Cloud infrastructure vital to Digital Transformation, finds new research from CIF | Cloud industry forum

Cloud infrastructure vital to Digital Transformation, finds new research from CIF

Cloud Industry Forum finds that the Cloud is critical to more than eight in ten Digital Transformation projects

Over a quarter (28%) of businesses in the UK now have a fully formed digital transformation strategy in place, and over half (54%) are in the process of implementing one, according to the latest research from Cloud Industry Forum (CIF). Critically the Cloud is seen as either very important or vital to organisations’ digital strategies to 82% of respondents.

Launched today, the research, which was conducted by Vanson Bourne and surveyed UK-based IT and business decision-makers, sought to understand how they were exploiting cloud and other next generation technologies, and the barriers standing in the way of adoption.

Almost all of the respondents (98%) said that their digital transformation strategy is at least fairly clearly defined, with just over a third (34%) having full clarity. When asked if their organisation is doing enough to become fully digitised 28% felt they were doing more than enough, and a further 56% stated that they were doing just enough. There is still work to be done with a lack of skills (40%) and the perennial lack of budget (38%) being cited as key hinderances to further and deeper digital transformation.

Alex Hilton, CEO, Cloud Industry Forum, stated: “Digital transformation is a well and truly established concept, with only a tiny minority of our sample not embracing it in some way.  We are beginning to see greater clarity in the way leaders are formulating their strategies, but it does not mean it is time to rest on our laurels.

“There is still much that businesses can do to speed up processes, build efficiency and convince all leaders that digital is the way to go.  Cloud’s role in all of this remains vital, given its emphasis on flexibility at a time when these qualities are more important than ever.”

Key findings include:

  • Over a quarter (28%) of businesses have a fully formed digital transformation strategy in place, and over half (54%) are in the process of implementing one
  • Cloud is critical to 22% of respondents’ digital transformation projects and very important in 60% of the sample
  • Organisations are continuing to harness the benefits of the Cloud with 93% now using cloud-based services in one form or another
  • 71% of businesses plan to build new applications for the Cloud in the future, moving away from legacy in favour of a more cloud-native approach and 87% expecting to increase their use of Cloud in the next year
  • However, there are challenges: around a third of IT projects are not being completed on time or budget

Alex Hilton, continued: “UK businesses clearly recognise the need for transformation and are gradually leaving legacy technologies behind in favour of next generation technologies as they pursue competitive advantage. Cloud is critical to this shift, thanks not only to the flexibility of the delivery model, but also the ease with which servers can be provisioned, which reduces financial and business risk. Furthermore, cloud’s ability to explore the value of vast unstructured data sets is next to none, which in turn is essential for IoT and AI.

“However, it’s clear that the majority of UK organisations are right at the start of this journey and many are being prevented from exploiting IoT, blockchain and AI due to skills shortages, a lack of vision, and, indeed, a lack of support from vendors. The research found that the lack of human resources, alongside a general skills shortage and a lack of budget, are the biggest challenges hampering further transformation.

“According to the research 56% of the sample cited that they are looking for strong, trusted relationships with suppliers, and a further 51% are looking for deep technical knowhow. The vendor community and the channel have a big role to play here, refining their service and support capabilities, and helping end users comprehend the transformative potential of these next generation technologies,” concluded Alex.

The research is available as a White Paper, Cloud – the changing role of the IT department.