IT Directors Need To Educate Businesses Better On Cloud Benefits

Nearly one in four (23%) Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and IT directors across the UK indicate that they have no plans to migrate IT systems to the cloud, despite clear benefits such as cost savings and flexibility of service, according to research.

Interestingly, small companies (38%) are less likely to migrate to the cloud than medium (8%) and large (12%) companies. There is less of a contrast between private companies (28%) and public sector companies (27%) of all sizes across the UK.

Businesses in Scotland, northern and southern England (non-London) are more likely to adopt the cloud, with just 16% of respondents reporting that they had no plans to migrate. By contrast, companies in the Midlands area were twice as likely (32%) to say they would not consider cloud computing, while London-based businesses came close behind with 28%.

When asked what they planned to move to the cloud, the most likely response was storage (37%) followed by data centres (28%), servers (27%), applications such as CRM (26%) and software development (18%). Larger companies are more likely to migrate their data centre to the cloud (46%) than small companies (36%).

The biggest barrier to the adoption of cloud technology continues to be security – nearly half (46%) of respondents said that this was their most serious concern. Continuity of service was cited by 36%, data integrity by 32%, speed of service by 31% and costs (30%).

A quarter of businesses (24%) were concerned about moving to the cloud because of their lack of knowledge in-house. This figure soared to 44% within London-based companies, but fell to 21% for small businesses and 27% for medium businesses.

The benefits of cloud computing are now well-understood, with the majority of businesses currently using cloud-based services for applications such as storage and data centres – and achieving cost and efficiency benefits as a result. However, a smaller proportion of companies are missing out on these benefits because of their concerns about security and continuity of service.

It’s surprising that so many heads of IT appear to have not embraced the value of cloud technology, although this may be partly due to a lack of understanding of the benefits and how it can be applied to their organisation. Many companies without the requisite talent in-house are turning to IT contractors and project professionals to help educate their teams on how to adopt the cloud, mitigate against security risks and improve service delivery.

Neil Hedges is a senior manager with Robert Half Technology, a leading recruitment consultancy specialising in the placement of IT professionals on a contract and permanent basis. With over 18 years of experience within the IT recruitment industry, Neil has held roles with increasing responsibility including associate director and director. He is an expert on employment trends within information technology and often shares his perspectives with major media and trade publications.