Businesses are not reaching their hoped-for levels of cloud innovation, despite leaders making the technology an investment priority.
The shortcomings are the result of a disconnect between strategic cloud priorities and innovation success, a Deloitte survey of 500 cloud decision makers found. For example, 89% of respondents want to increase efficiency and agility using the cloud, but only 65% have found innovation success.
When it comes to the cloud, “it was very difficult to get the planning done, very difficult to get the resources in line and it was much harder than [businesses] thought,” said David Linthicum, chief cloud strategy officer at Deloitte.
Deloitte identified increasing efficiency and agility; developing new ideas, approaches or methodologies; and reducing costs as three of the most important goals for businesses when switching to the cloud. But, as the report suggests, this is not where many businesses are innovating.
The report found that the majority of positive change for businesses using the cloud was in mitigating business or regulatory risks, building net new product revenue and expanding into new markets.
Roadblocks persist for successful execution in cloud plans
Beat the learning curve
For companies switching from legacy technologies to cloud-native architectures, there are some hindrances to maximizing new value.
One of these issues is falling into the trap of the “lift and shift” model for cloud modernization. This has resulted in many businesses expecting instant gratification from their cloud provider while, in reality, falling behind the innovation curve.
“Companies don’t take their time to coordinate their efforts into a proper cloud strategy,” said John Annand, research director of infrastructure and operations at Info-Tech Research Group. “People don’t properly account for the operational changes that are required both at the business and the IT level when going into the cloud."
“You have to change the way you’re actually doing your business process in order to get those benefits,” he said.
While cloud vendors promote benefits like efficiency, agility, increased speed and decreased costs, it takes time to get there, especially for businesses with employees that do not have the proper skills.
“We had this problem before the pandemic and before the Great Resignation,” said Craig Lowery, VP analyst at Gartner. “It’s just a set of skills that is very new in this market and takes time to acquire.”
Many analysts echo the idea that innovation and changing how employees do their work takes time.
Brian Adler, senior director of cloud market strategy at Flexera, said that while the Deloitte report suggests that decision-makers might be focusing on the wrong strategic priorities, he believes that businesses are probably doing the right thing, but change takes time.
If a business struggles with innovation, leaders should go back to why the company moved to the cloud in the first place, Adler said. “If they don’t have that direction, they’re probably going to struggle because they’re not sure which of [their goals] they’re trying to achieve."
As for the future, Linthicum believes that the industry will start to see a culture change towards experimentation as it relates to cloud.
“[Businesses] either need to be a disrupter or they’re going to be disrupted,” Linthicum said.