benedetti68 - Fotolia

Two-thirds of UK firms plan to take their IT estate all-in on cloud, research claims

According to the Cloud Industry Forum's latest cloud adoption research, UK firms are steadily coming round to the charms of running their IT off-premise

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of UK firms plan to eventually migrate their entire IT estate to the cloud, with the average company taking 19 months to shift their applications off-premise.

According to the The Cloud Industry Forum’s (CIF) sixth piece of “major research” into business cloud adoption trends, 78% of UK enterprises are using off-premise services, and this figure is forecast to hit 85% in the next two years.

The trade body polled 250 senior IT and business decision-makers working in a mix of private and public sector organisations. It discovered that – of those using cloud – around 77% have deployed two or more services, while 12% are using five or more.

The research name-checked web hosting (57%), email (56%), e-commerce (53%) and collaboration services (52%) as among the most keenly used in the cloud, with respondents claiming it to took an average of 19 months to move their apps off-premise.

Flexibility (77%), scalability (76%) and the need for 24/7 service availability (74%) were flagged by respondents as the top three reasons for initially moving to the cloud. Others cited enabling innovation (45%), improving business continuity (37%) and customer service (31%) as their key drivers.

Business transformation

Alex Hilton, CEO of CIF, said the research highlights the benefits companies stand to gain by seizing on cloud to transform the way they do business.

“These findings once again indicate there are significant benefits to be had by business that pursue both digital transformation and cloud strategies in tandem. The benefits of cloud – and adopting a cloud-first approach – are considerable and well documented,” said Hilton.

“Flexible, on-demand, consumption-based cloud services and applications are removing the barriers to change, allowing businesses to react quickly to changing market conditions and move onto opportunities faster than their competitors.”

Read more about cloud adoption trends

With the number of respondents running their own datacentres or on-premise servers falling from 85% in 2014 to 76% today, Hilton said the research also highlights how accustomed the business community is becoming to consuming IT in an as-a-service way.

“This change could be attributed to the increase in those organisations that consider infrastructure refresh to be an opportunity to adopt alternative deployment models such as cloud, which has risen to 85% from 71% a year ago,” he added.

Read more on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)