Tag: cloud

80% of all IT budgets will be committed to cloud apps and solutions

More than 80% of the organizations surveyed in this recently published report (25 pp., PDF, opt-in) are now following a Cloud First strategy. They prefer to purchase applications as a service deployed in the Cloud over applications deployed on physical servers in their data center.

Those with a Cloud First strategy believe that their IT budgets will be 80% cloud services in less than 12 months, while those without such a strategy think it will be closer to 20 months with 15 months being the average. That’s remarkable [at least to me]. Clearly, trust and confidence in the Cloud has grown quickly.

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Cloud First is the reality. Most organizations want to migrate quickly to the Cloud. Source: Building Trust in a Cloudy Sky (see link above).

At frevvo, that’s very much in line with what we see. Customers mostly prefer our public cloud – even very large organizations. They’re less concerned about security and availability and more interested in practical issues like cost. That’s likely because incidents have decreased.

We also offer both Public and Private cloud. We’ve noticed too that customers increasingly perceive the benefits of public cloud surpassing private cloud, especially when it comes to cost. The TCO for Public Cloud is almost universally perceived as being hugely lower – sometimes to the point that customers expect public cloud services to be incredibly inexpensive.

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To us, it’s still a surprising number. 80% of the IT budget going to Cloud computing in just over 1 year. Clearly Cloud Computing has matured and is being adopted broadly.

Learn more about frevvo’s solutions by visiting our website where you’ll find several customer success stories. Explore some of the examples and contact us for more information.

Download the full report at Building Trust in a Cloudy Sky: The State of Cloud Adoption and Security (25 pp., PDF, opt-in).

 

McKinsey sees Large Enterprises adopting Cloud faster

McKinsey recent global IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) Cloud and Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure surveys found that the shift to the cloud is accelerating, with large enterprises becoming a major driver of growth for cloud environments. In the next three years, enterprises will make a fundamental shift from building IT to consuming IT.

A summary of both surveys is at IT as a service: From build to consume (free, no registration required). The key takeaways are

Enterprises are reducing on-premise deployment

In 2015, 77% of enterprises used traditional IT infrastructure for at least one workload; by 2018, this will drop to 43%. Conversely all varieties of Cloud deployments will increase

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Large enterprises are moving to Cloud far faster than before

mckinsey-2A deeper look into cloud adoption shows a significant shift coming in large enterprises. Large enterprises are finally catching up to small/midsize enterprises when it comes to cloud deployments. This portends significant headwinds for traditional IT and a boon for cloud providers since large/midsize enterprises form the majority of revenue/profits for IT vendors.

Cost is neither the primary driver nor barrier to cloud acceptance

Enterprises consider time to market and quality as the premier drivers for Cloud solutions outweighing any cost benefits. Security and compliance are the primary barriers to broad adoption. Cost comes in third but interoperability with on-premise private cloud solutions is also an important criterion.

Read more at McKinsey’s website.

Trust the Cloud to higher profits

Came across this Google-sponsored study, Trust in cloud technology and business performance: Reaping benefits from the cloud (PDF, no registration required) from The Economist Intelligence Unit (via Forbes/Louis Columbus). It’s based on a ten-country, multi-industry EIU survey of 452 senior executives and interviews with experts and is full of interesting insights:

An astounding 38% of I.T. at respondents’ organizations is cloud-based rising to 45% by 2019. Almost half of I.T. will be cloud-based by the end of the decade. And, the Cloud has already helped transform key areas such as time to market, greater agility and collaboration.
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Yet, while everyone is using Cloud, just 16% of respondents say their organization has a very high level of trust in the cloud and this level of trust is not growing quickly.

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The lack of trust is surprising when you consider the correlation between Cloud Trust and a wide range of key business outcomes from economic metrics such as Revenue, Profit & Share Price to non-financial ones like Agility, Collaboration & Innovation.

 

The conclusion is that Trust plays a key role. Cloud’s greatest benefits come from companies refashioning how they work and expand their capabilities by taking full advantage of the benefits and not from the low-hanging fruit of cost savings. Organizations with low trust are far from this transformation. Those with high trust are improving functional operations and profitability.

Top I.T. Teams embrace digital and tech trends

Salesforce Research’s 2016 State of I.T. report is filled with interesting observations. More key findings:

High performers are 4.2X more likely to implement digital transformation across their company.

