Experience key to exploiting cloud value, says new report

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Albert Einstein once said that the only source of knowledge is experience. And in terms of cloud computing, the latest report from RightScale, subtitled “How cloud maturity unlocks cloud value” emphasises that to a tee.

The second annual RightScale State of the Cloud Report, surveying 625 respondents from execs to cloud practitioners, found a wide array of interesting takeaways, but the key theme running through the research was that the more time you spend on cloud, the more revenue you’ll get out of it in the long run.

This graph shows in particular how companies with more stake in cloud computing were reaping the rewards:

“These findings show that cloud benefits are not only a future expectation, but also a reality today for many organisations,” the report stresses.

As shown in the graph, the report put companies into four levels of cloud maturity:

  • Cloud watchers – organisations that are strategising about cloud adoption, but are currently not deploying
  • Cloud beginners – as the name suggests here, companies who have made the leap to migration but are working on initial projects and want to gain experience in order to determine future strategy
  • Cloud explorers – companies with multiple projects in place, looking to expand their cloud resources
  • Cloud focused – companies who are either all in the cloud, or heavily utilising cloud infrastructure

The survey found that three quarters of organisations polled were deploying cloud, with 26% cloud focused, 23% cloud explorers, and 26% cloud beginners. 17% were cloud watchers whilst only 8% of those surveyed had no plans to adopt.

One of the biggest takeaways emphasised in the RightScale report corresponded to the most basic fact of cloud maturity: “cloud adoption is a given”.

This isn’t the first report to say this. KPMG covered very similar ground in its report ‘The Cloud Takes Shape’ back in February, saying that looking at the cloud as a basic value driver isn’t enough. Companies need to examine their strategy going forward and get the most out of their cloud in terms of more efficient process, more flexible operating models and faster entry into new markets.

And this increasing maturity reveals itself in the statistics.

Small to medium businesses are more likely to be putting their eggs in one basket and going all out for cloud. 41% of SMBs have ‘heavy use’ of cloud computing, compared to just 17% of enterprises, although the report notes this isn’t especially surprising.

“The slower pace of adoption is in line with the typical behaviour of large organisations, which are dealing with added organisational scale and complexity and thus tend to take longer to fully consume new technologies,” the report notes.

The report also examines the continuing pace of enterprise cloud adoption. 77% of enterprise respondents said they were pursuing a multi cloud strategy, with 47% choosing hybrid clouds. This fits in with research from Virtustream earlier this month showcasing the proliferation of hybrid in cloud strategy, with 86% of larger organisations surveyed utilising hybrid.

Earlier this week CloudTech published an article addressing this very topic, assessing companies’ strategy through the cloud computing stock index.

It makes perfect sense. The bigger they are, the harder they fall, and for these big companies in these economic times, translating time into money is far more important for CEOs than the platform they’re using.

Yet the overall theme running through the research was that maturity breeds success in cloud computing. Would this spur you on to taking a leap towards further adoption? Let us know in the comments…

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