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Lacklustre success of analytics in the public cloud

IT decision-makers see cost savings as the biggest benefit of moving to the cloud for analytics and artificial intelligence

Most IT decision-makers who took part in a recent survey (79%) said their organisations use data analytics in the cloud to support business outcomes.

Based on a survey of 272 IT decision-makers for global transformation consultancy Contino’s Data maturity in the public cloud research report 2021, the study found that 63% of organisations consider their cloud data programmes to be mature. However, the research found that only 16% of the IT decision-makers surveyed said they have fully realised the business benefits from moving data to the public cloud.

The research also found that security is the biggest technical challenge for organisations bringing data to the cloud, with organising and sharing data coming in second (33%).

The survey found that most organisations (90%) are engaging in data science.

The report’s authors noted that the rise in popularity of data science is an ongoing trend as businesses seek to drive value from their data through the use of machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI) and automated solutions driven by insights. “We know that it’s possible to accelerate product cycles, reduce customer churn and build predictive models with data science capabilities. But almost 60% of organisations have only one data science team, or one data scientist,” warned the report’s authors.

The study found data science is still exploratory for many organisations, with many, according to Contino, taking a “test and learn” approach.

In the report, Contino recommended that to reap the benefits of data science, IT decision-makers need to have a defined and supported data strategy, organisational data maturity, a well-defined business use case and the right data.

“The most successful data science programmes have teams that are closely aligned with the business, and understand the nature of the products and services on offer, before undergoing the rigors of data analysis, hypothesis testing, feature selection, algorithm selection and validation,” the report said.

Cost savings came out as the most frequent business benefit of having an AI/ML cloud strategy. But when asked to provide a figure for the percentage of projects with customer satisfaction or acquisition as an outcome, Contino reported that almost half (48%) of the answers it received had customer outcome metrics. It said this points towards the trend of using AI/ML to drive stickiness, reduce churn and generate revenue

When asked to what degree their organisations have realised the business benefit they were trying to achieve with their public cloud data strategy, almost a quarter (23%) of IT decision-makers admitted they had “not at all” realised the benefits they had planned for, and only 16% said they had fully realised the business benefits of their public cloud data strategy.

According to Contino, the survey illustrates that after shifting to the cloud, many organisations are being challenged by a lack of in-house capabilities to build better cloud experiences and products for consumers.

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