Research Shows Cross-functional Support Key to Improved Digital Success

black women business leader holding ipad and smiling into camera

Digital transformation is a universal goal for many businesses, as is the understanding ‘the cloud’ is the fuel to make it possible. Yet there are silos within enterprises that are a significant obstacle in truly unlocking the benefits of cloud to gain a competitive advantage.

Latest survey

We just released new research and key findings of a survey of 350 IT/cloud decision makers in the U.S. and the UK, fielded by Arlington Research. It reveals that a staggering 70% of cloud decision makers view silos across teams as a hindrance to IT’s ability to maximize business value. Equally as surprising is that only 26% of cloud decision makers claim C-suite executives are actively involved in their organizations’ hybrid cloud efforts. This leads to a lack of executive and cross-functional collaboration and creates inefficiencies for hybrid cloud that affect the bottom line and productivity.

Further complicating the equation is that (according to Gartner) due to current IT talent shortages, enterprises are recruiting 15% of infrastructure & operations leaders from outside IT, bringing them in from general business roles. This lack of executive involvement, ‘green’ talent in IT roles, no consistent cross-functional stakeholder participation, all correlate with escalating challenges for enterprises.

Charles Araujo, Principal Analyst of Intellyx observes: “There is a definitive competitive chasm developing within traditional enterprises between those that see the cloud as merely a part of the IT infrastructure, and those that see it as a strategic business enabler. Those that see it as the latter are investing both resources and executive engagement in leveraging the cloud to drive competitive advantage and have recognized that doing so requires managing it from a business as well as technical perspective to deliver transformative business results.”

Key findings point to big hurdles for digital transformation

Organizations that reported a lack of cross-functional cloud stakeholders are less likely than the overall respondent pool to have what they need in terms of cloud management tools and optimization capabilities. 

  • Only 16% reported having billing visibility tools (compared to 40% of the overall respondent pool)
  • 30% have usage dashboards (compared to 44%)
  • 38% have capacity/usage planning tools (compared to 53%)

Organizations where IT is the exclusive cloud stakeholder are also more likely than the overall respondent pool to report a variety of cloud visibility and management challenges. In particular, there is a double-digit difference in the number of respondents who reported the following: 

  • 85% agree or strongly agree that limited visibility across their hybrid cloud environment creates inefficiencies and wastes time (vs. 71% of the total respondent pool)
  • 79% agree or strongly agree their team works in silos (vs. 67%)
  • 78% agree or strongly agree that it’s hard to understand whether they are delivering the service levels required for business success (vs. 66%)
  • 75% agree or strongly agree that it’s difficult to identify the overall business impact of an issue (vs. 65%)
  • 73% agree or strongly agree that they are unable to make data-driven IT investment decisions (vs. 63%)

With growing cloud costs and the buzz around the cloud enabling digital transformation (not to mention the strategic importance of cloud), you would think execs would be all-in on breaking down siloed cloud procurement and management. This research shows that most organizations aren’t there yet, but we expect this to change dramatically in the coming year. As organizations gain more insight into cloud costs and management, the C-suite can and must take notice.

Download the “Trend Report: State of Hybrid Cloud and FinOps 2021” 

About the Survey

Arlington Research, commissioned by Virtana, surveyed 350 cloud decision makers with influence or purchase authority over on-premises, private, and/or public cloud infrastructures in US- and UK-based organizations with 250+ employees.


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