Cloud Computing

Cloud Challenges Persist for UK Businesses

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Cloud adoption has become nearly universal among UK businesses, but achieving cost benefits is proving challenging for many, according to research released Wednesday by managed cloud service provider Adapt. Almost 90 percent of UK businesses have adopted cloud services, according to “Cloud Challenges – a Best Practice Research Report for a Maturing Market.”

The report is based on the results of a survey of 200 IT decision makers at medium size and large companies. It shows medium size companies slightly ahead of large organizations in terms of adoption, 92 to 85 percent, and 88.5 percent adoption overall.

While 57 percent considered cloud services a means of reducing IT cost, 42 percent find it challenging to realize savings. In contrast, 45 percent seek improved business flexibility from the cloud, and less than half as many (22 percent) consider that objective their most challenging.

One possible reason for the challenge in meeting cloud objectives is the use of multiple cloud service providers by 55 percent of companies, with 16 percent using three or more, and procurement processes in which sales, marketing, and business development departments often bypass IT, according to the report. A majority of businesses (59 percent) are also aware that employees are using other, unapproved cloud services on their own. The tangle of services this can create is an opportunity for MSPs like Adapt, the report says, as 68 percent of respondents found the prospect of dealing with a single supplier for all cloud solutions appealing.

“Businesses need to recognise the broad availability of customised and niche cloud services has changed procurement behaviour,” Kevin Linsell, Director of Strategy and Architecture at Adapt said. “They need to adapt to these changes to deliver key objectives such as cost reduction, performance improvement, business risk reduction and security enhancement. Organizations understand that managing a multiple provider strategy has disadvantages and recognize the benefits of a tighter, coordinated approach. The report suggests businesses are finding it a challenge to define and implement a cloud strategy that closes the gap between potential, planning and reality.”

An October survey by Connectria Hosting of AWS customers showed that most either use an MSP or would consider it to manage the complexity and certification requirements involved.

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Chris Burt is a WHIR contributor and writer of both fiction and non-fiction. He can be found on Twitter @afakechrisburt.

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