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Unreliable public network infrastructure impacts UK businesses

Exponential-e Ltd has published research findings which show that that poor network infrastructure is costing British businesses time and money by disrupting critical cloud services, or slowing their adoption.

The research, which questioned IT managers and directors across the UK, revealed that businesses clearly recognise the benefits cloud services can have on the bottom line. Of the 79 percent of businesses which currently use cloud services, 84 percent see them as key to increasing productivity, 88 percent feel they open up an increased range of services and 83 percent think cloud is key to reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO) for data centres.

Yet, despite this positive outlook for cloud adoption, the research also found significant security concerns over adopting cloud services in over half (56 percent) of UK businesses, particularly when delivered across public networks. A further fifth (20 percent) of respondents highlighted that being unable to secure a strict enough service level agreement (SLA) from a cloud service provider was a major reason for not adopting more cloud services. Additionally, a lack of in-house skills to support cloud services and inadequate network connections were also seen as core deterrents, with 17 percent and 19 percent citing these respectively.

The dangers of downtime
Unfortunately, the fears of many UK businesses over becoming more dependent on public network access to the cloud appear to be well founded.

23 percent of organizations questioned had experienced a significant number of unplanned connectivity outages in the last year. These companies had experienced around 12 hours of network downtime over the past year, with over a quarter (27 percent) saying that they had experienced more than 12 hours of outage. A mere 16 percent of businesses had seen no unplanned outages in the last year.

The impact of downtime was also extremely severe: 58 percent of unplanned connectivity outages affected business workflow, with internal operations (72 percent), employee productivity (68 percent) and client services (47 percent) most badly affected, suggesting that repercussions from the failures were felt across multiple business areas.

The race to upgrade
Over half of UK businesses (53 percent) are still partially or completely reliant on a public link to the cloud. Nevertheless, the upgrade priorities for businesses seems clear, with 86 percent of organizations agreeing that a high-speed, optimised network link to the cloud would improve reliability. Over half of those questioned (55 percent) are already taking action to adjust their network speeds, with 36 percent improving their existing network's data optimisation, and 29 percent moving to a high-speed network.


•Date: 23rd Nov 2012 • UK •Type: Article • Topic: Cloud computing

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