The adoption of cloud computing for mid-market organisations has not been as fast and as wholesale as the early hype of five years ago suggested it would be.
The 2014 study by Deloitte “Technology in the mid-market Perspectives and priorities” found that while there was a genuine enthusiasm for the operational enhancements that cloud-based solutions offer, full adoption of services in the cloud is still a work in progress for many companies. At that time only 14 percent of mid-market executives surveyed place these deployments in the “mature, successful” stage.
For many mid-market organisations the adoption of infrastructure cloud fundamentally falls into two camps: moving individual workloads to a cloud platform to pursue more isolated benefits, or; adopting the full service cloud strategy as a means to accessing more extreme economies of scale through wholesale business transformation.
With the latter approach proving the greater challenge the mid-market cloud activity has typically been consumed with token cloud workload strategies that have not delivered the full business benefits on offer.
Some of the typical challenges faced include:-
- Existing Asset lifecycle – The organisation may be mid-stream in the asset lifecycle and therefore less willing or able to decommission a heavy investment in existing on-premise ICT infrastructure as a result of a wholesale shift to cloud.
- Privacy and security
The study also found with 34 percent of organisations were still facing challenges over internal concerns with data privacy and security.
- Data integrity – More than one-third of respondents in the study believe they might not be able to ensure data integrity and reliability once the information is pushed up to the cloud but the study found that this concern was also waning as the cloud market matures and the offerings improve.
More than one in five in the study cites the complexity of integrating information in the cloud with other core business systems as the greatest challenge in deploying or using cloud-based services.
- Integration Half of the respondents acknowledge that in adopting cloud based services; they might face issues when integrating proprietary systems with their external stakeholders — from business partners to customers. A similar percentage cites concerns over migration to the cloud itself. Similarly, respondents in the study continue to be concerned about whether cloud solutions can easily integrate across business systems, particularly when considering a suite of solutions to handle various business functions
- Globalisation – One thing that is not always top of mind is how does the cloud services support the mid-market in scenarios where globalisation continues to play an important role in business strategy. The reason for saying this is that two-thirds of the mid-market respondents in the study said that international orientation is important for their companies. This finding is consistent with another recent Deloitte survey, in which 66 percent of mid-market executives said their companies had some level of global revenue.
While one might think that cloud is the perfect answer for supporting some global presence there are still challenges around connectivity, latency, sovereignty etc. that need to be considered, not to mention how the global presence is supported in these locations.
Time to get busy…
The low hanging fruit for mid-market organisations is to take on a SaaS solution that delivers immediate benefits such as dealing with a long term legacy pain-points.
Organisations who have been slow to adopt cloud may have been dipping their toes into this area but now they need to get a little more busy with building up capability with procuring and managing SaaS cloud deployments.
SaaS promises ease of provisioning and configuration, without the need for in-house technical expertise and another key benefit is the ability to scale the application up or down with the demands of the end-user base.
The SaaS landscape is now an arena of countless specialised solutions that are quick to deploy and bring immediate business functionality. Just one example I discovered this month, of how specialised solutions can emerge is the Deloitte Private Connect solution which is a cloud-based offering that combines shared ledger accounting with automated bookkeeping and benchmarking and an online portal and dashboard – this service is rapidly being taken up as a no-brainer by many of the clients.
Just one of many examples of why its time to get busy!