What’s in the way of cloud value?
While cloud technology can solve urgent business problems, 63% of companies fail to capture the expected value from their cloud investments. The people and change dimensions of the cloud journey are major roadblocks.1 A skills shortage is the top barrier to achieving cloud value—ranked #1 by 54% of CEOs. Other top barriers include IT and business misalignment (40%) and the complexity of business and organizational change (39% overall).1
How can companies achieve greater value from cloud by unlocking human potential?
A clear vision
Some companies are capturing the advantages of the cloud. What are they doing differently? Our Accenture Modern Cloud Champions 2021 Study uncovered that continuously investing in people and using their cloud strategy to power business growth benefits both the workforce and cloud transformation.
We found that just 18% of CXOs are doing both. We call this group Modern Cloud Champions. This elite group recognizes that capturing value from cloud investments to accelerate digital transformation is not just a technology challenge, but a people opportunity.
As the next wave of cloud adoption becomes more complex due to a continuum of cloud services and capabilities critical for transformation, executives need to build a workforce better positioned to drive cloud-enabled value.
It pays to be a champ
Modern Cloud Champions are seeing greater workforce benefits from their change investments and better payoffs from their cloud transformation efforts, such as:
Stronger IT and business collaboration are also leading benefits. How? While Champions are more likely to have IT-led cloud transformation efforts, they are 3x more likely to operate as one unit with business and more inclined to undergo faster cloud migration and increased cloud adoption.
Levers of modern cloud champions
Champions are excelling across five levers that help drive cloud-enabled business transformation:
Unlock cloud value through five levers
These five levers that Champions are activating can deliver both non-financial and financial benefits. But focusing on a single lever, such as talent, is not enough to unlock full value.
We developed a Champions index that takes into account the various dimensions of the five levers. Companies with a higher index score exhibit better workforce and transformation benefits.3 The big learning here is that any one lever on its own only adds incremental value. The ability to capture full value from cloud adoption requires all five levers to work in tandem throughout the organization.
In addition, these levers accelerate value differently across outcomes. For example, a company focused on driving agility and innovation through the cloud is going to find the talent lever, working alongside the other levers as their accelerator.
Agility and innovation
When comparing similar companies, an enterprise with 10pp higher cloud adoption alongside a simultaneous increase of the five levers, exhibits 1.04pp higher EBITDA growth.4 This increase of 1.04% is split across the levers, with talent (25%) and governance (23%) emerging as slightly stronger levers.
Both analyses suggest that while talent carries slightly more weight, all five areas are key to unlocking both financial value and people potential throughout the cloud journey.
Become a modern cloud champion
Modern Cloud Champions unlock both financial and non-financial value. That’s because they focus on a variety of levers that accelerate value differently across outcomes.
It’s time to take the first three steps toward becoming a champ by implementing cloud alignment, ability and adoption.
Modern Cloud Champions unlock greater human potential and cloud value driving business transformation. They understand that people will drive the cloud agenda, but the journey must be underpinned by a strategy tied to business goals. These leaders tear down silos hindering collaboration. They empower people to experiment and foster the skills needed to accelerate transformation. They’re not just migrating; they’re continually moving in the best direction—up.
About the research
Accenture Research fielded a survey between February and April 2021 to 1101 executives with insights gathered from 2500+ global workers. This research spanned 11 countries and 10 industries. Econometric methods were employed to understand drivers of workforce and cloud transformation outcomes. The research also asked respondents to rate the strength of their organizations across identified levers. Their responses were ranked and consolidated into a single index score, confirming that a higher index score – reflecting stronger talent, governance, leadership, operating models, and culture – is associated with higher workforce and cloud transformation benefits. Lastly, we also estimated the effect of greater cloud adoption and the effect of the 5 levers on EBITDA growth.
1 Accenture. 2020. Sky high hopes: Navigating the barriers to maximizing cloud value.
2 Accenture. 2020. CXO Pulse Survey: Wave 3.
3 This analysis controls for differences between companies in different industries, in different countries, with different operating models as well as variations due to size.
4 Using econometric methods, we measure EBITDA growth (past 12 months) associated with 10pp higher cloud adoption and the activation of the 5 levers. This analysis controls for differences between companies in different industries, in different countries, with different operating models as well as variations due to size.