The Normalisation of Cloud in a Hybrid IT Market | UK Cloud Adoption Snapshot & Trends for 2015


The IT landscape is evolving rapidly, not least driven by the evolution and adoption of Cloud-based services and the relative increase in available internet bandwidth. That said, whilst Cloud Computing is now a core deployment model for IT, revolutionizing speed of access to IT and challenging the price points for delivering IT, our latest research suggests that hosted Cloud Services alone are not yet a panacea for all things IT for all businesses. This 2014 research shows that whilst 78% of UK organisations have now formally adopted at least one Cloud-based solution, 92% of the same audience said they were not intending to place everything in the Cloud yet.

The result? Simply put, the market is predominantly ‘Hybrid’ and will be for the foreseeable future. Some workloads will remain on-premise (driven by legacy technology constraints; perceptions of data protection; sovereignty and assurance; slow internet in given areas; regulatory constraints or just simply company policy) and some will move to private or public hosted Cloud Services (to support remote workers; enable more flexibility/agility; to achieve lowest price points, and to access an opex payment model). Most organisations will find they need to manage several deployment models combining in-Cloud and on-premise, and as such most companies will still require on-premise IT for managing essential activities such as user credentials, maintaining a central file-store, supporting print management and running specific applications.

Historically a professional Hybrid IT experience has been the privilege of the larger Enterprise where depth of technical resources and the focus of Vendors’ enterprise product capabilities have enabled this, but with the arrival of Hybrid IT solutions for the SMB, the full flexibility of Cloud coupled with the assurance of on-premise IT can be delivered as a seamless service through managed service providers to the widest addressable market. Hybrid IT is no longer a by-product of technical transition, it is a sustainable strategic outcome.

For three quarters of the research base, changes to IT deployment models predominantly occur around the natural refresh of infrastructure. Furthermore, 22% of companies involved in this research specifically cite their intention to review Cloud Services at the next refresh
of infrastructure. In the period leading up to July 2015 the market faces the most significant IT refresh of the 21st century to date with the end of support of both Windows Server 2003 and Small Business Server 2003. These products have not only underpinned the IT server market for the last decade they have been the basis upon which many local IT providers have built their businesses. In the UK alone an average of 1000 servers per day are likely to need to be transitioned to a new solution in the final year of support. Some customers will take the opportunity to move the server workloads to Cloud Services, some will undertake a rudimentary incremental upgrade and others will take the opportunity to refine their IT strategy. In any event the next 12 months will see a material increase in Cloud adoption by both new and existing Cloud users.

An emerging trend in the move to Hybrid IT is the increase in organisations taking IT-as-a-Service. 22% of organisations already use an MSP to deliver core IT services and this increases to 38% in organisations with less than 20 employees. This trend is likely to grow driven by the rapid pace of innovation in Hybrid IT and the pressure to free up precious IT resource from basic maintenance activity.

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