The return that organizations stand to gain from successful cloud implementations extends far beyond reduced infrastructure costs. The cloud can enable comprehensive business transformation and give companies a foundation for ongoing evolution as the pace of change accelerates. However, success isn’t automatic.

A recent Wipro FullStride Cloud Services report, “Making Business Thrive: A Cloud Leader Roadmap for Achieving 10x ROI,” found that leading organizations have taken advantage of the cloud to drive bottom-line growth by roughly 12%, on average. In contrast, cloud beginners have achieved 2.6% growth and just one-tenth of the return on investment enjoyed by cloud leaders.

For successful organizations, the key has been integrating the cloud into core functions across their enterprises. This end-to-end approach has allowed them to achieve a wide range of business objectives, from streamlining operations to accelerating product development, and enabled them to gain significant competitive advantages over competitors.

A matter of perspective

All companies that migrate to the cloud ultimately want to use it to power and differentiate business applications and services. Leaders, however, are using it to improve performance in other areas as well, such as business processes. Their business-unit cloud initiatives are particularly focused on IT management, data analysis, customer management, and cybersecurity future-ready infrastructure, and they have 22% more of these initiatives underway than the average company.

Within these leading firms, the drive toward greater adoption starts at the top. Executives at these enterprises view the cloud as more than a mechanism for improving organizational resilience and agility; it’s the centerpiece of their growth strategy. For this reason, the CEOs and COOs at these firms almost always play a leading or key role in cloud implementations.

While other companies tend to leave project oversight in the hands of their CIOs and CTOs, cloud leaders ensure that the entire C-suite is involved. As a result, they’re able to capture more and broader business value from adoption and utilization.

That’s not all that cloud leaders do differently. Here are four additional steps leaders take to achieve greater ROI that others can imitate to maximize their cloud investment.

  • Adopt a business-first approach: Capture the motivations as well as the business and IT outcomes as per the key personas. Streamline the line of business and IT demand, and frame the key problems to be solved by leveraging the cloud.
  • Develop a roadmap early: Unfortunately, many companies still approach implementations haphazardly, which is why a significant portion of organizational cloud spend often goes to waste. Avoid this by following the blueprint established by cloud leaders. Integrate the cloud into core business functions first in order to create a foundation for other services and applications, with next-gen infrastructure that’s composable to create dynamic business services (e.g., repeatable curated blueprints to enable various business services).
  • Track and codify performance metrics and use cases: Cloud implementations will impact financial performance — including revenue, costs, and profitability — as well as customer satisfaction, risk management, and other qualitative metrics. Leaders find ways to track all these impacts, and they are particularly focused on measuring the effect of cloud adoption on IT costs and organizational expenses related to workforce management.
  • Take an iterative approach to technology integration: As their cloud use matures, many leaders struggle to decide when to incorporate new technologies and which ones to invest in. Don’t rush to add new capabilities. Instead, approach technology investments the same way as cloud adoption — with patience and thoughtfulness. Be deliberate about staying up-to-date on the latest digital innovations and continually scan the market for new cloud use cases. Companies are using the cloud to improve performance in countless ways. The more possibilities a company’s aware of, the easier it will be to pinpoint the greatest business opportunities through the cloud.

For more insight into where companies should invest in cloud services in order to realize the greatest returns on their investments, download the “Making Business Thrive” report.