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Embracing The Cloud

Embrace The Cloud

The future of business is digital. Organisations, large and small, are embracing new technologies in our increasingly interconnected digital world. The mega-trends of social, mobile, analytics, and cloud are driving the digital future like never before and these technologies are being woven into the fabric of enterprises across every industry. For the mid-market, cloud in particular is having a major impact as a catalyst for new markets, new products and new ways of collaborating and innovating.

It is precisely because it is so important that we have produced focused mid-market research on cloud adoption. As you would expect, there have been many studies carried out recently regarding the rate of cloud adoption across businesses of all sizes. But it can be hard to filter through that vast amount of information to find the data relevant to your business.

A targeted survey, in which 670 IT decision makers within medium-sized businesses were questioned across 10 countries, resulted in some interesting findings. The simplicity and scalability of cloud technology has meant that cloud adoption has been rapid with four out of five organisations introducing new cloud services, the survey found.

Perhaps the most important result was that mid-market businesses across Europe report savings of more than 25% when they deploy cloud over on-premise solutions. In fact, a fifth of those companies that have switched to the Cloud in the last two years claim that it has already delivered savings of over 50%.

This alone is a pretty persuasive reason for moving to the cloud. But cloud is still not ubiquitous. At my company we know that it is not always simply a matter of switching. It is, as they say, more complicated than that. We know that the mainstream of customers have significant investment and value in their existing systems. Some customers can be conservative and sometimes unaware or sceptical of the latest technologies and best practice. They want to capitalise on new technologies and the cloud for additional value, but they do not want disruption.

This is almost certainly the reason why the survey found that in particular, the migration by mid-market businesses to ERP solutions is lagging. However, our research suggests that this is about to change. It appears that 60% of mid-market businesses who do not yet have cloud ERP are keen to adopt it. Moreover, 55% want to roll out cloud ERP with mobile functionality.

There are still barriers. Security concerns remain high for those yet to adopt any cloud services, with 36% saying their IT departments actively mistrust cloud. For the sceptics, it has to be a case of the right technology at the right time. They need to preserve their business processes and intellectual property, while allowing themselves to benefit from cloud through connected services and mobility. Some customers will move their core application to the cloud. Some customers will keep the core application on-premise.

But we are clearly at a point of inflection. Two years ago we were seeing that businesses were still wary of cloud technology. Now more are embracing cloud software for a range of services and benefits. I predict that we will see a similar pattern to cloud ERP adoption. I believe that cloud solutions can offer businesses flexibility and mobility with new standards of ease of deployment and accessibility. In particular the promise of mobility from cloud technology can really make a difference to mid-market companies.

When it comes to the cloud, it means a seamless journey to connected, scalable ways of working in a shared digital future. It’s now no longer a question of if businesses will adopt cloud solutions, but more a question of when.

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Jayne Archbold is CEO of Mid Market Europe and CEO of Sage ERP X3 worldwide. Jayne has been at Sage since 1997 and has held senior positions in all Sage UKI divisions: SSB, SMB, Accountants' and Mid-Market. Prior to joining the Sage Mid-Market Europe, initally leading Strategy and Corporate Communications, Jayne held the position of MD for Sage Mid-Market.