According to research, there appears to be more use of cloud services amongst medium-sized businesses, where 60 percent of those organisations reported using cloud services. This compared to fewer small-sized (44 percent) and enterprise-sized (48 per cent) organisations.
The research, conducted in November 2011, into cloud adoption rates amongst businesses in the UK, polled three hundred senior IT decision-makers to build a comprehensive profile on the UK cloud computing market.
The research also found that 55 per cent of respondents confirmed that they are using cloud in some capacity today. Of this 55 per cent, 27 per cent have been using cloud-based services in one form or another over the last 12 months, while 28 per cent started using cloud in the previous year.
The reasons for the lower uptake amongst smaller and larger enterprises could perhaps be explained in two ways. Smaller companies may lack in-house IT expertise to manage the services themselves, for large enterprises there are issues around risk assessment, compliance and purchasing, increasing the length of the procurement process.
For many businesses, there is also an issue over internal culture, where technology is viewed in more traditional terms, to which cloud services do not conform. In comparison, medium-sized organisations tend to have some in-house knowledge and skills; they also tend to have less bureaucracy to slow them down than larger organisations. It is these factors that I see as accounting for their faster rates of adoption.
The research also identified the type of ‘cloud’ that organisations are procuring to deliver their cloud services. It found that 79 percent of cloud models used are either hybrid or private, with only 15 percent of those polled using public cloud and just 2 percent using a community cloud model.
There is a strong preference for either hybrid or private cloud models in the majority of infrastructure or application areas. This is primarily because IT decision-makers view these models as lower-risk than other forms of cloud services and means that they can keep greater control over their applications and data. We have found that this offers a greater ability to control the perceived risks in using cloud services, making it a more attractive proposition.
The results also indicated a high-level of understanding amongst respondents about the importance of the network in delivering cloud services. 81 percent believe that it is crucial to ensure robustness of the network infrastructure to guarantee availability and performance. There is also agreement (61 percent) that without optimising the network for delivery of cloud services, the performance of applications will be reduced.
Clearly for those that are adopting a cloud service, there is a good knowledge of why the network capability is central in the delivery of an effective cloud package. Interestingly, 33 per cent of IT decision-makers view end-to-end accountability in combining both service and delivery of a cloud and network as the greatest benefit. This highlights the need for integrated cloud/network services as the market matures its cloud-based offering.