The benefits of the cloud are not living up to the expectations of UK businesses according to a new report from Advanced.
Only 44% say the flexibility of the cloud has lived up to their expectations followed by efficiencies (31%), productivity (30%) and mobile (21%). Just 19% say it has given them a greater user experience.
The 2019 Digital Business Report – an independent survey commissioned by the British software and services provider – profiles over 500 senior decision makers working in UK businesses, both SMEs and large enterprises, to explore the state of digital transformation.
The findings will come as a blow to businesses as cloud spending soars, according to Gartner. This could suggest that many are investing in cloud solutions without taking into consideration how the technology needs to be implemented into the business to ensure it will genuinely have a positive impact on performance.
“The cloud is fast becoming the preferred choice for positive digital disruption, but it seems it’s not giving businesses what they want on a number of levels,” comments Jon Wrennall, CTO at Advanced. “This is a concern simply because the cloud can – and should – deliver these benefits and more. It begs the question: are organisations being distracted by hyped-up cloud tools over prioritising software that is relevant to their own unique needs? And are they not being given the right third-party support to realise the cloud’s value?
“The right strategy and guidance will help organisations get the maximum benefits from the cloud as well as dictate what business functions they should migrate to the cloud because, in certain cases, some functions are actually best kept on-premise.”
In fact, only half of the decision makers questioned in Advanced’s report believe the cloud should be inherent in all business software their organisation uses. It paves the way for ‘disaggregation’ in which businesses move away from monolithic contracts and realign technology products and services more closely to their individual requirements.
Almost two-thirds (63%) say their organisation should be using multiple software solutions rather than one single solution to run core operations. This multi-source strategy is favoured by respondents due to the unique requirements of each department in their organisation (58%) and the increased flexibility multiple solutions offer (52%), as well as the lower risk of failure (40%) and the fact they would not be tied into one vendor (20%).
Jon adds: “Many businesses are turning their backs on a single-source strategy and choosing to use a small number of specialist solutions for functions like sales, finance and HR. It’s a smart move but these multiple software solutions – both cloud and on-premise – must be integrated if businesses are to truly improve business performance and productivity. Even better if businesses work with a solutions integrator to ensure their needs are met.”
The report suggests that most businesses agree. In fact, 70% of its respondents say a lack of integration between their organisation's business software is holding their organisation back from achieving successful digital transformation. As such, Advanced advises that businesses work with a partner they can trust to advise them on the best strategy in order for them – and their staff – to get the maximum benefits from every technology investment.
Other key findings:
- 59% say their business software integrates core functions like finance and HR
- 61% say a lack of integration between their organisation’s business software is holding them and their team back from doing their job effectively
- 28% say their organisation’s digital strategy has been completely successful in helping drive their organisation’s performance and productivity
- 49% have a cloud strategy in place
- 35% identify their organisation as an innovator or early adopter of the cloud
- 17% say their organisation is prioritising functionality when choosing new technology, while 8% are prioritising user experience – on a par with interoperability
The Advanced 2019 Digital Business Report was carried out online by Research Without Barriers – RWB – between 7th June 2019 and 11th June 2019. The sample comprised 530 senior decision makers working in organisations in the UK with an approximately 50% level split between Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and large organisations (i.e. 276 senior decision makers are working in organisations with 10-250 employees and 254 in organisations with 250 employees or above).