Fears that firms would cut back their IT workforces in the wake of migrating systems to the cloud are largely unfounded, according to a survey of senior IT decision-makers in 250 UK organisations.
The Cloud Industry Forum (CIF)’s latest cross-sector research into UK cloud adoption trends, conducted by analyst Vanson Bourne, found that just one in 10 companies moving systems to the cloud had reduced the size of their IT team.
The overwhelming majority said they had taken advantage of the resources freed up by their use of the cloud to improve services and redeploy IT staff on new, revenue-generating projects.
Even among public-sector organisations, where budgets are under the most pressure, just 14% of respondents said they had cut staff as a result of adopting cloud services.
According to the research, 69% of organisations have already adopted the cloud in some form, with a further 10% stating that they intend to do so within 12 months. Although most organisations (86%) still run applications on the premises, almost half (47%) use hosted or managed services such as public clouds, 27% use software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, 22% employ co-location services and 19% have private clouds.
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CIF believes the figures demonstrate that a hybrid approach is now the norm for most businesses. Andy Burton, founder of CIF, said: “We can conclude most organisations will continue to use a mix of deployment models for the foreseeable future, and that the combination of on-premise, hosted and cloud services, along with the expansion of bring your own device (BYOD), means future challenges for IT management relate more to the distributed nature of IT platforms.”
But the survey also found that firms are struggling to manage these emerging hybrid environments. Just 5% of the sample said they had a unified IT management platform that lets them oversee both on-premise and cloud-based workloads, and 68% said their organisation was not putting in place appropriate IT governance mechanisms to handle the hybrid environment. A similar number (70%) do not have adequate reporting capabilities to gain management oversight of their disparate systems.
Burton said the “new norm” of hybrid IT meant CIOs had to focus on ensuring good governance, increased agility and effective delivery across a range of in-house and out-sourced services. “What will be keeping them awake at night will be how to build, control and sustain an effective hybrid IT estate while meeting the business requirements of the organisation and the expectations of end users,” he said.