Adoption of Cloud computing continues upward trend as a mainstream IT deployment option

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Cloud computing has achieved mainstream deployment in the UK, according to the latest research from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), with 61 per cent of organisations formally adopting at least one Cloud-based service.

The research, conducted in Q3 2013 polling 250 senior IT and business decision-makers, also found that satisfaction with the use of Cloud solutions remains high at 91 per cent.

The growth trajectory for the adoption of Cloud services also remains healthy with 68 per cent of current Cloud service users claiming they will extend the use of Cloud solutions within their organisations over the next year.

The research highlighted that the majority of organisations (86 per cent) operate an on-premise server room or data centre and as such are well invested in on-premise IT when they make a Cloud service decision. In fact, today the typical end user has a Hybrid IT estate comprising a range of Cloud, on-premise and hosted services. Key findings include:

  • Cloud services are accepted as a viable IT deployment model in the majority or organisations across the UK, and that its rate of adoption is being maintained at a healthy 15 per cent per annum.
  • Well over two thirds (69 per cent) of all organisations already consciously use Cloud services formally for at least one application area within their organisation.
  • This is an eight-point increase or 15 per cent annual growth and a compound growth of 44 per cent since the first survey conducted by CIF in 2010.
  • Looking at the drivers for first time deployment, the flexibility of Cloud as a delivery model continues to be cited as the most common primary reason for adoption at 13 per cent. Operational cost savings at 9 per cent and 24/7 service dependence at 9 per cent and scalability, lack of in-house skills and low cost of adoption all came in at 8 per cent.
  • Amongst those who had adopted a Cloud service, 33 per cent reported increased flexibility of access to technology as an achieved business objective. This was followed by improvements in uptime and the reliability of IT at 31 per cent, reductions in the risk of data loss at 30 per cent and improvements in IT service levels.
  • 78 per cent of those organisations using or planning to use Cloud services are already including consideration for Cloud Services within their wider IT strategy.
  • Over half of the sample – 58 per cent - trialed Cloud services before committing to a contract.
  • Data security remains the highest concern expressed during the decision making process to migrate to the Cloud at 69 per cent; data privacy at 51 per cent and the dependence on internet access at 37 per cent.
  • Of those organisations which had already migrated to one or more cloud services, the complexity of migration was the biggest difficulty (43 per cent, again followed by dependence on internet access at 30 per cent and the time taken and data sovereignty concerns in third place at 22 per cent each.

Andy Burton, Founder of CIF, stated: "This is the fourth year we have conducted this research and the fourth year in a row we have seen increased roll-out and deployment of Cloud-based services.  Looking forward into 2014, in regard to the 31 per cent of companies not yet making use of Cloud, a third of them are expected to within the year.  Only 4 per cent of the entire sample of 250 organisations stated that they had no intention of using Cloud-based services in the delivery of their IT strategy.

"With satisfaction levels remaining high and with two thirds of end users operating a Cloud service today expected to extend their footprint over the coming year, Cloud is now recognised as a credible deployment model within the context of an organisations IT strategy. But it is not seen as the only viable model and most organisations foresee the continued use of on-premise IT alongside Cloud-based services for the foreseeable future resulting in the sustainable prevalence of Hybrid IT estates," he continued.

Alex Hilton, CEO of CIF, added: "Looking towards 2014 we believe that 15 per cent of businesses will report a primary Cloud-based IT strategy, a further 15 per cent will remain entirely on-premise and 70 per cent will have a Hybrid IT environment meaning that the majority of companies will continue to invest in on-premise IT alongside Cloud solutions.

"What is clear is that Hybrid IT is the new norm. There is no doubt that over time we will see the complexities of monitoring and managing Hybrid IT environments subside as interoperability improves, commercial policies and practices for data migration simplify and technical standards mature. What our research has found is that IT is now firmly evolving as an enabler of business agility and transformation rather than a cost centre to deliver applications and devices," concluded Alex.

In September 2013 Vanson Bourne conducted the fourth annual body of research on behalf of CIF to determine the level of Cloud adoption among participants and to gain insights into attitudes, experiences and trends across the UK end user community.

The research polled 250 senior IT and business decision-makers in enterprises, small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) and public sector organisations. Of the 250 end user organisations questioned, 16 per cent came from the IT and technology sector, 16 per cent from business and professional services, 8 per cent manufacturing,�9 per cent financial services and 8 per cent from retail and logistics. A further 27 per cent comprised of public sector organisations ranging from central and local government, education and healthcare.

The research is available as a White Paper (12) for free download from

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