A recent survey of over 250 UK-based senior IT decision makers shows around 84 per cent are using cloud services, with at least 70 per cent of those organisations already using cloud expecting their adoption to increase over the next 12 months.
The survey, commissioned by UK cloud trade body the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), suggests cloud services have grown substantially in popularity over the past couple of years, with adoption growing 8 per cent over the past year and 75 per cent since 2010.
“Cloud computing has come a long way in just a few short years. When we commissioned our first major research project into the UK Cloud market in 2010, just 48 per cent of organisations had consciously adopted a cloud service,” said Alex Hilton, chief executive officer of the CIF.
“During this time, cloud has moved from the edge of the IT estate to its centre, and it is now largely regarded as just another way that we do IT. Importantly, it is, by and large, delivering the benefits the industry promised it would deliver,” he said.
The organisation believes the impending conclusion of official support for Windows Server 2003 will accelerate cloud adoption over the next year. But Hilton says that many are still a long way off from adopting all-cloud strategies, in part because of legacy.
“Although more organisations than ever are committing to a 100 per cent cloud environment, the vast majority are a long way from migrating their entire IT estates; just 15 per cent consider their primary IT model to now be cloud, and around half of businesses cannot foresee a time when they will move all of their IT to the cloud – instead managing a blend of IT delivery models.”
Some believe cloud adoption is largely being driven outside the IT department. According to Tim Jennings, chief IT analyst at Ovum, cloud often makes its entrance into organisations behind the back of IT.
“It’s less about cost savings and cloud enabling IT at the centre, and more about cloud enabling business processes,” said Jennings, who was speaking at the Ovum Industry Congress in London this week. “This change is firmly in place, and nowhere is this more prevalent than line of business uptake of software-as-a-service.”
“For IT then, the challenge comes back to the ‘Shadow IT’ dilemma – or how to offer a consolidated, continuous, secure set of services,” he added.