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Cloud, Mobility, Security, and Big Data: The Big Four for Business Growth [Study]

Companies failing to make a strategic investment in technology in key areas of their business may be missing out on opportunities for growth as a consequence. That’s one of the key findings from a recent report that suggests that it’s not just operational efficiencies that investment in technology can offer, but also impressive increases in revenue growth rates.

This suggestion comes from Dell’s second annual Global Technology Index (GTAI 2015)—a survey of 2,900 business and IT decision makers in mid-market organizations (100—4,999 employees), distributed across multiple industries in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The survey was designed to gain a greater understanding of solution maturity levels, as well as adoption drivers and inhibitors in the key technologies of cloud, mobility, big data, and security. If you’re behind the curve on the adoption of technology in your business, this statistic from the study should give you pause: Companies actively investing in these big four technologies are seeing up to 53 percent higher revenue rates.

Dell GTAI chart

It’s perhaps time to start doing some serious thinking about what technology can do for your organization, now, and in the future. Equally as important is exploring what your competitors are doing with regard to the adoption of technology and how that might present a competitive advantage. I know this is something we explore with our B2B clients of all sizes on a regular basis—and is an important part of our overall strategic plans. 

Cloud Boosts Efficiency and Revenue Growth

The adoption of cloud technology has the potential to support operational and organizational efficiencies, with the study identifying three key benefits:

  • Cost savings were identified by 42 percent of respondents.
  • Getting things done more efficiently (40 percent).
  • Better allocation of IT resources (38 percent).

But over and above these benefits, the research was also able to establish that the organizations that were actively employing the cloud were seeing much higher revenue growth rates. These amounted to a significant 46 percent increase for on-premises cloud and 51 percent when off-premises cloud technology was used.

Infographic: GTAI Cloud – higher revenue growth rates

The results of the study suggest that cloud adoption and expansion are driven largely by the expectation of greater organizational speed and improved employee satisfaction. And that higher revenue growth finding—that should be enough to motivate anyone still sitting on the cloud fence.

Mobility Strategies Boost Growth but BYOD on the Decline

Organizations implementing a mobility strategy are also seeing revenue growth fueled by improvements in efficiency, smoother business processes, and reduced paperwork. The study found that companies deploying mobile technology showed 44 percent higher revenue growth rates than those who weren’t, while effective use of a BYOD program could boost revenues by an even more impressive 53 percent.

With mobility though the waters are somewhat muddied with the expansion of the BYOD tech trend restricted by fears over the potential security problems that allowing employee owned devices might deliver.

Infographic: GTAI mobility – employee-owned devices

The suggestion that enthusiasm for BYOD might be waning will come as a surprise to many, as the use of employee-owned devices has gained considerable momentum over the last few years. Perhaps lower cost devices and the need for greater control over access to company resources is what’s beginning to swing the pendulum away from this popular business practice. I’m curious to know how these “restricted employees” feel, and whether Shadow IT will simply rise as a result.

Big Revenue Gains from Big Data

The results of the study suggest that organizations that have actively embraced the use of big data are seeing 50 percent higher revenue rates than those who haven’t. Not a surprising finding. The integration of big data into operations and using data to drive strategies is pretty much table stakes these days—for businesses of all sizes. Respondents to the survey agree, with 41 percent saying that big data has resulted in better targeting and increased ROI from their marketing efforts.

Also not surprising is that we’re not there yet. Progress in harnessing the full power of big data appears be moderate at best, with almost half (44 percent) of survey respondents reporting they are still not sure how to get the best from the plethora of information they have at their fingertips.

Lets face it; the science of big data is still in its infancy. But if the results of the Dell study are anything to go by, businesses that can reach that nirvana have the potential to create spectacular revenue gains.

Strategic Security Can Equal Competitive Advantage

Digital security challenges are undoubtedly increasing across the board for all businesses. For many though, rather than seeing a strategic security investment as a burden, they consider that it can actually give them a competitive advantage. As this infographic from the study illustrates, almost eight out of every 10 respondents thought security enhances the organization’s ability to react to market conditions.

Infographic: GTAI security – market conditions response

The result is that for an increasing number of companies, particularly in North America, business managers are taking the view that the implementation of strong security measures allows them to feel confident being innovative, thereby gaining a competitive advantage.

Paradoxically, security concerns—together with cost—are the biggest obstacles to adoption of cloud, mobile, and big data for many organizations (a topic that I’ll return to here soon).

Technology Playing a Key Revenue Role

The latest GTAI survey clearly demonstrates the correlation between the use of technology and a resultant growth in revenue. Strategic investment in the “big four” technologies of cloud, data, mobile, and security is seen as doing a lot more than just boosting efficiency and saving time. These technologies and their use actually frees up resources that allow organizations to invest in other areas of the business, areas that can have a direct impact on revenue growth.

The study suggests that it is business leaders who are driving adoption of big data and mobility, while cloud and security projects tend to be more equal partners with IT. Organizations who marry the interests of the C-Suite when it comes to big data and mobility and the IT team when it comes to cloud and security will be well-placed for success (and increased productivity and profitability) moving forward.

What do you think about the data presented here? Is it accurate as it relates to what you see either in your organization or with your clients? How far along the technology adoption process are you? Are you a corporate early adopter facing push-back from senior leaders and constantly having to argue your case? Have you experienced first-hand how technology has helped a business succeed? I’d love to hear your thoughts and stories. Tweet me @ShellyKramer and copy @DellPowerMore.

You can find out more about this study at The Global Technology Adoption Index 2015.

Graphics source Dell GTAI 2015

Additional Resources on this Topic:

Mobility Driving Business Success
Avoid The Diva Mentality For Successful Technology Adoption
The Big Data Business Adoption Journey

This post was written as part of the Dell Insight Partners program, which provides news and analysis about the evolving world of tech. For more on these topics, visit Dell’s thought leadership site Power More. Dell sponsored this article, but the opinions are my own and don’t necessarily represent Dell’s positions or strategies.

Photo Credit: codiepie via Compfight cc

Shelly Kramer

Shelly Kramer is a 20+ year marketing veteran and CEO of V3 Broadsuite, a marketing consultancy, and the President of Broadsuite Media Group. She’s a business strategist focused on B2B digital transformation, and delivering integrated marketing solutions for clients. She’s an expert at omnichannel marketing, content strategy and execution, connecting social media to business initiatives, and helping clients leverage the web for growth and profitability.