CTO priorities

As CTO, you have a unique perspective that straddles the day-to-day concerns of your tech teams and the high-level thinking of the c-suite. You understand tech and you understand strategy. And the challenges you face span both worlds.

Which is why it didn’t surprise us to learn that the top challenges CTOs expect to face in the next two years also span both worlds – from hiring to development velocity – according to this 2020 research report

The good news? Cloud can help with every single one. 

Here’s what 250+ CTOs had to say about their top challenges – and how we think cloud plays a role in solving each.


What do CTOs think of cloud migration?

Prioritization has always been a challenge. But add the increased urgency and lower budgets (not to mention headcounts) of the last couple of years, and it becomes an even more dire one. 

Which projects should you put your budget and teams behind? How do you make tough choices between putting out fires in the now and investing in the future? The more challenging the market, the more difficult these questions are to answer.

So, how does cloud help? Well, 78% of CTOs prioritized a cloud migration in order to eliminate manual upgrades and other busywork for their tech talent – freeing them up to focus on higher priorities, according to this research. In other words: cloud migration clears up tech schedules and gives you more space to prioritize important strategic objectives.

Another big benefit here is visibility. The best prioritization decisions are made when leadership has the data to back up their decisions. The more you know, the better you can prioritize. This is something cloud features like Insights for Jira Cloud can help with.

Budget constraints

No surprise here: The second biggest challenge for CTOs is budgets. While this is always a challenge, the pandemic has had a decidedly negative effect, with 60% of tech buyers noting a budget drop in 2020.

Yet again, it’s cloud to the rescue. 65% of companies in our survey said they migrated to cloud in order to ditch the cost of hosting and hardware, and 37% of CTOs say they cut costs by more than 20% by making the move.

customer spotlight

The proof is in the pudding. Nextiva cleared $50k in annual savings since moving to cloud, and Redfin says they saw $60k in savings in a matter of months.

It’s not just hosting that’s racking up the savings. Cloud benefits like guaranteed uptime, productivity gains, and automatic scaling can save companies big. In Forrester’s recent report on the total economic impact of Atlassian Cloud, they projected $1.1 million in productivity savings, $240k in hardware and maintenance, and $413k in software.

Now, because the initial migration can be a financial lift, achieving these savings takes foresight. You have to be willing to spend now to save later. But for CTOs looking to the future, it’s a clear win in the budget department. (For a better sense of how much cloud can save you, check out our savings calculator.)


Business success means letting go of sunk costs

With prioritization and budgets as top challenges, it only makes sense that hiring is next on the list. After all, who you hire (and retain) has a big impact on overall team productivity and how far you can stretch your funds.

What does cloud have to do with hiring? The answer is more than you might think.

First, it enables remote work, which gives leaders access to a much larger talent pool. Not to mention that remote work is an attractive perk to that talent pool, even if they are physically close to your office. Whether they want to work from home because they’re disabled, caretaking for an elderly parent, living several hours from your office, or simply prefer the quiet of it, your remote work policy may be what nudges top talent to choose you over the competition. 

Cloud also makes it easier to get work done without asking admins for customizations, which removes frustrating process blockers and empowers teams. And given the fact that team empowerment is strongly correlated with job satisfaction and retention, this is yet another win on the hiring side of things. 

Software development velocity

Here’s a story that may feel familiar: Rockwell Automation spent over $1 million just developing training for their tools before switching to Atlassian Cloud. When they made the switch, they spent a grand total of $0 because Jira Cloud already had everything they needed. Previously, six employees were devoted to maintenance; now, it’s done by one half-time employee. 

If that sounds pretty amazing, that’s because it is. They freed up five and a half employees to focus on something other than maintenance. The opportunities for a velocity increase are pretty staggering. 

Another benefit on the velocity side of things: CI/CD improves development speed and is easy to practice in cloud (and harder on-prem). Plus, automatic and instant scaling keeps teams working fast no matter how much computing power they need (all without breaking the bank by overestimating what you need).

If your success is tied to revenue or outputs (as it is for many CTOs), these opportunities for increased velocity can have a huge impact as you work to meet those yearly goals.


There’s no place like cloud: 6 graphs that prove it

As you strive to meet velocity and budget goals and make good prioritization decisions, capacity is probably top of mind. Guess what? Cloud can help. 

In fact, freeing up time is one of the things cloud is best at. It lets you offload maintenance and security concerns onto your vendor, ditch manual tasks for time-saving automation, and get the latest upgrades automatically – with no effort from your team required. 83% of survey respondents say Cloud saves them at least some time, and 30% of CTOs told us that they freed up a whopping 50%+ of their admin time.

The more time you free up in keeping-the-lights-on tasks, the better your capacity numbers are for business goal-driven projects. This applies for both tech teams and their non-technical counterparts.

customer spotlight

Just how much time can you free up in Cloud? For Igloo, the answer was…a lot! They cut their internal tickets by half with the move.


Security is a top concern for CTOs, and good news: it’s better in the cloud. Just ask the 94% of survey respondents who said security got better for them post-migration.

The primary reason cloud is ahead of the curve? Zero trust security. Where on-prem usually relies on security at a single point of entry, zero trust checks and re-checks credentials at multiple points. This means more opportunities to catch breaches and less access to your systems if a breach happens.

Not to mention, passing security to Atlassian takes a weight off your shoulders. 48% of developers say that they don’t have enough time to spend on security issues, which means passing the torch gives you more focus on security than you would keeping it in-house.


Still nervous about security? Download our recent white paper to bust the most common myths about cloud security (among other things).

Time management

All that time you’re freeing up on security, maintenance, and manual tasks? Here’s another place it pays off. 

As CTOs navigate time management for themselves and their teams, cloud offers a hefty advantage. Just ask Stanford University, where a study revealed that employees who use cloud apps are 13% more productive than their peers. With 1,000+ apps and integrations (and more being added all the time), Atlassian is a powerhouse in that department.

Another study found that collaboration correlates strongly with high performance at work. And if there’s one thing Atlassian Cloud is best at, it’s collaboration.

In short, cloud is a win for CTOs

If these common CTO challenges resonate with you: Congrats! You’re in good company. Capacity planning, hiring, velocity… these are all top-of-mind concerns for technical leaders. 

And if I may shout it from the rooftops yet again: cloud has you covered. Those concerns are the same ones we’re thinking about, building our products around, and focusing our energies on.

If migration is in your future, you should visit our migration center for resources and roadmaps to get you there. And for a deeper understanding on how Atlassian Cloud is transforming how teams work, you can attend the power of Atlassian Cloud demo.

Your biggest CTO priorities, solved in the cloud