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Nearly 4 in 5 UK organisations now use cloud services

Nearly 4 in 5 UK organisations now use cloud services

Cloud computing has well and truly hit the mainstream in the UK, as nearly four in five organisations look to shift their applications and mission-critical systems off premise according to recently published research.

According to UK-based trade body the Cloud Industry Forum, the organisation that undertook the research, the next wave of cloud will likely be driven by Microsoft ending support for Windows Server 2003 next summer.

The research polled 250 senior IT and business decision-makers in the UK and indicated 15 per cent increase in adoption when compared to last year’s results, and a 61.5 per cent increase over the 2010 results.

According to the research 79 per cent of organisations now formally consider cloud as a part of their IT strategy. Of those using cloud services 45 per cent use only one cloud service formally, 28 per cent use two, 13 per cent use three and the remaining 14 per cent use four or more.

Flexibility of cloud as a delivery model continues to be cited as the primary reason for adoption among private sector companies (17 per cent), while operational cost savings dominates the public sector (21 per cent).

“Over the next year we can say with some confidence that first time cloud adoption will increase by 12 points – or 15 per cent in real terms,” said Alex Hilton, chief executive officer of the CIF. “This means that 90 per cent of all businesses in the UK will be formally using at least one cloud service by the end of 2015.”

Web hosting, email, CRM, data back-up and disaster recovery continue to be the most pervasive cloud services used according to the CIF.  This is followed close behind by video conferencing, collaboration solutions, HR apps and data storage.

Hilton said that the CIF can also predict that 10 per cent of businesses will likely report a primary cloud-based IT strategy, 10 per cent will remain entirely on-premise and 80 per cent will have a hybrid IT environment.  And in the near term, Hilton explained, the next wave of adoption will be driven in large part by the end of support for Windows Server 2003, which concludes in July 2015. 61 per cent of organisation said this alone will prompt them to look at cloud-based alternatives.

“This means that nine out of ten companies will continue to invest in on-premise IT alongside and integrated with cloud solutions. In other words we are in fact seeing the normalisation of cloud in the hybrid IT market,” he said.