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Maturity Matters: Maximizing Business Value Throughout the Cloud Journey

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Use of the cloud delivers a return on investment 10 times greater for cloud leaders than cloud beginners. But how does an organization reach these results? Read on to learn the five core focus areas that can help CEOs, CIOs, and others maximize value throughout their enterprises’ cloud journeys and accelerate their cloud maturity.

Enterprises around the world understand that a cloud strategy and approach is critical to the modern and agile business. The challenge is identifying how best to approach it, where to focus their efforts and how to derive the greatest benefit from their cloud investments.

Cloud leaders offer inspiration; their use of cloud delivers a return on investment 10 times greater than cloud beginners, per a recent Wipro FullStride Cloud Services report. But maximizing business value from the cloud requires more than best practices. It also requires a willingness by CEOs, CIOs, and other C-suite leaders to accelerate organizational cloud maturity and apply cloud technologies to five key areas, which are outlined below.

Leading CIOs leverage their cloud investments to reduce operational costs and improve efficiencies. This strategy is embraced by cloud beginners as well; “cost savings” is one of the quickest wins in the cloud journey, and increasing enterprise agility is a chief investment motive. But cloud leaders distinguish themselves by treating cloud as a central component of their growth strategies.

This disparity isn’t just indicative of a difference in perspective between leaders and non-leaders. It can also be attributed to experience.

The positive impact of cloud investments is greatest among organizations that have reached relative maturity as cloud users. This makes sense: Leaders tend to already have a sophisticated digital infrastructure in place, allowing them to pursue higher-impact initiatives. More than one-quarter say they’ve migrated core business processes to the cloud (compared to just 4% of non-leaders), and 78% expect to offer cloud-native applications within the next two years, an outlook shared by just 31% of non-leaders.

With this backdrop and added maturity, cloud leaders clearly have bigger goals in mind. Compared to less sophisticated users, leaders are 30% more likely to use the cloud to speed up development and launch cycles and are 33% more likely to create entirely new cloud-based offerings. The organizations maximizing their cloud ROI also tend to focus on industry-specific use cases with the potential to drive transformative growth.

This reflects an understanding that cloud success is a journey, not a destination. Much like technology itself, leaders are constantly evolving — both as a result of past cloud implementations and as a prerequisite for future adoption. They’re also continually seeking new ways to use the cloud to drive business outcomes.

Here are the five core focus areas that can help CEOs, CIOs, and others maximize value throughout their enterprises’ cloud journeys and accelerate their cloud maturity:

  1. Adopt a Cloud-Everywhere Mentality
    Companies can achieve the highest return on their cloud investments by focusing on the business growth agenda and aligning their technology transformation to that agenda. Cloud has the unique ability to impact every area of a business. Similarly, CIOs must think holistically about how to plan for, enable, manage, and define their cloud-enabled growth — and then develop strategies to implement that plan successfully.
  2. Ensure Trust and Resilience
    The past two years have been a crash course for many enterprises in business resilience. These 24-plus months have also proven how important the cloud is to ensuring business continuity. As organizations (as well as CIOs, employees, and partners) rely increasingly on the cloud, they must approach mission-critical systems with digital trust and privacy frameworks that are built to improve the user experience while addressing the need for security and compliance.
  3. Champion and Drive a Culture Shift
    Successful cloud implementations are as much about people as they are about technology. Embracing new ways of working and investing in training can mean the difference between cloud success and failure. The telework world has also demonstrated that a decentralized workforce can be just as productive as on-premises employees, which has freed some enterprises to explore — and succeed with — a crowdsource model and new collaborative technologies.
  4. Leverage Intelligent Data
    CIOs are being asked to provide more insights and business forecasting, while stakeholders are looking for new market opportunities. These demands have only increased as organizations have access to an unprecedented volume of data, which requires AI for efficient and effective analysis. Improving the visibility and analysis of key data is critical to solving key business challenges. As companies aspire to improve their enterprise IQs, the need for data stewards and improved data governance is paramount.
  5. Focus on Automation
    To “be digital” and not just “do digital,” companies must consider end-to-end automation and further integrate the business unit and IT organization. While integration sounds simple, success requires a strategic balance of machine learning, robotic process automation, digital twins, AI ops, and more.

Ultimately, CIOs and business leaders alike can rest assured that the cloud delivers more than savings and efficiencies; it drives revenue and business growth. But achieving these objectives requires recognizing the cloud’s strategic importance across the enterprise and accelerating the organization’s cloud maturity. Are you ready?

Written by Gavin Williams.
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Gavin Williams
Gavin Williams is Sr. Partner & Global Head – Cloud Consulting Wipro FullStride Cloud Services. He has more than 25 years of experience with enterprise customers, helping drive business success through innovative technology solutions.

Gavin Williams is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. Connect with him through LinkedIn.