Last year in our research, “Can the accounting profession keep up with clients and the cloud’ we heard from our research partner about the future of cloud. According to capioIT, we may now be entering the tipping point “where the hype of potential outcomes from technology meets the reality”. Things like accelerated adoption of cloud technology across enterprise and government is also a factor in adoption.
So for cloud let’s look at what has happened in the past six months in the wider business community and assess how this could be an indicator for future growth?
The cloud infrastructure service providers have been working on a range of applications and business services for all sizes of companies and the bottom line is looking good for them. In fact the world’s biggest players – Microsoft, Google, Amazon, IBM and Salesforce – raked in US$16 billion in 2014.
Powering this is the Internet of Things, a 20 year old term that from an accounting and compliance perspective drives the cloud-powered data that helps you devise business insights and improve your decision making capabilities. Over the next decade McKinsey Consulting forecasts that the Internet of Things will have an annual $6.2 trillion global economic impact. So from this we can surmise that cloud is the future direction for business.
In our research we took a look at what the attitudes were to cloud whether the respondent was a cloud user or not. The findings were interesting with an overwhelmingly positive net attitude to cloud. The impact of the cloud on the accounting profession for users was 4 (5 is a significant positive) whilst non-users of cloud computing rated the impact of cloud on the accounting profession as 3.5. Some of the feedback described cloud as “the most exciting invention for the accountant since the abacus” and “allows us to focus on supporting the client”.
The research also reviews the “stickiness” of investment in cloud computing and it directly addressed the intent to increase or decrease investment in cloud computing solutions for the accounting profession.
This is critical to understand the level of growth in the market, but it also helps to validate the overall satisfaction with cloud. Simply, if a firm is unhappy with their experience it is unlikely that they will continue to invest.
Clearly the results highlight that organisations are very keen to increase investment in cloud computing platforms. Frankly, the results are staggering in their positive intent towards cloud investment. Unequivocally current users of cloud computing are very confident that they will increase usage of cloud computing in their business.
- 3% of current users are “very likely” to increase their expenditure on cloud computing
- A further 19.8% are “quite likely” to increase their expenditure on cloud computing
These two statistics result in the startling figure that 96.1% of respondents are going to increase their investment in cloud computing. This is a massive validation of cloud, and highlights that the benefits of cloud computing for the accounting profession are significant. Of course one cannot predict future behaviour, but these results do provide significant confidence that the uptake is one directional, and not a fleeting trend under any definition.
The core drivers of security and functionality were named by 87 percent of respondents as being in demand and as a result increased investment in cloud is anticipated across all age groups.
One of our respondents summed it up well – “There is no way back for cloud computing. We are embracing it all the way”.
Daniel Wyner, Wolters Kluwer – Head of Strategy, Mergers & Acquisition Asia Pacific