Adoption of cloud for key business applications is extremely widespread in the UK, but there is no uniform or consistent approach to procurement or strategy among UK companies. This is the key message from recent research conducted by Managed Cloud Services Provider, Adapt.
‘Cloud Challenges – a Best Practice Research Report for a Maturing Market’ is a survey and report published by Adapt in December 2015 and comprises data from 200 UK senior IT decision makers from companies with more than 200 employees.
The research shows that while more than half of UK businesses see cloud as a means of removing cost from their businesses, actually achieving this objective is proving challenging, creating a gap between expectation and reality. Businesses that look to cloud to support enhancement and optimisation initiatives however are finding it easier to deliver the benefits promised.
While the figures demonstrate that the case for cloud has been made, medium to large businesses have still not evaluated how to make the most effective use of cloud services strategically.
This may be because, in part, they are using different cloud providers for different purposes and because the IT department is out of the loop when it comes to the procurement process. The survey found the majority of businesses (55%) were already using more than one cloud provider, with a sixth (16%) using three or more. A key driver in the use of multiple cloud providers has been the bypassing of the IT department by functions such as marketing, business development and sales to identify and procure cloud services specific to their needs.
That figure is likely to be even higher given the number of unapproved cloud services being used by employees within UK businesses. The survey found that 59% of businesses were aware their staff were using unapproved cloud-based services for storing data, applications and services.
With a multiplicity of cloud providers and the growing involvement of other departments in procuring cloud services, the survey reported that a majority of UK businesses (68%) found the prospect of engaging a single supplier that could help them take control of all their different cloud solutions appealing.
Kevin Linsell, Director of Strategy and Architecture at Adapt said: “Businesses need to recognise the broad availability of customised and niche cloud services has changed procurement behaviour. They need to adapt to these changes to deliver key objectives such as cost reduction, performance improvement, business risk reduction and security enhancement.”
He added: “Organisations understand that managing a multiple provider strategy has disadvantages and recognise the benefits of a tighter, coordinated approach. The report suggests businesses are finding it a challenge to define and implement a cloud strategy that closes the gap between potential, planning and reality. Where this becomes difficult or unmanageable, businesses should seek advice from Managed Service Providers (MSPs). Our role is to help business identify the right balance and blend of platforms to meet business objectives and pull this together into a custom strategy that is completely aligned with workload and application requirements – from any department.”
Ed Says… Last October Cisco released its fifth 2015 Global Cloud Index (GCI), which forecasts that by 2019 global cloud traffic will have more than quadrupled – from 2.1 to 8.6 zettabytes. Whilst data centre traffic will have tripled by 2019, and will reach 10.4 zettabytes annually. Against this background there are many challenges and opportunities for our sector in the years ahead to manage this transformation. Cisco also predicts the rise of public cloud over private saying that by 2019, 56 per cent of the cloud workloads will be in public cloud data centres, up from 30 per cent in 2014, and 44 per cent will be in private cloud data centres, down from 70 per cent in 2014.