Outlook increasingly cloudy: the mass migration of business data


Whatever the department, sector or country, cloud computing is becoming more common. Large businesses are using cloud software to cut costs. Small businesses are using cloud-based services to compete with corporations.

>See also: Taking the IT departments pain away during cloud migration

It is a key enabler of modernisation, transformation and innovation, but who is leading the charge when it comes to cloud adoption and, more importantly, why? The research also looked at the departments most, and least, likely to migrate data to the cloud within the next two years.


Perhaps unsurprisingly, leading the way with 67% of data expected to migrate to the cloud is the IT department. It is the one organisational team that can be almost guaranteed to not only be aware of the impact cloud storage can have on the businesses, but when and how to integrate it with legacy systems.

The IT department is responsible for helping business leaders focus on their core business and helping is lead the way when it comes to moving data to the cloud and helping businesses extract the value they need from their data to innovate and stay ahead of their competition.


Following IT departments, HR is the business function expected to be the next biggest adopter of cloud with more than half (53%) of UK departments looking to embrace it as a storage option. The demands placed on HR are, undoubtedly, changing.

>See also: The importance of assessing cloud readiness

Organisations are more agile and team focused, which is driving a huge shift in how HR teams operate and the tools they use. Indeed, modern-day technology offers opportunities for smarter practices in areas such as employee experience, recognition, and benefits and rewards packages. It can also generate data-driven insights to enhance workforce performance and drive overall business results.


Finance departments, being more risk averse, have not been as fast to make the cloud move as other functions. Despite this, 46% of financial departments are looking to migrate data, placing it third on our list. Many finance executives still have concerns about the maturity of solutions and security risks.

However, the benefits of moving to cloud – the flexibility, scalability, standardisation – and easy pace of adoption are now proving compelling. As the technology matures, finance departments can better understand the different options to secure their data in the cloud, while increasing the frequency at which changes are implemented and disseminated across the organisation means compliance becomes easier.


Despite a more widely adopted awareness around customer experience, cloud based storage of customer data comes in fourth with a little under half (46%) of customer service teams looking to move in this direction.

>See also: Unlocking business value via the cloud

Understandably, all businesses want to reach new customers while retaining current ones. Yet, in less than a year, Global Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will kick-in, meaning how businesses securely manage customer data will become a major focus.

This will bring with it a raft of changes as customers will gain a lot more power over their information like having the right to choose whether they want to be marketed to and the role of the cloud here will become more critical than ever.


Many companies have been hesitant to move R&D information to the cloud with a little over a third (36%) expected to do so in the next two years. Concerns over access to company-critical plans and designs are high on the list of probable barriers.

However, the unlimited and scalable computing power is becoming more of a draw. Especially considering the variation of projects and pace undertaken by R&D teams as the cloud allows people and teams to move at their own pace, rather than forcing them on everyone at once, regardless of need and readiness.


Propping up the list of departments looking to move data to the cloud within the next two years is legal with only a quarter (25%) expected to do so. Today, cloud applications are increasingly being used in legal organisations for time and billing, HR and other elements, which begs the question, if cloud is so good for these applications, why is it not yet more commonplace?

When managing work product for clients, legal departments must consider their clients’ policies for cloud security and usage to ensure that the appropriate governance standards are met.

>See also: Digitally transforming with the right cloud strategy

There are also some that believe that clients must be informed when client information is moved from the firm to a third-party solution, while a cloud solution for legal work must integrate seamlessly with the specialised tools, systems, and authoring environments required to ensure everything is done ‘by the book’.

What is clear is that the adoption of cloud is growing across the board. The next step is how these departments work together, and not in silo, to make the most of their data, regardless of where it is hosted.


Sourced by Mike Whelan, Head of Product Management International, Teradata


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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...