Businesses looking for a leg up on the competition need to look more to cloud solutions, new research shows.
A study by Forbes Insights, the strategic research practice of Forbes Media, revealed that cloud solutions accelerate business results, enable more efficient business processes and spur innovation.
Specifically, the research found that more than 60 percent of executives believe cloud-based collaboration tools help businesses execute faster than would be possible otherwise, which can lead to faster responses to competitive challenges, as well as the ability to get products to market faster and speed up product upgrade cycles.
"The ability to collaborate in the cloud is becoming a key driver of competitive advantage," said Bruce Rogers, chief insights officer of Forbes Media. "Leading companies are doing more to foster cloud-based collaboration — not only internally, but also with an ever-wider swath of external groups, including customers, suppliers, partners and even regulators."
The study also discovered that cloud computing tools are also helping companies develop new ideas. Nearly 60 percent of those surveyed believe cloud-based collaboration stimulates innovation, while 55 percent think that the capabilities enabled by the cloud represent a true breakthrough in collaboration.
Eric Schoch, vice president and general manager for Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution's business unit, said survey results show that cloud-based collaboration acts as a significant enabler of business success.
"Clouds accelerate the rollout of collaborative technologies, such as voice, video and conferencing, so that companies can improve the efficiency of their decision-making and the quality of their customers’ experiences," Schoch said. "As clouds and macroeconomic factors increase the speed of business and collaboration, businesses look to clouds as a means to gain a competitive edge."
The research shows that those outside the IT department are increasingly making decisions on whether or not to use cloud technology. Three-quarters of those surveyed said that non-IT executives are becoming more involved in the selection, implementation and management processes relating to cloud-based collaboration tools.
The study was based on surveys of 532 senior executives from companies with sales ranging from $250 million to more than $20 billion.