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Source: Salesforce Research 2016 State of I.T. Report

I.T.’s role has clearly evolved dramatically from just “keeping the lights on” to acting as innovation leaders and digital experts. The most innovative and successful I.T. organizations are expected to deliver cutting-edge customer-driven applications.

Yet, they still need to deliver on typical internal needs. Key needs such as improving worker efficiency, data visibility and automating routine, everyday business processes still top the charts when it comes the top outcomes I.T. teams strive to achieve.

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Source: Salesforce Research 2016 State of I.T. Report

Whether it’s internal productivity applications or external customer-facing applications, the facts are that everyone expects modern and mobile technology with a beautiful user experience.

As a result, top teams are not afraid to take risks. In fact:

High performers are 3.7X more likely to excel at staying ahead of technology trends.

Learn how you too can get started implementing game-changing solutions for your organization. Check out these Purchase Order (~7m) and Employee On-Boarding (~8m) videos. See how you can start with a pre-built frevvo template and, in a matter of minutes, have a fully automated workflow that works on all devices, provides a great user experience, and can instantly help improve employee efficiency.

4 of the top 7 I.T. challenges are skills-related

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Source: Salesforce 2016 State of I.T. report

This is another key insight from Salesforce’s 2016 State of I.T. report.

Four of the top seven pain points that I.T. leaders face are related to the skills gap. One-third of I.T. teams struggle to keep skills current.

We’re not surprised – it’s a common theme that keeps coming up. It is probably the single most important reason customers buy our product. They just don’t have enough skilled I.T. resources and the ones they have are too busy fighting fires like dealing with legacy systems or problems with the database. Who’s got the time to make life easier for employees by automating the routine day-to-day stuff? After all, it’s working. Kind of. Inefficiently. But it’s not an immediate fire.

That’s why frustrated business people turn to frevvo – we obsess about the user interface and make it easier and easier to meet key business requirements like electronic signatures and PDF generation (Government W-4) using fewer scarce resources.

72% of I.T. leaders say that addressing the talent shortage will be absolutely critical over the next 5-8 years and most of them think it’s an immediate top priority.

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Source: Salesforce Research 2016 State of I.T. report

frevvo can help – automate your routine, day-to-day workflows in our secure cloud. You can do it in days and weeks rather than months and years. frevvo is so easy to use that you don’t need to use your scarce programmers & coders to automate workflows. And, automating the routine stuff saves everyone time and makes your business more efficient – a virtuous feedback loop since your talented employees can focus on more important things than chasing down signatures.

Learn more by visiting our website where you can read Customer Success Stories, view some examples and sign up for a free 30-day trial.

 

Talent not Security is now the #1 Cloud Challenge

talentIMHO, this is the most important insight from Rightscale’s 2016 State of the Cloud Survey. Lack of resources/expertise has supplanted security as the top challenge in cloud.

We see this in so many ways. It’s probably one of the most important reasons customers buy our product.

They’re simply don’t have enough talented I.T. resources. People are too busy maintaining legacy systems or worrying about the SQL database to spend time on automating the routine stuff, making it look beautiful and usable on all devices. Frustrated business people turn to solutions like frevvo – we obsess about the user interface and make it easier and easier to meet talent2key business requirements like electronic signatures and PDF generation (Government W-4) using fewer scarce resources.

Interestingly, another key area is the intersection of talent & security. Customers simply don’t have sufficient expertise in their organizations to understand Cloud Security. Automated workflows in frevvo’s Cloud are far more useful if they can integrate with internal systems (authentication, database etc.). We offer several well-tested mechanisms for this integration. But, it’s common to hit a roadblock inside the organization. And, it’s understandable – security breaches can have a devastating impact and everyone knows who will get blamed. Luckily, as companies gain more experience with the Cloud, they’re understanding security better and it’s less of an issue.

Talent is increasingly scarce across the board – from coding (especially UX) to security to analytics. Whether you’re large or small. In all industries. You have to get rid of daily inefficiencies and focus your talent where they can make a difference.

Learn more by visiting our website and see how customers are using frevvo today to become more efficient.

