Over the last 18 months the UK market for Cloud Services has seen a 27 per cent increase in first time users and that rate of adoption has accelerated in the last nine months. There is not a vertical, sector or organisational size that has not engaged in the Cloud Services opportunity, neither is there an application area that is exempt from the deployment and delivery models related to Cloud. In short, Cloud adoption in the UK is strong and growing against a backdrop of end user satisfaction with the flexibility and economics of Cloud Services.
Arguably the confusion and FUD around Cloud has not abated over this time, but the debate has moved on. People are less inclined to agree a definition of what is or isn’t Cloud, and are more focused on outcomes about how IT is delivered.
The primary concerns of Security and Sovereignty remain high on the agenda, but equally the awareness of these issues is changing people’s behaviour as to how they select services and Service Providers and indeed is also helping to drive service definition and commercial changes in the offerings from Cloud Service Providers (CSP’s).
Changes are occurring in the process of adoption with the growing preference for a try-before-you-buy experience being required by users, equally there is a growing demand for services to assist in the implementation or migration to Cloud Services as well as on-going management of delivery.
Contracts and operational practices are gradually evolving toward a more universal understanding of best practice, and these somewhat tangential developments arguably offer some of the greatest stimulus to future Cloud adoption.
The market is clearly moving out of a nascent state into mainstream adoption and with it the challenges are changing from clarity and comfort that Cloud is viable into the strategic goals of integrating Cloud within the wider IT agenda and determining an effective and efficient path for more widely embracing Cloud Services without diminishing, efficiency, control or governance.
Based on this latest research, the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) expect that by the end of 2013, over 75 per cent of UK businesses will be using at least one Cloud service formally and 80 percent of current Cloud users will have increased their spend in this model of IT delivery.
From this paper it is hoped that 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.