Firms double down on cloud amid economic headwinds

Cloud remains a long-term investment priority for 70% of major corporations, despite current macro headwinds and the recent slowing of growth of global cloud spending, according to a report from Tata Consultancy Services.

The markets that were surveyed include Germany, Spain, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, the United Kindgom, Ireland, the United States, Canada, Mexico, India, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. 

The global survey of 972 senior executives reveals that innovation is a major driver of cloud investment, with 59% reporting that cloud is crucial as a catalyst for innovation for their organisation’s future. 

This appears particularly true for artificial intelligence (AI) as 75% of respondents invested in AI and machine learning capabilities over the past two years, while 78% plan to do so over the coming 12-24 months. 

Both technologies are highly dependent on access to large amounts of data and scalability through cloud.

More than a third (37%) of respondents have made progress in their goals for cloud-enabled innovation in the form of new business models, underlining the growing power of cloud to drive new revenue.

The study also finds a clear majority (67%) of businesses are using cloud technologies to achieve sustainability goals. However, 43% report difficulty in understanding the carbon footprints of cloud service providers. 

This suggests that while most respondents see cloud as an important—and thus far successful—part of their sustainability strategy, and increasingly use cloud tools to assess their own carbon impact, they are now demanding the same visibility from their cloud service providers. 

Overall, despite significant progress in recent years, the study reveals that businesses still have a long way to go to unlock the full power and potential of cloud. 

Findings also show that industry clouds or “vertical clouds” are rapidly emerging as a fast path to acquiring greater business expertise and capabilities, with 73% of organisations reporting that they are already assessing, adopting, or using them in business today.

Companies want to participate in digital ecosystems, but most are still far from realising their full value. Two-thirds (66%) of businesses are still in the earliest stages of transition towards mature digital ecosystems.

Critical skills shortages continue to affect businesses in the cloud space, with over half (up to 52%) of respondents reporting a lack of full cloud proficiencies in-house.

Krishnan Ramanujam, president of enterprise growth group at TCS, said this latest global study strongly affirms that there is no business strategy without a cloud strategy. 

“Businesses now more fully understand how cloud drives business growth and innovation for the long-term, and for most, the journey is only just getting started,” said Ramanujam.   

He said that cloud is a frequent source of short-term ROI anxieties, but growth and transformation is a long game. Reconciling these two realities is a challenge and a necessity, but fully achievable with the right strategy and planning. 

“This is critical because cloud is now the unifying digital fabric of every enterprise, fueling powerful technologies—from generative AI to edge and quantum computing—and is ushering the next wave of innovations now and into the future,” said Ramanujam.