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Cloud, containers and hybrid IT flagged as top technology investments by UK IT professionals

Research into the technology investment priorities of UK IT professionals reveals a strong appetite for all things cloud and containers

Cloud and hybrid IT investments remain a top priority for UK IT professionals, which in turn is fuelling enterprise interest in container technologies, suggests research by IT management software supplier SolarWinds.

The firm’s annual state of the global technology industry report suggests enterprise demand for cloud and hybrid IT-enabling infrastructure deployments are holding firm in the face of the growing hype surrounding machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

The global report is based on responses from more than 800 IT professionals from North America, Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, and Singapore, of which 142 are from the UK.  

The UK version of the report claims investing in cloud computing and hybrid IT deployments will remain a top investment priority for IT professionals over the next five years, with many seeing it as the gateway to adopting emerging technologies, such as machine learning and AI.

As such, 95% of IT professionals name-checked cloud and hybrid IT as being among the top five most important technologies to feature in their organisation’s wider IT strategy, while AI just scraped into the top five technologies they consider critical to their five-year digital transformation efforts.

“The narrative in today’s IT industry revolves around transformative technologies like AI, machine learning, blockchain and more,” said SolarWinds executive vice-president and global chief technology officer Joe Kim.

“These technologies are unquestionably important, but the results of this year’s study reveal IT professionals are still prioritising investments in technologies that help run day-to-day operations and choosing initiatives that deliver more immediate value.”

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A vote on what participants considered to be their most important technology investment priorities over the next five years saw cloud and hybrid IT emerge on top, while container technologies also scored highly with participants.

According to SolarWinds, this interest is being driven by organisations seeing the potential for the technology to ease some of the application management issues IT professionals encounter during the move to a hybrid IT setup.

This, in turn, contributed to 49% of respondents citing containers as being their most pressing technology investment priority today, while 44% said they expect them to become a top IT investment priority over the next three-to-five years.

The interest in containers could also be interpreted as a push by UK enterprises to improve the optimisation of their IT environments, which 42% of respondents flagged as an area of concern in the poll.

A lack of skills and training was flagged as a barrier to achieving adequate system optimisation by 42% of respondents, along with poor organisational strategy (43%).

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