UK cloud market is strong and growing against a backdrop of end user satisfaction

Over the past 18 months the UK market for cloud services has seen a 27 per cent increase in first time users and the rate of adoption has accelerated over the last nine months. This is according to the latest research findings published by the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), the industry body established to promote trust, security, and transparency within the sector.

The findings indicate that there is not any one particular vertical, sector or organisational size that has not engaged in the cloud service opportunity. Neither is there an application area that is exempt from the deployment and delivery models related to Cloud.

Based on this research CIF expects that by the end of 2013, over 75 per cent of UK businesses will be using at least one cloud service formally and 80 per cent of current cloud users will have increased their spend on this model of IT delivery.

The research has also identified one new trend in the process of adoption with a growing preference for a try-before-you-buy experience now being demanded by users. Equally the research highlighted a growing demand for services to assist in the implementation or migration to cloud services as well as on-going management of delivery.

Andy Burton, chair of CIF and CEO of Fasthosts, stated: "The market is clearly moving out of a nascent state into mainstream adoption and with it the challenges are changing from clarity and comfort that the cloud is viable as an IT delivery model into achieving a strategic goal of integrating cloud within the wider IT agenda and determining an effective and efficient path for more widely embracing cloud services without diminishing efficiency, control or governance."

Key findings include:

  • 61 per cent of the sample are currently using a cloud based service today, up from 48 per cent 18 months ago
  • It is the larger private sector firms that are leading the way at 68 per cent, however the public sector has shown the greatest increase gaining 13 points to 62 per cent
  • Over three quarters of current cloud service users expect to increase use of the next 12 months
    92 per cent of cloud users are satisfied with their experience to date
  • In a major departure from previous research, for the first time the primary reason cited by users for cloud adoption is cost savings at 17 per cent. Over the past two research projects operational flexibility was the primary driver and in this research it came in a close second at 16 per cent.
  • However when looking at the overall justification for cloud investment flexibility is measured as a driver by 71 per cent of organisations (making it the highest ranked) whereas cost savings register slightly less at 66 per cent.
  • Looking ahead to future cloud adoption and assessing the 39 per cent of companies not yet making use of cloud services, a quarter of them (10 per cent of the entire base) stated that they expected to make use within the next year. Only 8 per cent of the total research project stated they would definitely not be taking up cloud services.

"It is also worth noting that 59 per cent of users claimed to have conducted a pilot/trial before contracting formally for the service. Cloud Service Providers (CSP's) should therefore ensure that such capabilities are made available within their go-to-market strategy in order to demonstrate transparency of practice and capability, which in turn assists the establishment of trust between the end customer and the CSP. And for those cloud service providers who are skeptical of this point, the research also highlighted the fact that in seeking a credible supplier, 78 per cent of end users stated that they would prefer to work with vendors who are publically certified against an industry Code of Practice, as is championed by the Cloud Industry Forum" concluded Andy.

The research is available as a White Paper (8) for free download from the Cloud Industry Forum.

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CIF Research Papers

Drawing information from 450 end user organisations across all verticals and scale, as well as 200 suppliers of IT solutions, CIF's research has been structured into a series of informative White Papers.

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