Cloud Computing Adoption Continues to Increase

Latest research indicates private sector leads the way but with the public sector showing the biggest increase in adoption

Independent research carried out for the Cloud Industry Forum across 300 UK organisations shows that over half (53 per cent) already consciously use cloud computing in some shape or form.

This latest figures indicates a five-point increase, or 10 per cent market growth of first time users, in the last nine months from the last time the research was conducted. Furthermore, when analysed it is clear from the research that it is the private sector leading the way still at 56 per cent adoption (up 3 points). However, the public sector has shown a more dramatic increase gaining 11 points to 49 per cent, adding impetus and merit to the recently announced Government strategy for adopting cloud technology.

The size of organisation is far less an indicator of current adoption as it was at the beginning of the year as all primary groupings showed equivalent rates of adoption at around 53%, reinforcing the fact that cloud services are a leveller for enabling IT adoption and efficiency in organisations of every size and status.

In real terms the research indicates that cloud adoption by businesses under 20 employees and the public sector is at similar level over the last 9 months, outstripping the growth of mid- to large- organisations by a factor of four.

The survey findings indicate that the decision to migrate to the cloud is now predominantly taken by the head of IT, with 67 per cent of respondents, compared to just a quarter who said it was still the responsibility of CEOs / MDs.

According to the research the overwhelming reason given for initially adopting cloud-based services is the flexibility that it brings to the organisation. This was identified by 46 per cent of respondents of the entire sample.

Next, but considerably behind in importance was cost savings at 17 per cent and then low cost of adoption at 14 per cent.

Just under three quarters (73 per cent) of those organisations questioned in the research currently using cloud services expect to increase their use over the next 12 months, with growth most likely to centre on five core applications – email, storage, data back-up/disaster recovery, collaboration solutions and web services.

Andy Burton, Chairman of the Cloud Industry Forum and CEO of Fasthosts, stated:

“Whilst the marketing of the industry has been primarily focusing on the cost savings afforded by cloud migration the research proves again that initial adoption is usually driven by non financial activity where the organisation values the flexible attribute of a cloud service over on-premise solutions. That said, financial benefits are being achieved and do drive further adoption from companies already using the cloud, but it is the agility given to businesses to deliver new services; access technology quickly; and, to offer solutions that they did not already have that has driven initial adoption.”

“When it comes to organisational satisfaction with the current use of cloud services, the original research at the beginning of 2011 saw 94 per cent of those then using cloud services stating that they were happy with the results of their use of the cloud. This appeared to demonstrate clear evidence that the market was no longer immature and that businesses that had embraced the opportunity perceived that they are reaping the benefits they sought. Interestingly this figure has now increased even further to 96 per cent in the latest research, an almost universal endorsement.”

Of the 47 per cent of the sample that do not currently believe they use cloud services, it is insightful that almost a fifth (18 per cent) said that they anticipated adopting them in the next year (rising to 35 per cent among large organisations and 27 per cent in public sector).

For those not planning to have cloud services within the next year, 17 per cent believed they would adopt cloud services, 59% said they were likely to, 14% said they were not sure and only 10% (11 out of 300 organisations or 3% of the survey) said they would not adopt cloud services.

Burton concluded:

“This research further validates that cloud services are a reality today, that they are proven, and that they will continue to improve in both capability and adoption. As such, all organisations need to be aware of, and considering how to best make use of this agile and efficient IT supply model to improve their performance and agility. It is also clear that any organisation may over time utilise any or all Cloud Service and/or Deployment models and as such vendors and resellers need to be educated and aware of how best to assist and guide end users to determine and implement the solution that will best meet their needs. What is right for one company with one specific application may not be right for another, and the suppliers that will succeed in the long term are those that recognise and embrace this and provide the comfort and clarity to their customers and prospects.”

When participants in the research were asked whether they saw value in working with a cloud service provider who had publicly signed to an industry wide Code of Practice, 79 per cent agreed, a figure that increased to 85 per cent amongst larger organisations, and a clear endorsement of the objectives of the Cloud Industry Forum and its Code of Practice.

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