UK Managers see Cloud as Means to Solve Key Business Issues

The cloud as a standalone IT improvement solution is a top priority for 40% of UK enterprises, yet it is seen as a means to solve key business issues by 75% of UK managers. Two out of three of IT managers believe that using the cloud will give them a competitive edge in their markets. But the top priorities for UK IT managers are to improve quality of service, support mobility, and facilitate collaboration. Cost is still a major driver for the cloud, however, with three in four respondents saying they are likely to introduce new cloud solutions to reduce IT costs over the next year.

Reducing IT costs is still the cloud benefit mentioned most often, but it is not as dominant as it was a few years ago, when almost all companies singled out lower costs as the most important benefit to be gained from the cloud. Cost aspects are now the key reason for less than 40 percent of companies, while issues that influence work processes and company agility such as improved data access, introduction of new products, and changes to the application estate are the most important reasons cited in more than 60% of cases.

Most companies plan to introduce new cloud solutions over the next year. The most popular are productivity tools such as email, collaboration and office packages. While productivity tools have been well accepted in the cloud for several years, it is remarkable that over a quarter of UK companies are considering migrating their Enterprise Resource Planning solutions to the cloud.

“Making enterprise-grade applications available from mobile devices will transform workforce economics for many industries. Scale is no longer a barrier, and in the past year we have signed agreements with blue chip companies that serve well over 100,000 users. The survey demonstrates that the appetite to embrace the full potential of cloud is growing,” said Sam Kingston, Managing Director for T-Systems in the UK.

Security is a major concern but the debate is changing as the market matures. This means that security issues are not an absolute barrier to cloud adoption, but more of a parameter for choosing which cloud to use and what for. The debate on security and compliance has led to a major focus on the private cloud. Four out of ten UK enterprises have a private cloud strategy; only 8% pursue a public cloud strategy. IDC believes that the availability of more secure clouds is the key factor behind 27% of companies expecting to move their ERP solutions to the cloud as the necessary security levels, SLAs, and compliance become available.

When selecting a consulting company to work with, UK enterprises have started to look beyond their normal service provider. More than half the respondents said they were willing to work with providers with whom they had no previous experience. “We believe this gives enterprises a better chance of finding innovative ways of solving their IT needs and getting the optimal solution, not only from a cost but also from a business development perspective,” says IDC analyst Mette Ahorlu.

UK enterprises said in the interviews that they prioritize the low implementation cost and recognition of the service provider brands together with the vendor’s experience when they choose who to work with. “We would also recommend paying close attention to the vendor’s experience in smooth transition and transformation to mitigate business risks,” Ahorlu advises.

For the cloud survey commissioned by T-Systems, IDC asked CIOs and other IT top managers of 100 UK companies in the summer of 2012 how they now rated cloud computing. IDC conducted the same interviews in the Netherlands, the U.S., Switzerland, Spain and Brazil.

IDC analysts and T-Systems cloud experts are presenting the survey findings and the latest cloud solutions in free webcasts. The live webcast for the UK market will be held at 3 p.m. British Summer Time on October 4. To register for the webcast, contact http://www.t-systems.com/webcast.

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