The majority of organisations now consciously using Cloud services, finds new research from the Cloud Industry Forum
Cloud computing has achieved mainstream deployment in the UK according to the latest research from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), with 79% of organisations now formally consider Cloud as a part of their IT strategy, and some 78% of organisations formally adopting at least one Cloud-based service. However just one cloud-based service still seems to be the norm, of those using Cloud services, 45% use only one Cloud service formally, 28% use two Cloud services, 13% use three and the remaining 14% use four or more.
Web hosting, email, CRM, data back-up and disaster recovery continue to be the most pervasive Cloud services used. This is followed close behind by video conferencing, collaboration solutions, HR apps and data storage
Looking into the drivers for first time Cloud adoption, flexibility of Cloud as a delivery model continues to be cited as the primary reason for adoption among private sector companies (17%), while operational cost savings dominates the public sector (21%)
Large private enterprises are showing the highest rates of adoption at just over 80%, whilst the sub 200 employee organisations are standing at around 75% and the public sector is still lagging at around 68%.
To set context, the research also recognises that the majority of organisations (85%) operate on-premise servers or data centres. The existence of on-site technology is also a direct influence on the evolution of IT strategy based on historical investment. The co-existence of on-premise and Cloud services by nature leads to a Hybrid IT environment for the majority of organisations.
The move to the cloud also seems to be a way for some businesses to plug skills gaps in their IT workforce. The majority (78%) of organisations run IT predominantly with in-house personnel, however nearly a quarter (22%) opt to use a managed service provider and this rises to 38% in the sub 20 employee organisation.
Simon Bearne, Claranet’s UK Sales & Marketing Director said: “Over the last decade, there has been a shift towards data and information management in IT departments – rather than the ‘nuts and bolts’ of IT. The fact is that many organisations cannot afford to hire software and hardware specialists, so have to outsource, appointing a Managed Services Provider (MSP) in place of the latter.
“That businesses are turning to cloud to plug skills gaps in the workforce is not, in itself, a problem. After all, the ability to effectively rent resources and skills is what outsourcing and cloud are all about. With the UK suffering from a skills shortage in the IT industry, it makes much more sense for businesses to focus existing internal IT staff on higher-value strategic work that maximises their knowledge of the company’s IT systems and their understanding of the business, and to leave the more mundane work to those outside the organisation. But it does create an environment where businesses are increasingly reliant on outsourced IT – making the customer-IT provider relationship critical to business success.
Bearne went on to say that MSPs should play a central role in businesses’ migration strategies, to help determine which workloads to move to the cloud and which to keep on-premise:
“The direction of traffic is of course towards cloud, but the process is gradual and one that needs to be managed carefully. It’s important to realise that with limited resource and skills, a careful balance is needed between holding on to existing systems to achieve the best ROI and the benefits to business operations from using the cloud. While there is no easy answer, end-users should look for an MSP that will take a consultative approach to developing a more bespoke solution based on a full understanding of their requirements and existing skills base,” he concluded.