2016 View: Cloudy With a Chance of Consolidation

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Cloud Outlook

As a growing number of businesses embrace the cloud, these five major trends will shape this technology's adoption over the course of 2016 and beyond.

4. Enterprises will seek to consume IT services leveraging new financial models.

The shift in economics will be extensive as IT services become increasingly on-demand, flexible, self-serve and automated. Buying patterns and processes—in fact, the entire procurement lifecycle—will need to evolve to keep pace. This financial shift will be most prominent in industries and regions currently under the greatest economic stress, but it will eventually spread to other more stable companies that fear technical disruption.

The majority of business leaders would write off legacy if presented with a compelling value proposition. In such cases, the leadership would have to educate and reassure rank-and-file staff members, who could be hesitant to disrupt decades-old buying patterns for fear of failure or transformative change.

Ultimately, cloud technology shifts the costs of upgrades and talent attraction away from buyers and toward providers—allowing the company to focus on the business, not on the underlying technology. The good news is that the business is hungry for innovation and experimentation, particularly in the areas of big data analytics and the Internet of things, driven by large data sets and mobility.

By lowering the technology and cost barriers and changing the consumption model, IT can realize the aspiration of being the enabler to the business.

5. Security shifts from data integrity to operational integrity.

In 2016, managing the particulars behind how, when and which individuals (and devices) have access to IT environments will become more critical than the actual metadata associated with those environments. A more holistic and comprehensive approach to security requires new tooling, policies, procedures and governance.

The approach should include education across all dimensions—business, development and infrastructure—and should evolve appropriate policies. Organizations that restrict cloud access to only a few run the risk of constraining innovation, forcing developers and the business side to skirt IT and ultimately creating systemic problems for their organizations.

Clearly, the challenges in 2016 will be great, as more companies adopt cloud solutions. However, given the proper education, the right environment, some diligence and smart investments, companies are poised to reap the greater benefits of clouds—speed, agility and scale among them—and win in the marketplace. 

These businesses will improve the user experience, respond to customers more quickly, innovate more rapidly and open their doors to the transformative change that is coming.  The bottom-line? They will disrupt rather than be disrupted.

Michael Liebow is the global managing director for the Accenture Cloud Platform. He manages the largest portion of Accenture's cloud investment, ecosystem partners and a 400-person global team.

This article was originally published on 2016-02-23
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