In just over a decade cloud has established itself as a primary driving force behind the global move towards digital business.It has become the foundation platform for digital giants such as Alibaba, Amazon, Google, Netflix and Tencent, and represents now over a quarter of the revenues of all IT and business services – and will reach 50% by the mid-2020s. Amazon Web Services (AWS) alone has a potential IPO value of over $200B which would rank it as one of the most valuable companies on the S&P500. Cloud has had transformative effects across many sectors such as media, retail and financial services. But perhaps of most significance to our readers is the impact it is having on the IT industry itself where customers, large and small,are adopting commodity cloud services in preference to restrictive and costly outsourcing and on-premise arrangements.In response to this success, many traditional incumbent companies have adopted a ‘cloud-first’ strategy. However,in our 2019 survey of CIOs and business executives across the CIONET community of 7,000 digital leaders, we found that their ambitions were beset by legacy, resourcing and structural issues which limits their prospects of becoming a viable competitor in the digital era.In this white paper, we describe the business and technical factors that encourage a move to cloud as well as the barriers and challenges that might impede it.To conclude, we offer practical advice on how to accelerate a ‘cloud-first’ strategy.
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