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Overcoming the barriers to cloud adoption

Hanna Helin
Hanna Helin
Head of Enterprise Transformation, Cloud Strategy, Refinitiv

Migration to the public cloud continues to gain momentum. The Refinitiv Public Cloud Investment Barometer – 2019 Report analyzes this progress, including the way financial services companies have been overcoming barriers to cloud adoption.


  1. Several of the barriers to cloud adoption are proving to be less of a challenge this year, according to the 2019 Refinitiv Public Cloud Investment Barometer.
  2. Compliance concerns are no longer the number one operational barrier, while worries about the lack of public cloud expertise have also dropped down the list.
  3. Organizations appear to be learning from previous public cloud projects and getting more clarity on the issues that need to be resolved.

The Refinitiv Public Cloud Investment Barometer — 2019 Report, which surveyed 300 senior financial services executives, reveals that several of the barriers to cloud adoption are proving to be less of a challenge this year.

Watch: Introducing the Public Cloud Investment Barometer – 2019 Report

The biggest operational barrier to investment in the public cloud identified in this year’s survey concerns the hurdle of short-term targets, in particular the challenge of migrating fully from legacy infrastructure within strict timelines.

Businesses need to keep the legacy infrastructure and new public cloud running side by side for a period of time. However, companies are learning from the experience, and with time, becoming better at managing this aspect and driving direct revenue impact.

Many respondents also highlighted incompatibility with traditional network security tools as a challenge. This was the second biggest operational barrier to cloud adoption in 2019.

Compliance concerns, which were the number one operational barrier in 2018, dropped to third in 2019. The lack of public cloud expertise has fallen from second to sixth in the list.

Top operational barriers to (further) investment by organisations in public cloud. Overcoming barriers to cloud adoption

A shift in the barriers to cloud adoption

Ongoing challenges explain why full migration to the public cloud is taking longer than many firms originally expected. Some of the key findings around the shift in operational barriers show that firms are simply better at recognizing the limitations of moving to a public cloud environment.

Overall, firms are learning from previous projects and getting more clarity on the issues that need to be resolved.

Overcoming barriers to cloud adoption

The size of a firm may also affect the type of operational issues it faces, with smaller financial firms benefiting from being more nimble.

This is reflected in the report’s findings concerning how transformational firms expect public cloud adoption to be in the coming decade.

Public cloud’s transformational impact

Barriers to cloud adoption are not likely to disappear overnight. However respondents are backing the cloud and acknowledge that it will change the industry.

Some 40 percent of respondents think it will be significant for firms, with a further 24 per cent describing it as transformational.

Organizations that are willing to learn from the experience and manage challenges well will have a real opportunity to drive business better and be more profitable.

Refinitiv Public Cloud Investment Barometer — 2019 Report