The CIO has more authority in Germany than in the UK
Overall, the survey revealed that Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are the most influential executive when it comes to making decisions about the switch from on-premise to cloud storage. Across Germany and the UK combined, 38 percent indicated that the CIO is the most influential within the company. However, in Germany this percentage rose to 45 percent vs. 30 percent in the UK, suggesting that in the UK other executives are more involved in the decision-making process. This trend is bolstered by the finding that a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in the UK is four times more likely (17 versus four percent) than their German counterpart to be involved in decisions about adopting a cloud-based approach.
“What the survey has revealed is that the CIO in Germany tends to exert much more influence over decision-making around cloud storage than his or her UK counterpart. This is consistent with our own observations and experience of working in these two leading EMEA markets,” commented Dani Naor, VP International Sales at Zadara.
When looking at different industries in each country, the role of the CIO changes dramatically. Taken as an average across all industries this figure is 45 percent. But curiously, within the manufacturing sector, this figure rises to 72 percent. Meanwhile, CIOs in UK companies within the manufacturing sector are responsible for making decisions when it comes to moving IT storage to a cloud-based model in just 24 percent of cases.
Finance versus technology
The Zadara survey highlighted that in the UK, in just one percent of cases do the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and the finance team play a part in decision-making around shifting storage to the cloud. Conversely, in Germany CFOs are comparatively active in this area, with 14 percent of respondents indicating that they play a part in these discussions. This suggests that financial benefits are higher on the wish list for changing to cloud storage in Germany than they are in the UK, where such decisions seem to depend more on the technology side.
In both countries the CIO, CFO and the finance team or CTO is responsible for decision-making: in 48 percent of the cases in the UK and 63 percent of the cases in Germany. This suggests that in Germany storage decision-making is often the responsibility of those in more senior positions. This could be because organizations within the UK tend to have a more horizontal structure when compared with those in Germany.
How the role of the CIO varies by sector
The survey was based on respondents within the financial services, manufacturing, retail, distribution, transport and other commercial sectors. When taken together, around half (48 percent) of all respondents in Germany and the UK within the manufacturing sector indicated that the CIO has influence over decision-making in moving IT storage to a cloud-based model, while this figure was just 34 percent in financial services and 26 percent in retail, distribution and transport. This suggests that in financial services and in retail, other teams and players exert considerable influence over decision-making. However, in the manufacturing sector, the CIO has significantly more authority.
When taking all respondents across all sectors and in both countries, just eight percent of respondents indicated that the CFO and finance team influence decision-making. However, this figure was around one fifth (18 percent) in the retail, distribution and transport sector, suggesting that the CFO and finance team regard the cloud as a highly effective cost-saving tool in this competitive sector.
The storage or cloud team is approximately three times more likely to have influence over decision-making in moving IT storage to a cloud-based model in the financial services sector than it is in the manufacturing sector. This suggests that there is a higher expectation for CIOs in the manufacturing sector to demonstrate return on investment (ROI), while in other sectors this is more often a shared responsibility. It is also indicative that manufacturing companies do not have their own dedicated cloud teams. The results could indicate that finance companies are more likely to have a dedicated storage or cloud team.”