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SURVEY: Measuring cloud ROI remains a challenge

By Alison Job
Johannesburg, 01 Jun 2023
Brent Flint, head of enterprise applications, NTT.
Brent Flint, head of enterprise applications, NTT.

Late last year, ITWeb ran a Multicloud-as-a-Service survey, sponsored by NTT / Dimension Data.The survey looked into the current trends related to multicloud in the South African marketplace and whether businesses are ready to venture into multicloud in order to gain access to more functionalities.

A total of 98 valid responses were captured, with the majority of respondents being at executive and middle management levels, and nearly half of them coming from businesses with more than 500 employees.

The three most important objectives for respondent organisations over the next 12 months were ranked as: innovating with new products/services, technologies or business models (69%); improving their business agility and the ability to respond to change (69%); and digital transformation of the organisation (63%)

The majority of respondents (70%) say they have a formal enterprise-level strategy positioning the use of cloud-based services in their organisation.

A third (35%) of respondents don’t have KPIs for cloud-based services. Twenty-one percent say they do, but the success of cloud services is evaluated by different roles; 16% say financial KPIs are used to measure implementations; 9% say financial KPIs are reviewed regularly and include security inputs; and 8% say financial KPIs are used to measure the strategic enterprise-wide migration.

Presenting and articulating the business case for cloud and business transformation is, in our professional experience, a very time-consuming and challenging process.

Brent Flint, Head of Enterprise Applications at NTT, says, “Overall, managing the migrated environment seems to be at a low level of maturity among South African businesses, with measurement of ROI not appearing to be a common practice.”

The top three benefits experienced by organisations from the use of cloud are improved speed of deployment of apps and services (54%); improved overall business agility (48%); and reduced/more efficient total cost of IT operations (46%) While the majority of respondents (70%) say their organisation has considered a multicloud strategy, the three biggest barriers to cloud/multicloud adoption were:

  • A lack of, or difficulty finding, necessary talented/skilled workers (34%).
  • Challenges of getting multiple service providers/partners working together (31%).
  • Complexity of managing cost across multiple cloud environments (27%).

Flint comments, “These are very valid and are technical barriers. Presenting and articulating the business case for cloud and business transformation is, in our professional experience, a very time-consuming and challenging process, but we have developed a methodology that accelerates it.”

Nearly a quarter (24%) of the survey’s respondents operate a private cloud, managed by a service provider; 20% have a private cloud that they manage; 16% have a public cloud, managed by a service provider; 15% have a multicloud managed by a service provider; and 13% have a public cloud direct from vendor.

Three-quarters of respondents say that their CISO/cyber security team is closely involved with cloud and network decision making.

Most respondents (86%) believe their network is robust enough to power their cloud/multicloud journey.

Finally, the top three network priorities that respondents will be investing in are cloud-based network management (56%); network management, performance and analytics (55%); and software-defined networks/infrastructure (52%).

“These are all technical priorities, and I would encourage organisations to elevate this conversation to the boardroom and build the business case for how cloud can improve the customer and employee experience. Coupled with clear KPIs and a partnership with a provider with local knowledge and a successful track record, will empower organisations to progress their cloud/multicloud journey and achieve desirable outcomes,” concludes Flint.

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