SaaS remains most popular form of cloud computing for UK IT

SaaS is the top cloud service that UK IT professionals plan to use in 2013

Software as a service (SaaS) continues to be the top cloud service that the UK enterprises plan to use in 2013, despite newer cloud services such as datacentre as a service, database as a service or even testing and development as a service.

A majority (55%) of respondents of the TechTarget and Computer Weekly UK IT priorities survey 2013 cited SaaS as the external cloud service that they will use this year.

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) was the second most popular cloud service, with around 34% of some 400 IT executives surveyed planning to use it.

In comparison, only 12% of respondents said they will use datacentre as a service and only 11% said they will use collaboration as a service.

Other cloud computing services such as testing and development and private cloud design were also cited by less than 20% of the respondents.

In addition, only 16% said they will use security as a cloud service emphasising the cloud computing security risks and concerns.

UK businesses are still very cautious about investing in cloud computing in 2013, with only 30% of IT executives planning to increase their cloud budget for 2013. This compared with 46% investing in software and 43% investing in hardware resources this year.

Among their IT objectives for 2013, 33% said they planned to expand IT to support business growth, 23% planned to automate the business more and 14% planned to maintain service levels with flat budgets.

But despite cloud being touted as the technology that can help businesses automate, support growth and cut management costs, a large majority (71%) of IT executives said they would use on-premise hardware or software deployment models for 2013.

The study also showed that server virtualisation and datacentre consolidation still topped the list of IT priorities for UK enterprises, with only 13% opting for a public cloud infrastructure deployment model.

Biggest cloud concerns

While security and reliability of data remained the top concerns for UK IT professionals when it came to cloud computing, other challenges such as reliability, lack of interoperability and problems of migrating workloads to and from the cloud also ranked high in users’ cloud concern list.

As for cloud service providers, only a slightly higher percentage of respondents (27%) picked external cloud platforms to private cloud platforms (22%).

The study also revealed that following datacentre consolidation as top IT priority, IT professionals preferred to implement policies around BYOD trends over use of cloud services. For example, nearly half (49%) said they are planning policies around allowing users to bring their own smartphones, and another 29% are looking at how to allow employees to use their tablet devices on the corporate network. 

But only 12% said they are planning to implement policies around using email services such as Gmail, 13% are planning to allow employees to use Google Docs, and 16% are implementing strategies for employees to use Dropbox – all personal cloud storage services.  

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