cloud computingA global survey of 730 IT professionals, conducted by Longitude, revealed that a small group of forward-thinking businesses has reached cloud maturity with on average of 70% or more of their applications operating in the cloud. Oracle and Intel partnered with Longitude Research for the study that surveyed C-level and senior IT executives from companies that had an annual revenue of $1 billion or more, coming from 13 countries.

Having a cloud strategy in place isn’t enough

Their research identified a small group of 'cloud masters', which are companies that are more data driven and more savvy in getting insight from their business information, as well as more innovative and better able to respond to customer needs with greater relevance, speed and agility, consequently with higher productivity and ahead of their peers.

The remainder are playing catch up despite most having a cloud strategy in place and implementation underway. Interestingly, while more than one-third (35%) of IT executives surveyed stated that their cloud strategies are fully-developed and largely implemented, less than a fifth of this group (18%) can be classified as 'cloud masters', revealing a gap between what companies are talking about and what they are doing.  In terms of cloud strategy, an even larger proportion (43%) reported that strategy implementation is progressing. One-fifth, however, say their strategy development for cloud is in its infancy.

"In 2018, the gap between 'cloud masters' and those lagging behind has the potential to widen significantly. What we are seeing is that those with the most experience will be the quickest to exploit the new enterprise technologies and development methodologies and to use them to wow customers or develop competitive advantages before they become mainstream. This speed to market comes from having the experience to apply the emerging technologies to business and from having invested in the right cloud platform, infrastructure and tools. This means they can accelerate their way to competitive success -- and if other businesses don't catch up now, they could be permanently left behind", Andrew Sutherland, Senior Vice President of Systems & Technology for Oracle Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) & Asia Pacific (APAC) at Oracle believes.

Rise of AI, machine learning and automation

Cloud is not the only technology investment that businesses are looking to make in 2018. Oracle's research found that businesses are looking to capitalize on new, innovative technologies, such as AI, machine learning and automation in the next year. Over a quarter of IT executives felt that automation capabilities were important to the business, second only to the organization's ability to offer multiplatform capabilities. A fifth of IT executives were found to put an importance on AI and machine learning within the organization.

Although nearly two-thirds of respondents agree that cloud adoption offers the ability to better meet customer demands, enable greater collaboration, improve scalability and agility, concerns over security remain a barrier; around 54% feel there are major security issues in moving IT operations and data to the cloud.

Contradicting this however, a similar number say they believe application security in the cloud is better than previously.  In addition, respondents with a higher level of cloud maturity and exposure revealed themselves to be more confident in their cyber security capabilities than companies less ingrained in cloud – 65% rated their cyber threat detection as good to very good compared to 38%.

The survey also shows a stark difference in analytics capabilities between those with a significant cloud exposure and those of lesser maturity.  Globally, more than 60% of cloud-mature companies say they have an increased ability to analyze most types of data and are taking advantage of improvements in machine learning-based automation and visualization, compared to nearer a third of companies at a lower stage. Eight in 10 cloud-mature companies say they're realizing important gains from migrating data management to the cloud and able to experiment with different data models, and nearly as many say they generate better insights from their data. This is in comparison to around a half of organizations with lesser cloud maturity.

By MediaBUZZ