Cloud leaders enjoy greater agility – but it’s easier than you think to get there

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.

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If your business is ahead of the curve when it comes to cloud adoption, then prepare for a hit of good news; organisations which execute a strategic cloud plan are growing revenue 2.3 times faster than their competition and are on average generating a 35% lift year on year in top line revenue.

But for those not quite there, what are the strategies which need to be examined? These and other findings comprised a new study from CloudHealth Technologies which argues cloud-leading firms have the edge on mitigating risk, cost, and governance.

To define the gap between the best and the rest, cloud leading organisations are more likely to have cloud SLAs (87-91% of higher tier respondents compared to 54-62% of lower tier respondents), proactively monitor for abnormal cloud behaviour (92% vs 63% respectively) and have a ‘comprehensive, clearly articulated strategy for managing cloud cost’ (94% vs 37%).

Naturally, one of the knock-on effects of outperforming the competition is greater agility. Top tier respondents were four times more likely to develop and roll out new apps, ranging from ‘somewhat’ to ‘extremely quickly’, according to the report, while leading cloud enterprises are twice as likely to say they are able to roll out new cloud deployments more efficiently.

Writing in a company blog post, Mueller noted the importance of this study was not to tell people for the umpteenth time that cloud was ‘going to be really, really big’. “What we found is that there is an enormous disparity between the top tier and the rest of the pack,” she said. “There were no particular classifications, unique traits or industries that helped to formulate the overall profile of a trailblazer. The only thing that distinguishes them is the size of their organisation…so the good news is that anyone can be a cloud leader.”

The report gives five key tenets on how to become a cloud leader. Companies should designate responsibility and assign a ‘cloud steward’ who has a comprehensive knowledge of both the technology and the business goals, CloudHealth notes, with more than three quarters (76%) of cloud leaders polled having such a position in their ranks. Continuity was seen as vital – organisations should not only set metrics for success but make them a continuous cycle of measuring and tracking – as well as automating day to day routines and having best practice defined at the organisational level. Centralised governance and having a full understanding of spend – as well as it being linked to performance – were also cited.

“Any organisation can achieve similar results by applying the lessons from the trailblazers when it comes to cloud management,” the report concludes.

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