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IDC survey looks at UK cloud usage

Cloud is still a disruptive technology as far as enterprise operational management is concerned and business continuity managers need to keep a close eye on how business usage is likely to change. A new survey from IDC provides some useful pointers:

The cloud as a standalone IT improvement solution is a top priority for 40 percent of UK enterprises, yet it is seen as a means to solve key business issues by 75 percent of UK managers. Two out of three of IT managers believe that using the cloud will give them a competitive edge in their markets. But the top priorities for UK IT managers are to improve quality of service, support mobility, and facilitate collaboration. Cost is still a major driver for the cloud, however, with three in four respondents saying they are likely to introduce new cloud solutions to reduce IT costs over the next year.

Reducing IT costs is still the cloud benefit mentioned most often, but it is not as dominant as it was a few years ago, when almost all companies singled out lower costs as the most important benefit to be gained from the cloud. Cost aspects are now the key reason for less than 40 percent of companies, while issues that influence work processes and company agility such as improved data access, introduction of new products, and changes to the application estate are the most important reasons cited in more than 60 percent of cases.

Most companies plan to introduce new cloud solutions over the next year. The most popular are productivity tools such as email, collaboration and office packages. While productivity tools have been well accepted in the cloud for several years, it is remarkable that over a quarter of UK companies are considering migrating their enterprise resource planning solutions to the cloud.

“Making enterprise-grade applications available from mobile devices will transform workforce economics for many industries. Scale is no longer a barrier, and in the past year we have signed agreements with blue chip companies that serve well over 100,000 users. The survey demonstrates that the appetite to embrace the full potential of cloud is growing,” said Sam Kingston, managing director for T-Systems in the UK.

Security is a major concern but the debate is changing as the market matures. This means that security issues are not an absolute barrier to cloud adoption, but more of a parameter for choosing which cloud to use and what for. The debate on security and compliance has led to a major focus on the private cloud. Four out of ten UK enterprises have a private cloud strategy; only 8 percent pursue a public cloud strategy. IDC believes that the availability of more secure clouds is the key factor behind 27 percent of companies expecting to move their ERP solutions to the cloud as the necessary security levels, SLAs, and compliance become available.

For the cloud survey commissioned by T-Systems, IDC asked CIOs and other IT top managers of 100 UK companies in the summer of 2012 how they now rated cloud computing.

•Date: 4th Oct 2012 • UK •Type: Article • Topic: Cloud computing

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