In a new report, Ericsson ConsumerLab interviewed 1,500 business users and 350 decision makers about the benefits and challenges of cloud transitions. And while the perceived benefits are closely aligned, decision makers should pay attention to how business users perceive the challenges.

Most discussions about the benefits of the cloud focus on the decision-maker's or IT leader’s perspective. But what about the business users, the people who actually use the cloud?

In my last post, we discussed the importance of employee readiness when going through digital transformation, because users can help or hinder the introduction or expansion of cloud technology in an organization. For the same reason, its equally important that IT leaders understand what users like and, especially, what they don't like, about the cloud. And while users and decision-makers may closely align on the benefits, at least one study showed there's a big difference in how they perceive the cloud's challenges—a finding that decision-makers would be wise to pay attention to.

That study is called Work in the Cloud, and in it Ericsson ConsumerLab asked 350 decision-makers and 1,500 business users in the US what they regard as the main benefits and challenges of the cloud.

Similar cloud benefits for users and decision-makers

The top three benefits for business users and decision-makers, although in different order, are remarkably similar. Both groups believe that the cloud will make users more efficient and productive along with saving time. However, the two groups deviate on the remaining top five benefits, with business users focusing on collaboration and feeling more secure about not losing important files, while decision-makers believe that the cloud will help with quicker response times and higher employee satisfaction.


Top 5 Benefits Comparison Between Business Users and Decision Makers


Source: Ericsson ConsumerLab, Work in the Cloud, 2016

Base: 1,500 business users and 350 decision-makers

Differing perspectives on cloud challenges

Unlike benefits, business users and decision-makers perceived cloud challenges very differently. The one area in which the two groups do agree is security. The number-two concern for business users—centered on compromising confidentiality—matches up well with the number-one concern of decision-makers: security.

Beyond that one similarity, however, business users are much more concerned about connectivity issues and how that will affect their ability to get work done. They are also worried about having to work more hours and about the risk of malware and viruses. On the other hand, decision-makers are more concerned about keeping up with change, the amount of investment dollars required, and choosing the right cloud strategy. In addition, they are worried about losing control.


Top 5 Challenges Comparison Between Business Users and Decision Makers


Source: Ericsson ConsumerLab, Work in the Cloud, 2016

Base: 1,500 business users and 350 US decision-makers

So as companies either begin or continue their migration towards the cloud, IT leaders need to be sure they keep user concerns top-of-mind. Reassuring users about connectivity, access, and safety from viruses should make an organization's transition to the cloud dramatically easier.

You can learn more about both business user and decision-maker opinions on cloud migration by downloading our new brochure ”Working in the Cloud.”

Download Working in the Cloud

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Scot Harris

Scot Harris is an entrepreneur and consultant with over 25 years’ experience helping companies grow. He has driven strategy and led the implementation of multiple programs in the technology, communications and retail spaces. In addition, he has a broad understanding of business operations and management, having held executive positions in marketing, M&A, general management, distribution and sales. His experience spans all size businesses from Fortune 20 enterprises to startups.

Scot Harris