Organizations gaining a competitive advantage from high cloud adoption report almost double the revenue growth and nearly 2.5 times higher gross profit growth than their peers who are more cautious about cloud computing, according to a new IBM study.
IBM’s study “Under cloud cover: How leaders are accelerating competitive differentiation” (PDF) is based on a global survey of more than 800 cloud decision makers and users. It found that the one out of five organizations that is ahead of the curve on cloud adoption and achieving competitive advantage – not just cutting costs and driving efficiency – through cloud computing.
“For some time, many [businesses] have benefited from early applications of cloud computing and the basic efficiency gained from IT delivered as a service,” study authors write. “But now cloud is sparking imaginations. And more and more business leaders are recognizing its profound implications for how enterprises can make money, differentiate and compete.”
Characterizing the Cloud Leaders
Those organizations ahead of the cloud adoption curve are: 117 percent more likely to use cloud to enable data-driven decisions; 79 percent more likely to rely on cloud to locate and leverage expertise anywhere in the ecosystem for deeper collaboration; and 136 percent more likely to use cloud to reinvent customer relationships.
Two thirds are using cloud to strengthen the relationship between IT and lines of business. And more than half have used the cloud to revamp their business model thanks to greater access to more data and expertise, and the capability of creating new revenue streams, value propositions and enter new markets.
Cloud computing is not just an IT obsession
The study revealed that business leaders across all departments such as finance, sales and marketing, HR, and product development are becoming increasingly focused on the business value cloud provides. Over the next three years, they say the cloud’s strategic importance will double from 34 percent to 72 percent.
The Future of the Cloud as a Strategic Advantage
Among the leading cloud-positive organizations, the most valuable “cloud of the future” capabilities will be easy-to-assemble building blocks to construct new products or services, better access to and use of big data, and cloud platforms with applications and computing environments designed specifically for their industry.
The overall cloud market is expected to grow to as much as $244 billion by 2017 according to the latest Gartner estimates. IBM, itself, has spent more than $6 billion on acquisitions since 2007 to accelerate its cloud initiatives.
To help address the skills gap inevitably forming as a result of cloud computing’s growth, IBM is also engaging collaborating with more than 100 world-wide academic institutions to help students and professionals gain the latest skills in cloud computing.