Who are the cloud leaders?

Research from Oxford Economics revealed certain companies that are further along in cloud platform deployment. These leaders are more bullish on cloud’s potential to drive revenue and cut costs and more likely to prioritize virtual collaboration as a goal of mobile strategy, to have a BYOD policy, to have launched a managed service offering, and to use a cloud-based mobile app platform in production.

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Will cloud leaders continue to advance and remain ahead of other companies, or will widespread advances across companies close the gap? What will the next set of cloud leaders look like?  Our research suggests that leaders will focus on integrating platforms.

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Cloud leaders are already finding ways to use the cloud to collaborate with partners, suppliers, and/or customers. These leaders are using the cloud to innovate at the pace of business and meet rapidly changing market needs in real time and to participate in networks set up by technology providers. This trend will likely accelerate in the coming years, allowing companies to run more flexible, agile, and cost-effective IT departments and unleashing unprecedented business and IT gains.

We talked before about the challenges companies face in the cloud: . But cloud leaders—companies with the most sophisticated cloud adoption strategies—are less concerned with data security and more sensitive to compliance and brand risk. From our current paper on security, .

Meet the Cloud Leaders

We identified a group of survey respondents who we’re calling Cloud Leaders — those companies that demonstrate a commitment to cloud technology and a certain level of sophistication in its deployment beyond those of their peers. The criteria for inclusion include a high level of planned investment in cloud computing, adoption of cloud platforms by a majority of business functions, and the approach to managing cloud risk, with leaders opting for management by the Risk or Legal function. This leadership cohort makes up 16% of respondents.

Leaders are:

  • More likely to be in the consumer products and telecommunications industries than are their peers in the overall respondent pool, and less likely to be in retail.
  • Well represented in Mexico, Brazil, and the UK, and underweighted in China, Germany, and the US.
  • Strong among SMEs, especially firms with revenue in the $100 million–$500 million range, and also among companies with sales of $10 billion or more.
  • More bullish than their peers on the cloud’s potential to drive revenue and cut costs, and more likely to use the cloud to innovate at the pace of business and meet rapidly changing market needs in real time.
  • More likely to say cloud platforms have transformed IT into a profit center, and more likely to participate in networks set up by technology providers.
  • More likely to emphasize concerns about operational risk and less likely to focus on concerns about data security/IP risk.
  • More likely to prioritize virtual collaboration as a goal of mobile strategy, to have instituted a BYOD policy, to have launched a managed service offering, and to use a cloud-based mobile app platform in production.