures, enterprises are now starting to come to terms with the hard practicalities of cloud enablement, according to the report’s authors. There is evidence that organisations are placing greater focus on getting the business process redesign right, facilitating appropriate change processes and making business model improvements.
Rick Wright, Global Cloud Enablement Program Leader and a Principal with KPMG, US says that one of the most important lessons uncovered by this research is that business process redesign needs to be done in tandem with cloud adoption if organisations hope to achieve the full potential of their cloud investments.
“Executives have found that simultaneous process redesign is central to addressing the complexities that often arise in the implementation and operational phases of cloud adoption,” Wright says.
Despite these emerging complexities, executives still believe that the benefits of cloud adoption far outweigh any growing pains they experience through implementation, the survey shows.
In part, this is because organisations are shifting their focus away from pure cost reduction objectives to instead focus on achieving the transformational benefits of cloud.
“As cloud begins to become more mainstream within the business environment, we are seeing organisations move from the ‘when and why’ of the cloud adoption process to instead focus on the ‘how’, he adds.
While cost reduction is still the primary reason for cloud adoption according to nearly half of respondents, 28 percent said that the speed at which they are able to migrate to cloud is important, as is cloud’s ability to enable faster entry into new markets (27 percent) and business process transformation (22 percent).
In his comment, Steven Salmon, Principal Advisor with KPMG in the UK notes that, “Gaining real cost savings from the cloud is about more than simply moving from fixed costs to operating costs; the greatest cost savings – and, more importantly, the transformational business benefits – will come from the longer-term outcomes such as more efficient processes, more flexible operating models.”
Salmon adds that as cloud moves further up the ranking as a strategic tool of the business, “we will begin to see the CIOs role becoming ever more critical as the business integration broker on commercial, process and technical levels.”
Business executives are recognising that cloud adoption should improve security, not lessen it, nevertheless 26 percent of respondents still see security as a key challenge, however the report indicates that business executives recognise that the only way to address the concern is to work more closely with IT to develop a joint approach on cloud security to ensure that cloud providers’ solutions and services are reliable and protected.
Many businesses are proving their growing confidence in the security of cloud with more than a third of respondents saying they will migrate core operations of sourcing and procurement, supply chain and logistics to cloud within the next 18 months.
Greg Bell, Principal, KPMG, US cites that, “Security, data loss and privacy are still significant concerns for business and IT leaders but many are quickly gaining more confidence in their service providers, functions that, until just recently, were considered too sensitive or complex are now being put on the table.”
Only 18 percent of respondents see regulation as a challenge but that may be due to complacency, the report’s authors suggest, because organisations may be just beginning to prepare for the complexities that will arise with increased regulatory compliance. Respondents from the Americas are 10 percent more likely than their Asia Pacific peers to view regulation as a key challenge.
Shahed Latif, Principal, KPMG, US says that, “It will not be long before regulators start to enforce new rules that will have an impact on the way global organisations use the cloud.
Nearly 24 percent of respondents say they are looking at ‘private’ cloud environments as a way to address regulatory challenges.
In late 2012, KPMG in partnership with Forbes Insight conducted a web-based survey of 674 senior executives at organisations using cloud across 16 countries to assess the status and impact of cloud adoption around the world.