UK Cloud Adoption Hits a High


Cloud adoption rate reaches 88 percent, finds new research, but hybrid approach will dominate

The latest research from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) reveals that the overall cloud adoption rate in the UK now stands at 88 percent, with 67 percent of users expecting to increase their adoption of cloud services over the coming year.

However, while organisations are clearly taking a cloud-first approach, the industry body predicts that the clear majority of companies will be maintaining hybrid IT estates for some time to come.

The research, polled 250 IT and business decision-makers in large enterprises, SMBs and public sector organisations. The results reveal that overall cloud adoption has increased by 83 percent 2010, with an increase of five percent since last year. There has been a more significant increase in cloud adoption amongst small and public sector organisations, which have previously trailed behind overall adoption, with rates now standing at 82 percent for both, up from 54 percent and 62 percent, respectively, a year ago.

Hybrid approach

Most respondents (58 percent) described their organisation as having a hybrid approach to IT and 54 percent expect to eventually move their entire IT estate to remotely hosted cloud services, with eight percent of the smallest organisations in the sample having already done so. Despite this, inhibitors to cloud adoption remain, including concerns over data privacy (62 percent) and a lack of budget (35 percent), meaning that a ‘cloud-everything’ model is still not yet feasible for all organisations.

The most commonly used cloud services are those for traditional webhosting (65 percent), but with a marked growth of PaaS (53 percent), and office productivity tools (50 percent).

By 2020 three-quarters of respondents expect to have adopted cloud-based videoconferencing systems and the adoption of cloud for data backup/disaster recovery (63 percent) and customer contact centre (57 percent) are also expect to increase.

The top three reasons for initially adopting cloud services are flexibility of delivery (74 percent), operational cost savings (72 percent) and scalability (65 percent).

On average, it took 15 months to migrate applications to the cloud, with 90 percent experiencing difficulties when migrating to a cloud solution, the complexity of migration (43%) was the most commonly cited difficulty, followed by lack of internal skills/knowledge (32 percent) and a dependency on Internet access (31 percent).

Cloud adoption

“Cloud is critical in enabling companies to cope with this change and this research highlights how organisations are increasingly and consistently warming to the cloud delivery model, especially as they begin the realise the benefits to be had from migrating their apps and infrastructure to the cloud,” said Alex Hilton, CEO of CIF.

“Although a growing number of companies can foresee a time when they will move all of their IT to the cloud – with UK businesses steadily adopting a ‘cloud first approach’ – this change won’t happen overnight. While smaller businesses are able to make the logical step to remove their depreciated hardware assets and move entirely to the cloud, this is less feasible for larger organisations with heavy infrastructure investments. Therefore, ‘cloud everything’ will not be attainable for all for some time and we predict that the vast majority of companies will continue to maintain hybrid IT environments.”

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