RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • Accenture surveyed companies to determine how far they are advancing in terms of the business value achieved from cloud initiatives.
  • We found nearly two-thirds haven't fully achieved their expected outcomes, even as the COVID-19 pandemic has turned cloud adoption into a mandate.
  • The good news is that cloud adopters have achieved distinct benefits, though results vary by adoption rate.
  • But adopters also have multiple hurdles in common. Each deserves careful consideration and can be addressed with new ways of working.


Cloud, COVID and the new reality

Need a solution to help your business adapt to a rapidly evolving economy? It's in the cloud.

In recent years, businesses have increasingly turned to cloud migration to improve elasticity, efficiency and innovation. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic turned cloud adoption into a mandate: Becoming "cloud first" is now recognised as key to surviving in an era of socially distanced remote work, online commerce and a more challenging business environment generally.

Indeed, companies are seeing rewards for their cloud investments...but they're encountering pitfalls, too. In its new "Cloud Outcomes" research, Accenture surveyed companies to determine how far they are advancing in terms of the business value reaped from cloud initiatives.

We discovered that most adopters haven't fully achieved their expected outcomes while leaders' confidence in the migration is relatively low. The results should serve as a wake-up call to business leaders in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world: As you navigate to the cloud, be aware of the barriers that can erode value.

Key findings from cloud outcomes research

35%

Companies in Asia-Pacific that fully achieved their expected outcomes from cloud.

43%

Companies in Asia-Pacific that are very satisfied with the cloud outcomes.

27%

Companies in Asia-Pacific that are completely confident that their organisation’s cloud migration initiatives will deliver the expected value at the expected time.

Setting the table stakes

First, the good news: Cloud Adopters, by and large, are seeing real benefits, namely: greater cost efficiencies, improved service levels and faster speed to market. Cloud migration has enabled them to reimagine their business models and build resilience into their companies.

But not all adoption stories are alike. We discovered that businesses reporting the greatest success tended to be more heavily into cloud adoption. In Asia-Pacific, 41% of these high adopters were very satisfied with their cloud results, compared with 34% of moderate adopters and 31% of low adopters.

Globally, more than half of the respondents (53%) reported using a multi-cloud/hybrid cloud approach. In Asia-Pacific, almost half (45%) of the respondents are using both public and private cloud services.

High adopters tended to be ahead of the curve in working with partners to achieve their cloud results: We found that, globally, 29% of high adopters use cloud managed services “to a great degree,” nearly three times more than moderate adopters and ten times more than low adopters.

In Asia-Pacific, more than half of the respondents (58%) use third party-managed services to run their cloud operations to "a great or moderate degree of adoption." Those using third party-managed services to “a great degree” are more likely to report achieving the full benefits of their cloud initiatives (48%) than those that do not (35%).

Benefits achieved based on adoption levels in Asia-Pacific
Asian-Pacific businesses reporting the greatest success in achieving expected cloud outcomes tend to be high adopters.

Percentage of “fully achieved” benefits based on degree of cloud adoption in Asia-Pacific.

Hurdles to cloud adoption

The complexity of cloud migration gives rise to a number of obstacles. In Asia-Pacific, the most commonly reported hurdles to cloud adoption in our survey were "misalignment between IT and business" and "legacy infrastructure and/or application sprawl." It's worth noting, however, that every barrier listed was mentioned by more than a third of all respondents. This finding suggests that all the barriers merit careful consideration as companies begin their cloud journeys.

Just as cloud migration success varied by company adoption rate, so too did the hurdles. Low cloud adopters were most concerned about lack of skills, data sovereignty matters and infrastructure becoming a bottleneck. Moderate adopters’ top concerns included legacy infrastructure/application sprawl, data sovereignty and misalignment between IT and business. High adopters ranked misalignment between IT and business, and security as their top two issues, with three other concerns tying for third place.

Rank Low Adopters Moderate Adopters High Adopters
1 Lack of cloud skills within the organization (68%) Legacy infrastructure and/or application sprawl (48%) Misalignment between IT and business (67%)
2 Data sovereignty concerns/regulations (44%) Data sovereignty concerns/regulations (45%) Security and compliance risk (50%)
3 Infrastructure is a bottleneck (40%) Misalignment between IT and business (44%) Lack of cloud skills within the organization (39%), Complexity of the business and operational change (39%), Legacy infrastructure and/or application sprawl (39%)

Achieving cloud expectations

To achieve the full potential of cloud requires more than technology. Organisations must incorporate new ways of working and develop new roles and skills. Four critical areas for companies to address include:

Business value focus

Develop a cloud strategy anchored to economic business cases to identify revenue upside and cost efficiency opportunities while aligning goals.

Workforce and culture change management

Implement talent readiness programs and new operating models to evolve culture, transforming how people work and how they meet rapidly changing needs.

Data & AI

Unlock industry and function-specific data insights trapped in legacy systems through cloud data models.

Partnering for success

Leverage the skills and experience of appropriate partners. Cloud managed services can help companies access key skills while keeping costs down.

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