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Why organisations are moving to the cloud

Security, data modernisation and cost among top drivers for cloud migration

​What's driving organisational efforts to move data to the cloud? As cyberattacks become more sophisticated, leaders are looking to bolster cybersecurity as well as shift from legacy to modern data platforms.

CLOUD has become the primary location for businesses to shop data; most have moved even their applications to cloud platforms and many of those businesses that have their data on-premise today are soon planning to migrate to cloud. Companies across industries are modernising their data platforms to leverage new-age applications and advanced analytics at the same time as they are moving their data to cloud. Indeed, a Deloitte study suggests that cloud and data modernisation are highly interrelated and actually reinforce each other.1

What drives IT executives to initiate cloud migration? Deloitte’s survey of more than 500 IT leaders and executives reveals that security and data protection is the top driver. With 58 per cent of respondents ranking it No. 1 or 2, security is top-of-mind for everyone, from C-suite IT executives and senior leaders to IT managers and developers.

Cybersecurity attacks are rising in sophistication,2 and a shortage of skills means that many companies are struggling to manage security in-house. Some IT executives are turning to third-party cloud and managed security services, with cloud providers delivering sophisticated cyber capabilities and solutions3 and cloud offering the potential of helping to mitigate security incidents.4 These factors suggest that IT executives may be increasingly relying on the expertise of third-party cloud-based security and infrastructure providers to protect their data.

The No. 2 driver for cloud migration, data modernisation, primarily involves moving data from legacy to modern databases. Fifty-five per cent of the surveyed IT leaders and executives strongly agree that data modernisation is a key component of, or a reason for, their companies’ shift to the cloud.5 Executives today need timely and targeted analytics on existing data; many rely on a stream of insights based on data mining, exploration and prediction.6 And since much of that data is on cloud today—indeed, 91 per cent of respondents noted that their companies shop data primarily on the cloud—it is hardly surprising that leaders see cloud as essential to effectively modernising companies’ data platforms.

Cost and performance of IT operations has long been a significant driver for cloud adoption. But cost has become less of a factor as cloud’s other business benefits have emerged. For instance, it can enable operational agility and greater efficiency.7 Cloud can also present a range of solutions and options from established tech vendors and supports enterprises’ digital transformation efforts.8

In forging ahead towards cloud, IT executives have encountered a range of challenges. Forty-seven per cent recognise that “cloud is more complex than they expected.” To address this concern, technology companies providing cloud and managed services should work closely with businesses and support them on three main aspects as part of their cloud migration journey:

  • Developing the right approach by ensuring clarity on the desired business outcome or end result
  • Taking advantage of relevant talent and expertise to address companies’ core business issues
  • Using appropriate toolsets that are user-friendly, secure and viable in the long term

Technology, Media & Telecommunications

Deloitte's Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) industry practice brings together one of the world's largest group of specialists respected for helping shape many of the world's most recognised TMT brands—and helping those brands thrive in a digital world.

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Thanks to Sayantani Mazumder for her research support.

Cover image by: Viktor Koen

  1. Tom Davenport, Ashish Verma, and David Linthicum, Data modernisation and the cloud, Deloitte Insights, August 26, 2019. The survey was conducted in April 2019, covering 504 respondents in the United States at companies with annual revenues in excess of US$500 million. Some 46 per cent of the respondents were C-suite executives, 30 per cent were senior executives/head of business units, and 24 per cent were managers/programmers. Respondents were involved in or making decisions about cloud and/or data management activities and issues, and worked within a technology-related function.

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  2. Help Net Security, “Cyber criminals continue to evolve the sophistication of their attack methods,” May 23, 2019.

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  3. Mike Wyatt, David Mapgaonkar, and David Jarvis, Rediscovering your identity, Deloitte Insights, November 11, 2019; Tech 21 Century, “The 5 best cloud security solutions in 2019–2020.”

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  4. Jeff Dennis, “Three unbeatable security advantages of cloud-based solutions for your business,” Cloud Tech News, June 25, 2018; Gartner, “Cloud strategy leadership,” 2017.

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  5. Tom Davenport et al., Data modernisation and the cloud, Deloitte Insights, August 26, 2019.

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  6. Philip Russom, “Modernization projects will dominate data management through 2020,” TDWI, December 19, 2019.

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  7. Trifacta, “Obstacles to AI & analytics adoption in the cloud,” January 2020.

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  8. Rao Papolu, “Five business drivers for organizations moving to the cloud,” Forbes, May 22, 2018.

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