If you have been following this series on the 2018 TIBCO CXO Innovation Survey, then you know that where you are in your digital maturity dictates your capabilities around innovation. To recap, the further along you are in your digital maturity (digerati or digital experimenter), the more likely you are to adopt advanced technologies, such as IoT, artificial intelligence (AI) & machine learning (ML), open source, and blockchain.

An innovative technology that all businesses can start implementing today is the cloud. Cloud is viewed as a foundational technology, according to the CXO Survey, and one that can be built upon to support the advanced technologies listed above. For those just beginning to dabble in transformative technologies, cloud is a good place to start. That being said, when looking to implement a transformative technology such as cloud, businesses often consider technology, finance, and business drivers.

Depending on the department you work in, you might place emphasis on one of the three drivers. Different job titles tend to see different factors through different lenses. For example, the IT department will be more focused on how the technology works, while executives will focus on business drivers. But, in order to have a solid implementation across the organization, you need to have a good foundation and support from IT teams, business teams, and finance teams; all three drivers should be treated with equal importance without over-rotating on just one.

You may recall that while the survey found that IT and executive management lead the charge for new technologies, shadow innovation projects are occurring in departments across the company. What this means is different departments (such as finance) can be a driver to implement cloud technology. The department might have a need for a specific technology to solve a specific problem, and often, this problem is more department-specific as opposed to company-specific. Shadow innovation gives departments the chance to spearhead their own innovation efforts without having to wait for the company to select the technology.

The following charts show the top financial, technical, and business drivers behind cloud adoption.

The top financial driver for cloud innovation is leveraging cloud efficiency, followed by capital expense reduction, and fast time to value with solutions. It’s no secret that financial drivers are mainly based on ROI and cost. When it comes to financial implementation, those in that department want to make sure that they are getting the most out of their solution with the lowest total cost of ownership.

In terms of top business drivers for cloud innovation, creating a better customer experience, business growth, and system reliability top the list as the most important criteria. From a business perspective, offering stellar customer experience is just of the ways they can gain a competitive edge from others in their industry, and innovation can help them provide more solutions in order to do that. Additionally, innovative technologies can help the business grow while giving them the foundation to support more advanced technologies down the road as a result of a reliable system.

Lastly, the top technical drivers for  innovation with the cloud are the easier deployment of solutions, improving IT agility, and simplifying the integration landscape. For many businesses, the cloud provides the ability to more easily deploy their solutions in an on-prem, hybrid, or cloud environment, giving people access to information no matter where they may be. Businesses are also looking at cloud to improve their IT agility and simplify their integration, which will position them to implement more advanced technology in the future.

It goes without saying that the best innovation projects hit on all three of these drivers equally. No one driver outweighs the others. In order to successfully innovate and disrupt in your industry with cloud, you need to consider the business, financial, and technical stakeholders. All three together will give your business the foundation it needs to get ahead in its digital transformation.