The Cloud - most businesses use it, but are they using it to its full potential?

Unlocking the value of cloud investments

Many businesses are using cloud for basic infrastructure requirements, but moving from migration to transformation is where the greater value lies.

Cloud technology is now ubiquitous, but the possibilities of using it to drive value creation are only just being appreciated. It isn’t just data storage - it can facilitate the implementation of powerful new tools such as AI, machine learning and web3 technologies.

While many businesses are engaged in using cloud for basic infrastructure requirements, moving from migration to transformation of business processes is where the greater value lies.

In a recent PwC survey, 78% of business leaders said they have adopted cloud in most or all areas of their organisations.

However, more than half of those who responded said they are not yet seeing the outcomes they want from their company’s investments. Extracting value from the investment in the cloud is clearly a priority.

Chart: What are the opportunities to unlock value from cloud transformation?

We have recently worked with a multinational chemicals company seeking to understand tech-enabled solutions that could assist, differentiate, reduce risk and potentially accelerate value.

A combined tech and operations value creation assessment identified tech-focused solutions to diversify business growth, increase plant capacity, standardise quality and expansion of their consumer markets.

Once the value creation opportunities were identified, it could prioritise its efforts and link tech investments to specific business outcomes - the larger “so what?” - with clear measures of value.

Another example of cloud transformation and innovation was in a US-based men’s skincare business who were looking to improve its top-line growth by transforming its digital presence and customer interactions. At the same time, they wanted to automate their back end operational processes to serve a large number of national retailers.

By undertaking a value creation assessment, they were able to identify and prioritise technology investments and link them back to sales growth and EBITDA improvement.

Cloud investment enabled them to build a technology platform to scale with their growth plans, reduce manual tasks, and enhance their digital customer experience, while maximising the business insights available at their fingertips.

“86% of UK CEOs are investing in automating processes and systems, while 77% are investing in deploying advanced technologies such as AI and cloud.”

Source: 26th Annual PwC CEO Survey

How cloud can deliver value across domains

To develop a cloud strategy that adds value, businesses need to:

  • Rethink core technology infrastructure and operations by migrating to the cloud, helping to manage risk, drive cost reduction and greater business continuity and resiliency.
  • Focus on transformation of their business strategy and mindset to maximise cloud opportunities by radically rethinking how they manage talent, finances, and supply chains to successfully operate in the cloud.
  • Make Innovation the stretch step where the business can reimagine customer experiences by boosting and enhancing cloud and digital capabilities.

A successful cloud strategy can help business leaders unlock the value of tech investments by linking data, systems, emerging technology, and devices. It provides the platform for better use of analytics, and innovations such as robotics, AI, machine learning, and blockchain technologies.

What should organisations consider when moving from migration to modernisation?

  • Do you have a value creation plan aligned with the business and commercial stakeholders?
  • Have you identified the correct business case and investments required to deliver on your cloud and data initiatives?
  • How have you communicated the cloud’s financial and strategic changes to your stakeholders?
  • Do you have the right leadership and talent in place?
  • What risks and challenges have you identified for execution?

Getting the strategy right from the very start

Cloud transformation is not just a case of putting the right infrastructure in place and carrying on. Regulation or regulatory risk may mean that some parts of a business are simply not suited to the cloud. And for everything else, cloud transformation will affect the way the business operates, and the way it interacts with customers, suppliers and third parties.

This is where we can help, with our wide experience of supporting clients in developing their cloud strategies and creating value we are well placed to help you.

Contact us

Grainne Marry

Grainne Marry

Partner, Value Creation and Technology in Deals, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7775 811365

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