It’s a well-known fact that the cloud is revolutionising every industry and sector. Although the benefits of cloud were once hotly contested — with some experts arguing that the cloud was less secure than on-prem — now, those myths have dissipated.
In fact, in this increasingly digital world, the cloud is now integral to an organisation’s survival. A recent Progress study revealed that 85% of IT leaders feel that they have two years to advance their digital transformation strategy before falling behind their competitors or suffering financially.
Considering the impact that digital technologies can have on businesses’ productivity, flexibility and agility, unlocking increased profits, improved customer experience and new business models, this statistic shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Who’s adopting what?
So, how are organisations in the UK using the cloud? Companies are utilising the cloud more and more to tackle a diverse array of issues.
From HR apps which ease the on-boarding process to expense management apps which facilitate improved cost-efficiency.
Okta’s last Businesses @ Work report showed that the most widely adopted apps across all industry sectors are mail and storage applications, such as Office 365, Google Apps and Box. And of course, internet and software companies are adopting the most diverse range of apps.
In contrast, organisations that rely on public funding, such as NGO’s, hospitals and healthcare companies are some of the slowest industries to adopt new technologies.
Whilst 72% of hospitals use some form of mail app, when it comes to utilising cloud platforms, the adoption rate falls to just 23.5%.
This reluctance to adopt new technologies is backed up by recent research which reveals that 36% of public sector organisations have no plans to migrate to the cloud.
Paradoxically, whilst those that are adopting the cloud do so to save money, the findings indicate that other organisations are struggling to understand the true financial benefits of the cloud.
Why should NGOs consider the cloud?
When it comes to NGO’s, the cloud can provide cost-saving efficiencies that are vital for organisations which are sustained by donations and volunteers.
Oxfam is one example of a non-profit harnessing these benefits, recently rolling out Workplace by Facebook. The main driver was finding an efficient way to collaborate when teams are spread across the globe.
Oxfam was spending unnecessary amounts on flights to bring people together. Now, using digital technologies, Oxfam can enable collaboration in one familiar online workspace and the integration with a single-sign on service allows employees to gain access to integrated apps.
This kind of integration propels organisations towards cloud-centric digital transformation whilst cutting costs and boosting cohesive working.
Similarly, industries ranging from biotech and pharma, education, finance and construction are all adopting apps that boost collaboration.
Attitudes regarding cloud security are shifting, particularly among typically traditional sectors, such as manufacturing.
They are prioritising the cloud rather than sticking to on-prem. To increase their productivity, businesses are beginning to recognise the need for digital transformation and are looking to cloud apps that boost collaboration across locations and time zones, without compromising on security.
How does the UK’s adoption of cloud stack up?
According to Okta’s latest Businesses @ Work report, UK organisations are not utilising cloud-based apps for core process as much as our US counterparts.
Only 22% of UK businesses implement the use of HR apps, as opposed to 57% of US companies. Just 16% of UK companies manage their expenses using cloud apps, versus 43% of US businesses. And just 24% of UK businesses utilise videoconferencing apps, versus 42% of those in the US.
We cannot fully attribute the UK’s lack of adopting cloud based apps to its low productivity ranking. Yet a recent ONS study reveals that the UK continues to struggle to keep up when it comes to productivity, falling well below the average for a major G7 advanced economy — even though UK employees are working an average of 38 extra days a year.
UK businesses and IT leaders are desperately seeking new ways to work — which cloud technologies offer.
Benefits include increased productivity and security, and studies show that businesses adopting cloud technologies are more likely to grow faster and generate more revenue than their competitors, generating 26% higher profits than their competitors.
How can businesses adopt cloud securely?
Now that businesses realise the value of investing in new technologies that empower their employees, what’s the next step?
In 2016, we’ve seen the number of external identities in the cloud skyrocket, a trend that will continue in 2017. As businesses turn to the cloud, they will run into challenges related to managing user identities.
IT is not just managing employees anymore, but whole ecosystems of employees, customers, partners and distributors.
With the proliferation of cloud and mobile across the enterprise, companies need to manage and control the increasing number of accounts.
On-premise identity management is expensive and complex and often only really available to large enterprises that can afford and maintain it.
But the Identity Cloud enables companies of all sizes to unlock efficiency while saving money. Not only will the Identity Cloud enable organisations to connect to apps and provision accounts, it will also empower them to drive businesses forward and adapt to the ever-changing business environment.
Identity is the key to digital transformation. Those who succeed in securing the new identity-defined perimeter will ensure that they are boosting productivity and collaboration securely.
Sourced by By Phil Turner, VP EMEA, Okta