Accenture Report

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One in four organizations are hindered by unexpected complications with cloud migrations

TORONTODec. 3, 2020 /CNW/ – Despite years of focused effort, many Canadian enterprises are still struggling to realize the full value of their cloud investments, a new report from Accenture reveals.

In its latest report, “Sky High Hopes: Navigating the Barriers to Maximizing Cloud Value,” Accenture surveyed 750 senior business and IT professionals at large enterprises across 11 industries and 17 countries, including Canada. It found that just 34% of Canadian companies say they are achieving the full value expected on their cloud investments, compared to 37% of companies globally.

While value realization has never been more important, 51% of Canadian business and IT leaders say they are “very satisfied” with their cloud outcomes, compared to 45% globally. Moreover, just 18% of Canadian businesses are completely confident that their organization’s cloud migration initiatives will deliver the expected value at the expected time.

Accenture’s report highlights that, when businesses have gone more heavily into the cloud, outcomes are significantly better. Looking globally, 46% of high adopters report fully achieving their expected cloud benefits, compared to 36% of moderate adopters and 28% of low adopters.

 

Most Canadian Companies Continue to Struggle to Realize Full Business Value from their Cloud Initiatives, Accenture Report Finds (CNW Group/Accenture)

Businesses in Canada recognize that they need cloud technologies for speed and agility to mitigate the major challenges they are facing and to drive transformational change to create new opportunities and value. According to the report, 95% of Canadian business executives now look to cloud as a means of mitigating business uncertainty and lowering risk. In addition, 90% view cloud as a critical component of their strategy for achieving their corporate sustainability goals.

“Cloud-based transformation offers Canadian companies the most powerful way to reinvent their businesses, unleash the expertise and creativity of their people, enhance their sustainability efforts and create new stakeholder value,” said Jennifer Jackson, managing director and Technology lead in Canada at Accenture. “But the reality is that not every company is unlocking the full potential value of the cloud. In fact, our newest report shows a surprisingly small two-year improvement in returns on corporate cloud initiatives, suggesting that a more thoughtful and holistic approach is needed. Competing in the age of COVID-19 and beyond requires that companies implement a cloud-first strategy, in which every element of their business leverages the power of the cloud, right now.”

The research also examines what may be holding Canadian businesses back when it comes to driving their cloud agendas and achieving their goals. “Security and compliance risk” was most frequently cited as perceived barrier (53%), followed by “complexity of business / operational change” and “legacy infrastructure & application sprawl” at 44% and 36% respectively.  Every barrier listed was included as a top barrier by one-third of respondents.

The global findings also show that CEOs have markedly different impressions of cloud results and concerns than fellow C-suite leaders and high-ranking company officials: 54% of CEOs globally are completely confident in their organizations’ ability to deliver cloud initiatives with the expected value at the expected time, versus 34% of CIOs and only 28% of CFOs.

“Our research findings indicate that successfully managing the complexities involved in cloud migrations help organizations to more fully realize the business value. The good news is that by taking a rigorous, outcomes-centric approach to devising a customized cloud strategy, partnering with the right experts and addressing challenges outside of the technology itself, such as upskilling their people to be more productive, Canadian businesses can achieve the results and return on investment they’re seeking,” added Vikas Shreedhar, managing director and cloud leader at Accenture.

To extract the full business value of cloud technologies, Accenture recommends that organizations adopt fundamentally new ways of working, shifting to new operating models and developing new roles and skills. Four key areas for companies to address include:

  1. Business value focus: develop an optimal cloud strategy anchored to comprehensive economic business cases to identify revenue upside and cost efficiency opportunities while aligning goals and putting company leaders on the same page.
  2. People and culture change management: implement new upskilling and talent readiness programs, along with new operating models, to help transform and enhance how people work so they can better meet rapidly changing needs.
  3. Data and AI: unlock industry- and function-specific data insights and intelligence trapped in legacy systems with the power of cloud data models.
  4. Partnering for success: leverage the skills and experience of strategic partners to expand and enhance the organization’s existing capabilities. Cloud-managed services are often an option for companies looking to access the right skills while maintaining cost efficiency.

Accenture’s new research follows the formation of Accenture Cloud First, which provides the full stack of cloud services to help clients across every industry become “cloud-first” businesses so they can accelerate their digital transformation, innovate faster, and create differentiated, sustainable value. Powered by 70,000 cloud professionals, and a $3 billion investment over the next three years, we bring together an unmatched depth and breadth of cloud experience and skills, industry cloud solutions, ecosystem partner capabilities and assets that help clients realize greater value from cloud at speed and scale. Visit us at www.accenture.com/cloud.