Three in four CIOs are spearheading their company’s move to the cloud, research finds

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CIOs cannot blindly trust public cloud services which appear in their organisation – at least according to one recent study – but for the majority of firms, the CIO is spearheading their transition to the cloud.

That’s the latest from a survey conducted by IT services provider Unisys, which found that for almost three quarters (72%) of firms, the CIO is the primary driver of cloud migration. In comparison, the CEO (6%), board of directors (4%) and CFO (3%) were barely recognised.

The report, which took responses from more than 200 IT and business executives earlier this year, also examined the factors which influence cloud adoption. 63% of those polled argue cost reduction is a key motivator, with 42% saying security is the biggest challenge. More than two thirds (67%) of respondents envisage that at least half of their IT resources will be in the cloud by 2018.

Aside from cost reduction, the ability to enable computing capacity on demand was also highly cited as a benefit, by 62% of those polled, while freeing IT staff to perform more high-value work (51%) and changing the perception of IT, from cost centre to competitive advantage (33%), were also key.

“This study shows that far-sighted CIOs have a clear view of the competitive, operational and economic benefits of cloud computing, and are taking energetic action to realise them for their organisations,” said Steve Nunn, vice president of cloud and infrastructure systems at Unisys. “At the same time, those decision makers are clear-eyed about the need to secure both existing IT and new cloud resources in order to protect vital business assets.”

The research gives more credence to the maturing role of cloud in enterprises, as well as the changing role of the CIO as technology matures. Fruition Partners, an IT solutions provider, found last month that for 85% of CIOs, the rise of cloud is reducing their company’s control over IT, while a benchmark study from KMPG and Harvey Nash in May found a similar percentage (84%) of CIOs complaining that they did not fully own their firm’s digital strategy.

Speaking to this publication earlier this week Paul Cash, UK managing director of Fruition Partners, noted the difficulty that CIOs face. “CIOs need to get closer to the rest of the business and build relationships with key stakeholders; ensuring they are supporting staff to use technology that lets them work productively, but safely,” he said.

The full Unisys report can be found here (registration required).

Read more: What does the role of the CIO look like in 2016?

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