This year, we’ve been providing you with significant cloud adoption statistics to help you with holdout customers. One of the most compelling statistics was covered in our April blog in which it was revealed by cloud analytics provider Netskope that IT departments significantly underestimate the number of cloud instances used in their companies. Like us, you know this type of outside-the-IT department adoption happens all the time. There’s even a term for it – “shadow IT purchasing.”
At the same time, despite all the overwhelming statistics we encounter detailing cloud adoption, both current and planned, there remain plenty of journalists and analysts, armed with survey data, questioning cloud adoption rates. They tend to claim that, while cloud adoption is massive and undeniably at the center of our IT future, its adoption is not as widespread as many think.
So, which is it? Is cloud adoption ahead of projections or behind them? And why do these discrepancies exist? We believe the answer to these questions lies at the intersection of the Netskope’s study’s findings and traditional IT survey methodology.
Nearly all surveys of IT adoption are sent to – and filled out by – IT managers. This makes sense, especially when considering IT services history when virtually all IT purchasing activities were routed through the IT department. Whether homegrown or outsourced, IT equipment and services were managed on-site by a single department that was responsible for all IT activities companywide. This was no small undertaking. You know this as well as we do— the calling card of the independent agent/telecom consultant has long been the promise of taking away the headaches of voice and data services so IT departments could focus on the mind-boggling array of technology, equipment and services under their purview.
With cloud services, all the departments, managers and employees that have traditionally been dependent upon the IT department for organizational and productivity solutions can get the services they need without relying on the IT department. And, as the Netskope survey unearthed, they’ve adopted so quickly and deeply that the IT departments are unaware of the vast majority of cloud adoption occurring in their companies. These same IT managers are almost always the contacts surveyed by research firms for all forms of IT adoption, including cloud services. So, as you can see, there is plenty of room for discrepancies between what’s actually happening in terms of cloud adoption and studies relied upon by some analysts and journalists that suggest otherwise. It also explains why so many cloud projections are being revised upward. As cloud services provider revenues and other data validation points become available, projection models are being revised upward to make up for the initial underreporting of adoption rates.
So, the next time you encounter a holdout customer who’s read the mixed signals and thinks he’s got time to play it safe while he gets “comfortable” with the idea of the cloud, you can use this information to tell him something like this:
“Mr. Customer, I can point you to new data showing that cloud adoption is many times greater than surveys of IT departments have revealed because most cloud adoption is happening outside the IT department. In fact, there’s a better-than-average chance that your competitors are already using the cloud to try to get a leg up, so let’s make sure you’ve got the same competitive advantages they do.”
Your TelePacific agent manager is here to help you with these conversations any time you need it, so feel free to call on us for support any time you need it.