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In the cloud: Have trust, will profit

For any forward-thinking business, embracing the cloud is no longer a question of why but how. How do I get there and how will it improve my bottom line?

The answer could be as simple as trust.

According to new research conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and sponsored by Google, companies with high levels of trust in the cloud report a 9% rise in profitability year on year, compared to 1% for their more skeptical peers.

The survey of 452 senior executives across 10 countries examined their use of the cloud and their attitudes towards its security, reliability, accessibility and scale. The results show a clear link between an organization’s profitability and their trust in the cloud, suggesting cloud adoption alone is not enough to guarantee a positive business impact.

The benefits of trust go beyond profits

Companies that actively foster trust in cloud technology report more than just a boost to their bottom line — they believe their trust in cloud technology drives workplace transformation.

“As organizations expand their use of the cloud, those with higher levels of trust are able to transform their organizations more quickly, and the resulting business benefits can be substantial,” explains EIU Senior Editor Carolyn Whelan.

Guilherme Cruz, CIO at Brazilian shipping company Wilson Sons, credits trust in the cloud with powerful improvements to business communication, easier access to data on mobile and faster collaboration. “It is a company transformation,” he explains. “It is about the way you are working, about changing behavior and processes.”

Although cloud adoption has grown rapidly, trust in this technology hasn’t increased at the same pace. The survey found that about 99% of organizations have already shifted some of their information technology (IT) to the cloud yet only 35% have a “very high” level of trust in the new environment. With regard to the degree of trust, 16% say their trust level is “somewhat high,” 29% say they have only a “moderate” level of trust, and 19% say their trust level is “low.”

How to foster a culture of trust

Building trust in any organization is an ongoing process that needs to be championed by a company’s leadership team. By encouraging education and experimentation, leaders can help to change how their teams embrace working in the cloud.

The survey results support the idea that leaders shape a culture of trust. Nearly half (47%) of respondents whose senior executives prioritize cloud trust note an increase in trust levels over the last three years, versus 6% whose leaders don’t. Of the respondents whose companies have low levels of trust in the cloud, nearly half (45%) said that general management is the most common impediment to cloud adoption.

The greatest benefit of a cloud-enabled world is the potential to fundamentally change the way businesses work, and building trust in the cloud requires everyone, starting with leadership.

To learn more about how moving to the cloud can make businesses more secure and successful, read the EIU report and tune in to Atmosphere Digital: Rethinking Security in the Cloud on June 28, 2016 at 10 a.m. PT.

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