Cloud UK Adoption and Trends 2011

Executive summary

It is often said that cloud computing is a disruptive technology and will change the way that businesses use information technology. 

Today cloud services evoke an understanding and expectation of scalability, agility and value-for-money on a pay-as-you-go basis that can therefore fit the needs of the smallest business or consumer to the largest enterprise or government. It is less technology and more about challenging the fundamentals of how you manage IT operations (and therefore business) efficiently in an online world.

One of the basic challenges for any organisation wishing to operate in the modern world is how do you access, manage and deliver IT services in a secure, flexible and cost effective manner. It has long been the aim to improve the way IT assets are sweated, and to de-risk the need for expensive on-premise infrastructure where asset utilisation is typically around 20 per cent of capacity (due to peak load planning). Cloud computing offers a level playing field upon which the focus shifts significantly from maintenance to innovation and market reach.

It would be much more accurate to say that cloud is revolutionising the way that businesses procure their IT. Instead of buying software licences, storage capacity or infrastructure and bringing it inhouse, under the cloud model these functions are effectively leased from remote operators and supplied across the internet. 

This research clarifies that adoption of cloud based services across all manner of organisations, from enterprises to small businesses to the public sector, has been rapid and the cloud now encompasses an incredibly wide range of applications. So, while many technologies are touted as being “disruptive” or “revolutionary”, the cloud model of IT provision seems genuinely to herald a new era in the supply of organisational computing.

The Cloud Industry Forum does not advocate that all business will move into a wholly online delivery model and fully recognises that any combination of technical, commercial, cultural and governance issues will require some aspect of an on-premise presence for most organisations for the foreseeable future. We do advocate though that cloud services are a reality today, that they are proven, and that they will continue to improve in both capability and adoption, and as such, all organisations need to be aware of, and considering how to best make use of this agile and efficient IT supply model.

This first paper explores the reality of adoption in cloud services across the UK and looks into the levels of adoption across different organisational types; the drivers for adoption; who is driving adoption; the services being accessed; satisfaction levels and the issues and concerns that impede adoption at times. From this paper the reader should be able to gauge current market readiness and satisfaction levels of cloud service users in the UK and be able to understand some of the key issues and considerations to take into account when contemplating or reviewing plans to adopt cloud services as part of a wider IT strategy.

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