UK businesses are embracing cloud services, with flexibility the main driver.
Research by the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), of 450 senior IT and business decision-makers in enterprises, small-to-medium businesses and public sector organisations in the UK, found that 48 per cent are already using some form of cloud service.
The primary cloud services being used are: email; backup/disaster recovery; storage; and web hosting services. The survey also found that the decision to migrate to the cloud is now predominantly taken by the head of IT, compared with a quarter of those surveyed who said it was the responsibility of the CEO.
Flexibility was the main reason (53 per cent) given for initially adopting cloud-based services, while cost savings were only cited by 16 per cent as the primary driver for initial cloud adoption.
Piers Linney, joint CEO at Outsourcery and CIF founder member, said: “The research clearly indicates that cloud-based services are being rapidly adopted by businesses of all sizes and across all sectors and more importantly, is proving to be a great experience for those who have implemented the technology, with 94 per cent of respondents expressing satisfaction.
“With only two per cent of respondents saying they would never consider cloud, it is clear that we are heralding a new era in business computing that will be disruptive for many of the existing providers of IT and communication solutions.”
Alberto Soto, vice president EMEA at Brocade, said: “The cloud has been in the media spotlight for several years, and many businesses see it as the magic answer to a myriad of operational challenges. However, unless a well-considered IT strategy is in place, the cloud can cause more problems than it solves.
“Today, the way we work is very different than it was ten, or even five years ago. The networks of that period were not designed to be cloud-optimised so expecting them to cope with today's needs is deemed to fail. This research suggests that companies are beginning to recognise this and that cloud-based strategies are being driven from within the IT department. Addressing the commercial needs of the business, IT leaders can develop a strategic blueprint for a truly cloud-optimised network, therefore ensuring a successful deployment and a more agile business environment."
Andy Burton, chairman of the CIF and CEO of Fasthosts, said: “Over recent years the market has been primarily focusing on the cost savings afforded by cloud migration and yet, as the research proves, whilst financial benefits are achieved and do drive further investment from companies already using the cloud, it is the agility given to businesses to deliver new services, access technology quickly and to offer solutions that they did not already have that has driven initial adoption.”