UK cloud use is soaring among business users, claims CIF

CIF talks up UK cloud adoption surge, as Windows Server 2003 end of support deadline looms

The UK’s appetite for cloud services shows no signs of abating, as new research suggests 84% of firms have made the move off-premise.

According to a poll carried out by the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), featuring responses from 250 senior IT and business decision-makers, the cloud adoption rate has soared by 75% since 2010, when the trade organisation first published research on this topic.

“Cloud computing has come a long way in just a few short years,” said CIF CEO Alex Hilton. 

“When we commissioned our first major research project into the UK cloud market in 2010, just 48% of organisations had consciously adopted a cloud service. According to our latest research, that figure today stands at 84%.

“During this time, cloud has moved from the edge of the IT estate to its centre, and it is now largely regarded as just another way that we do IT,” he added.

The survey’s findings also revealed that 78% of firms are using two or more cloud services, while half of those polled expect to move all of their IT assets off-premise in the future. Of these, 16% said they’re aiming to do this as soon as possible.

The applications that organisations seem most keen on accessing via the cloud include customer relationship management systems, disaster recovery services, data storage, email and collaboration tools.

Looking ahead, 70% of cloud users expect their use of the technology to increase over the next 12 months, while 12% of those who don’t use any off-premise services at the moment said they plan to start in the coming year.

In light of these findings, CIF anticipates that 86% of UK companies will use at least one cloud service by the start of 2016, with adoption buoyed by the impending demise of Windows Server 2003.

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The on-premise Microsoft server operating system is due to enter end of life in July, and many industry watchers have predicted its demise will lead to a natural uptick in enterprise cloud adoption as time goes on.

“We have every confidence the cloud’s momentum will be maintained, helped in no small part by the retirement of Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft Small Business Server 2003,” said Hilton.

“While first-time adoption is likely to slow somewhat, penetration of cloud services in organisations, which appears to be happening at a faster rate than we had anticipated, will continue unencumbered.”

 That is, he added, as long as service providers can offer users compelling reasons to ditch on-premise technologies and, in turn, change the way they’ve always done things.

“Cloud service providers [need to] effectively put forward the business case for adoption and build further confidence among users by improving levels of accountability, capability and transparency,” he added.

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