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A new survey of business leaders shows most have accepted cloud computing, but few are seeing value.

PwC has released the results of their 2023 Cloud Business Survey, which reflects the views and opinions of over 1000 US business executives.

The survey report shows that 78% of the execs said that they had adopted cloud computing to some extent within their organisations. When pressed, however, only 10% said that they had seen the “full impact” of the migration.

Cloud-capable versus cloud-powered

The survey revealed a dichotomy between executives who were moving to the cloud or running parts of their business in the cloud, and those that were “cloud-powered“.

About 10% of those surveyed were what PwC calls cloud-powered.These companies have reinvented their businesses through cloud. The result, PwC says, is that they report fewer barriers to realizing value and they’re doing so at a rate twice that of other companies. And even in the current business environment, they expect to see continued revenue growth of 15% or greater.

Four big keys to success

PwC’s analysis revealed some of the things that cloud powered companies do differently than companies who have not yet fully leveraged cloud. First, they say, cloud powered organisations take a “non linear” approach. They apply the method that makes the strongest business case for their goals, and are thus are nearly four times as likely as other companies to sustain their current strategic focus.

Another key to success is collaboration across the C-suite. CIOs at cloud powered companies get involved at the earliest stages of planning, budgeting and requirements gathering. And across the C-suite, “CIOs at cloud-powered companies have stronger alliances in service of transformation projects than CIOs at other companies”, PwC says.

Thirdly, cloud-powered companies have a “formal data, analytics and AI strategy“. They are much more likely to have an enterprise-wide data strategy than other companies (88% versus 59%). They modernize their data into an integrated view, create governance structures, and concentrate on building the skills and operational changes needed to become a data-driven organization.

Finally, cloud-powered companies focus on trust and controls. They think about the specific, potential risks that cloud poses throughout all stages of transformation projects. Across all eight dimensions that PwC evaluated, they are more advanced than other companies when it comes to adopting leading practices.