In 2020, we asked more than 300 customers to tell us about their cloud migrations via a TechValidate survey. They weighed in on the benefits of migration (#1: peace of mind around maintaining security and version upgrades), how long it took to start seeing those benefits (most said within six months), and what kind of savings they saw post-migration (the winning category: admin time).

If you’re considering a cloud migration, those answers are helpful as you set goals and frame expectations. Possibly even more helpful, though, is what we found when we dug deeper into the data, splitting the answers out by industry.

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

We took a look at computer software companies, media and advertising, professional services, education, and government. Here’s what each category had to say about their motivations, benefits, and savings after a cloud migration. 

Computer software companies and the cloud

For the computer software industry, remote work is particularly important, ranking third among reasons for a move to the cloud, according to our survey. 

Prioritizing remote work is a smart move for any industry, but particularly for computer software. The industry currently faces a talent shortage, according to Forbes and Gartner. And remote workers are 57 percent more likely to be satisfied with their jobs and 50 percent less likely to quit

Unsurprisingly, security also ranks higher-than-average on the priority list for computer software companies. And a move to the cloud saves this industry a lot of admin time, with 27 percent of companies saying they cut their admin time by at least half. Just imagine the tech debt, innovation, and boost in employee satisfaction that comes with that kind of drop. 

Media & entertainment and marketing & advertising in the cloud

Another industry cluster that takes security seriously is media and advertising. Security came in third on their list of reasons to move to cloud. Even better, it also landed on their list of benefits realized post-migration, with 76 percent ranking security as better on cloud (12 percent said security was just as good). 

media and advertising in the cloud
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Media and advertising companies also report high gains in reliability and availability (88 percent), compliance (65 percent), and performance (53 percent) – all categories that are becoming ever more important as competition heats up and companies are asked to comply with laws like GDPR and popular compliance frameworks like SOC 2. 

Interestingly, media and advertising were one of only two clusters in our analysis that ranked the cost of hosting as even more important than eliminating manual upgrades. This suggests cost cutting is top of mind. With researchers at places like the Harvard Business Review warning against cutting marketing budgets, digital transformation via a move to cloud is a smart place to prioritize savings. 

Prioritizing cost-savings is working out well for them, the survey says. Seventy-one percent report saving at least 11 percent on hardware costs. Time costs add up too, with 88 percent saying they save at least 11 percent on admin time. 

Our sample size for this industry (and the others we explore below) was much smaller than our powerhouse computer software group (just 17 respondents in this group, compared to over 90 computer software companies), but we think the trend lines still tell something interesting about this industry’s moves toward cloud.

Professional services and the cloud

The other industry that prioritizes cost savings over ditching manual upgrades is professional services. The 15 respondents in this category ranked eliminating the cost of hosting and hardware #1 on their reasons for migration. 

Interestingly, they also included innovation in their top six (tied for third with performance, security, and remote work). This suggests that professional services companies have been paying attention to top performing businesses, which tend to prioritize innovation and growth, according to Deloitte’s most recent digital transformation survey.

With those priorities high up on their reason to move to cloud, it makes sense that professional services companies are reporting gains in both cost savings and innovation; 79 percent say they saved at least 11 percent on hardware and hosting costs, and 71 percent say that innovation is better in cloud. 

This category also reports big wins in reliability and availability, with 86 percent ranking each as better in cloud. 

Education and the cloud

With the recent effects of the pandemic, it’s unsurprising that education – an industry forced to go remote in an instant – ranked remote work high on its list of reasons to move to cloud, with 43 percent of the 14 respondents in this category citing it as motivation. Innovation is also high on the list of reasons to move, likely for similar reasons. In 2020, the world changed for the education industry, perhaps more than any other industry – and priorities reflect that change.

The good news is this particular change is an overwhelmingly positive one, survey says. Eighty-one percent of education respondents report they have more peace of mind around security and version upgrades post-migration. They also report high security gains, with 73 percent saying security is better in cloud. 

And that’s not to mention how much time the industry is saving: 87 percent say they save at least 11 percent on admin time in cloud, and a whopping 55 percent report more than 30 percent time savings. If innovation is the goal, these time savings are a great start, since they free up admins for strategic innovation instead of the tedious day-to-day work of maintaining servers. 

Government and the cloud

Government was our smallest sample size at just eight respondents, but the data is interesting enough that we wanted to share it anyway – because the survey says a move to cloud is reaping major rewards for these respondents.

One big difference is that government is more likely to have a digital transformation initiative driving their cloud adoption, with a staggering 50 percent citing this as a reason for the move (compared to education at 29 percent, computer software at 13 percent, and media and advertising at just 6 percent).

This aligns strongly with outside research. According to Gartner, 80 percent of government organizations are still at the early stages of their digital transformation, but at least 33 percent are feeling increased pressure to make the leap

That increased pressure is paying off. Survey says 75 percent of government respondents see improvements in speed and accessibility. Another 75 percent say innovation is better in cloud (higher than any other industry we looked at). And 50 percent report improvement in security and the ability for staff to focus on goals.

How to increase profits (and reduce admin costs) in the cloud
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Government also reports high savings post-migration: 37 percent say they chopped admin time by at least half, and 100 percent say they cut admin time by 11 percent or more. A healthy 86 percent say they save at least 11 percent on end-user time, 87 percent save 11 percent or more on hardware and hosting costs, and 86 percent save at least 11 percent on security costs. 

What our industries had in common

Whatever your industry, chances are you’re migrating to do away with manual upgrades, reduce the cost of hosting, and improve performance. And your top five benefits are likely to be peace of mind around maintaining security and version upgrades, improved speed and accessibility, better employee satisfaction, improved performance, and a drop in total cost of ownership. 

Some industries are making greater leaps than others. And the priorities you bring to the cloud are correlated with the benefits you reap. (In other words: if you come in with your eye on the prize of saving money, you’re likely to save money, as in the case of the advertising industry).

The bottom line is we have yet to find an industry that regrets their move to cloud. If you need some ammunition to convince your bosses it’s time for your company to pick up the pace, the above charts are for you.

Considering your own migration? Our migration center is here to help with step-by-step guides, resources, and support to get you on your way.

What your industry says about your cloud migration