They came to the cloud to save money; they stay because of its potential to change their business. More precisely, almost half (49%) of the enterprise executives who participated in the 2014 cloud computing survey conducted by KPMG, “Elevating business in the cloud,” said the biggest benefit of using the cloud is its cost efficiencies. However an increasing number are using it to enact large-scale change at the business-unit level as well as enterprise-wide.
According to the report, the transformative effect of the cloud is being realized by those using it to better enable a flexible and mobile workforce; improve alignment and interaction with customers, suppliers, and business partners; and better leverage data for more “insightful” decision-making.
“Cloud has become almost a business imperative because the benefits seem to outweigh the risks,” said KPMG’s Rick Wright, principal and global cloud enablement leader. The survey participants reported that the cloud has helped them improve business performance (73%), improve levels of service automation (72%), and reduce costs (70%). These enhancements come at a price, however. More than half (53%) cited data loss and privacy risks as the most significant challenges of doing business in the cloud, followed by intellectual property theft. The high costs of implementation and the challenge of integrating the cloud with existing architecture are also notable stressors.
KPMG’s survey report included five tips to help companies succeed with their “cloud transformations”:
- Make cloud transformation a continuous process.
- Drive cloud transformation from the top.
- Focus on strong leadership and engagement.
- Avoid silos.
- Measure success.
As we have noted in this newsletter before, there are significant information governance challenges to be addressed in integrating cloud storage into the IT and policy infrastructure. Some of these challenges are outlined in the following resources available from ARMA International at www.arma.org/bookstore:
- Cloud Computing: Introducing the Vital Questions (online course)
- Cloud Computing for Lawyers (book)
- Guideline for Outsourcing Records Storage to the Cloud (guideline)