UK businesses say the cloud is falling short of expectations

Daniel Todd

9 Jul, 2019

The benefits of the cloud are still not living up to UK firms’ expectations, according to research.

Less than half (44%) of companies surveyed say the flexibility of the cloud has matched their expectations, followed by improved security (43%) and efficiencies (31%), the research – which was carried out by Research Without Barriers (RWB) – found. 

Just 19% of businesses believe cloud mobility is delivering on expectations, while a further 19% say the cloud has given them a greater user experience. Additionally, a strikingly-low 13% also say it supports business innovation.

“The cloud is fast becoming the preferred choice for positive digital disruption, but it seems it’s not giving businesses what they want on a number of levels,” said Jon Wrennall, CTO at digital software and services provider Advanced, which commissioned the research. The study forms part of the firm’s 2019 Digital Business Report, which surveyed more than 500 senior decision makers spanning small, medium and large businesses throughout the UK. 

“This is a concern simply because the cloud can – and should – deliver these benefits and more.”

At a time when cloud spending continues to be on the rise, according to Gartner, the survey also found that only 50% of respondents believe the cloud should be “inherent in all business software their organisation uses.”

“It begs the question: are organisations being distracted by hyped-up cloud tools over prioritising software that is relevant to their own unique needs? And are they not being given the right third-party support to realise the cloud’s value?” Wrennall added. 

“The right strategy and guidance will help organisations get the maximum benefits from the cloud as well as dictate what business functions they should migrate to the cloud because, in certain cases, some functions are actually best kept on-premise.”

Large businesses are also utilising a range of tools to improve efficiencies spanning CRM and ERP. 

Some 63% said their organisation should be using multiple software solutions to run their operations – as opposed to a single, unified platform – citing the unique requirements of different departments (63%), increased flexibility this offers (53%) and the lower risk of failure (38%).

Less than half (47%) of smaller businesses said its various department needs can be met by a single solution.

However, Wrennell added that multiple software solutions – whether cloud-based or on-premise – must be integrated to “truly improve business performance and productivity.”

Survey respondents agree with the sentiment, too, with 70% reporting that a lack of integration between business software is holding them back from achieving successful digital transformation.