15 Cloud Services we LOVE for our own business

cloud4At frevvo, we LOVE Cloud. Sure, we sell more and more cloud-based solutions to our customers many of whom are themselves small businesses. But so are we! And, we use many cloud services to lower costs and accelerate our own business. We love not having to worry about infrastructure, mobile access, automatic upgrades etc. Here are some cloud services we use today:

  1. frevvo Live Forms: A no-brainer for us. We absolutely eat our own dog food. Our everyday approvals are automated using our own product – everything from Expense Reports to Leave Approvals to Sales Orders to Training Registrations to you name it. We see firsthand how much more efficient we are as a result and we’re even more excited to bring that efficiency to customers.
  2. Email & Calendar: This is a no-brainer and no SMB has any business operating their own email. We use GMail and Google Calendar on our own domain. It’s easy and low cost, well supported and reliable. It’s super easy to quickly find relevant emails. We also like several of the plugins that you can add into GMail.
  3. Infrastructure: As a Cloud provider, this is obviously a key service for us. We use Amazon Web Services (AWS). EC2 for compute, S3 for storage and RDS for the database. AWS is amazing. Costs keep going down, it’s incredibly reliable and they keep adding useful new stuff.
  4. Sales CRM: We use SFDC (salesforce.com). SFDC has its problems for sure and it’s not cheap (costs can rise quickly). But, this is such a key function that it’s not where you want to compromise. We also like the App Exchange and the fact that so many other cloud services integrate with SFDC.
  5. Marketing: We use Marketo. We’re relatively new to it so not a whole lot of experience. We’ve found that it integrates really well with SFDC which was a huge plus. As we automate more things, we’re expecting it to save us time and become more efficient. Not sure about their GMail plugin yet.
  6. Billing: Freshbooks is working brilliantly for us. We don’t have to worry about credit cards and PCI compliance, it’s drop dead simple to use, works overseas (we have customers all over the world) and it’s very affordable. We’ve also integrated frevvo forms/workflows using their API so billing is automated as much as possible.
  7. Customer Support: We’re deciding between Zendesk and desk.com. Both cloud services. Again, integration with SFDC is critical for us. Of course, a nice interface that’s usable by customers is also a key consideration. We’ll see where we end up but a cloud-based service here is inevitable.
  8. Accounting: Quickbooks is a no-brainer. I think it costs us around $50 or $75 per month for a full-fledged accounting system that meets our needs. We also like the fact that it can be integrated with SFDC though we haven’t reached that point yet.
  9. Web Analytics: Google Analytics is free, extremely detailed and well supported. It’s an amazing product and impossible to beat the cost. Encrypting the search keyword sucks but that’s been discussed at length elsewhere.
  10. Online Documents: We need to share documents too and we’ve been very happy with Google Drive for that – it’s by far the cheapest choice and very convenient for sharing internal documents for quick and easy collaboration. Much nicer than emailing Excel/Word around.
  11. Office 365: It’s just a reality of the world we live in. You have to deal with Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. And, in some ways, they are better than the alternatives e.g. Track Changes. Office 365 is also amazingly affordable. We can’t complain.
  12. Online Meetings / Webinars: We extensively use GoToMeeting for online meetings and GoToWebinar for webinars. Easy to use, inexpensive and [usually] quite reliable. Even though we’re small we’re distributed across multiple locations on 3 continents so sharing screens, built-in audio and video conferencing are essential. GTM works well. Of course, we also use Skype, IM (GTalk, MSN …) and the host of other chat tools out there.
  13. Email Marketing: We still use Constant Contact though, with Marketo being implemented, it may become redundant. Still, over the years, we’ve been a happy customer. It’s incredibly affordable and has been reliable for us.
  14. Phone System: Skype’s very popular, of course and they offer inexpensive Internet calling. But, it’s simply not good enough to be considered “a landline”. We currently use VOIP services from 8×8 for our phone and voicemail. It’s not dirt cheap but it’s not much money either and it’s been 100% reliable for us.
  15. Video: We’ve used Powtoon to create a few videos. It’s not clear how long we’ll continue. Yes, it’s inexpensive but it’s still a pain to create these videos and it’s very very limited in what you can do. Professionally made videos cost 10-20X as much each but may still be worth the money.

I’m guessing we might even use a few more but these 15 services have been really helpful over the years. I’m sure your business benefits from many cloud services too.

This article is an update to the original published about 2 years ago.