Cloud has become mainstream with three quarters of customers now using at least one hosted service with the enterprise sector leading the charge in adopting the technology.
Research from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) now places cloud usage in the UK at 78% with large enterprises using at least one cloud service up as high as 80% and the SME sector at 75%.The public sector was lagging behind with 68%.
The majority of customers are operating a hybrid model, using their existing on-site technology in combination with the cloud, and that is set to continue for most organisations.
The moment when cloud becomes a key consideration is often when a customer is making a infrastructure refresh and 61% of customers are running Windows Server 2003, which has support removed in July next year, providing a good opportunity for the channel to recommend a cloud alternative.
Alex Hilton, CEO of CIF, said that over the next year adoption will increase by 15%: "This means that 90% of all businesses in the UK will be formally using at least one Cloud service by the end of 2015. In the near term adopting will be driven in part by the end of support for Windows Server 2003 that concludes in July 2015."
“We can also predict that 10% of businesses will likely report a primary Cloud-based IT strategy, 10% will remain entirely on-premise and 80% will have a Hybrid IT environment. 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 added.
Clare Barclay, general manager Microsoft UK, Small, Mid-Market Solutions & Partner Group, said that hybrid IT was clearly the main preference for customers: “What is clear is that Hybrid IT is fast becoming the principal technology within business. The research has confirmed that the role of IT is now firmly established as an enabler of services, business agility and transformation rather than just a cost centre to deliver services and devices.”