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IT Priorities 2023: Significance of cloud investments rises as economic woes bite

Technology decision-makers across the UK and EMEA are increasingly looking to do more with cloud over the coming year, TechTarget/Computer Weekly research shows

Technology decision-makers across the UK and Ireland are increasingly prioritising spending their budgets on cloud-based IT projects, with half of those respondents to a TechTarget/Computer Weekly poll describing their organisations as operating on a “cloud-first” basis.

That’s one of the key findings of the UK and Ireland-focused segment of the TechTarget/Computer Weekly IT Priorities survey for 2023, which revealed a notable year-on-year increase in the importance placed on cloud-based projects by the 156 participants in this year’s poll.

For example, when asked which broad technology initiatives have become “significantly more important” to their organisation’s future over the past two years, cloud was the second most talked about technology area – second only to cyber security – with 44% respondents voting for it. This constitutes a 13% increase compared with 2022.

As referenced in the research, this year’s poll took place against a backdrop of considerable economic uncertainty and in a challenging macroeconomic climate, which may go some way to explaining why investing in cloud was considered to be of growing importance to this year’s cohort of participants.

For example, shifting their IT off-premise may help some technology decision-makers to curb the costs – particularly where power is concerned – incurred by running their own datacentres, while the pay-for-what-you-use nature of many cloud technologies means they might be able to keep their IT spending under tighter control in 2023.   

In terms of the types of projects the respondents from cloud-first organisations are prioritising, cloud migrations came out top, with 58% of respondents also stating that they have fewer than 50% of their workloads running in the public cloud.

This figure aligns with other industry-wide observations about the cloud market, with public cloud giant Amazon Web Services (AWS) using its most recent set of financial results to emphasise the size of the enterprise market opportunity that still exists for it to pursue.

During a conference call to discuss the results, transcribed by Seeking Alpha, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said “people sometimes forget that 90-plus percent of global IT spend is still on-premise. And if you believe that equation is going to flip, which we do, it’s going to move to the cloud.”

But, as alluded to in the commentary accompanying the TechTarget/Computer Weekly IT Priorities survey, there is a chance that not every application and workload that enterprises run on-premise now will eventually move to the cloud.

“While more organisations are cloud-first, not every workload belongs in the cloud. That means on-premise isn’t going away,” the survey report stated.

The UK and Ireland results form part of a bigger poll that garnered responses from a total of 392 technology decision-makers from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), which brought to light some nuances in attitudes to cloud from respondents based on the continent and beyond.

For example, 50% of respondents to the UK and Ireland poll described their organisations as being cloud-first, but this figure fell to 44% when combined with the data from the rest of EMEA.

And while there were some similarities with regard to cloud migrations and cloud security projects emerging as the top two areas of investment for cloud-first organisations in EMEA, there were differences to be found in the rest of the top five.

In the UK cut of the data, digital transformation was flagged as the third most popular initiative for cloud-first organisations to undertake, followed by hybrid cloud and multicloud deployments.

However, in the EMEA slice of the data, multicloud projects were ranked third, followed by hybrid cloud in fourth and digital transformation in fifth place.  

Read more IT Priorities research

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