Vanson Bourne polled 250 senior IT and business decision-makers in large enterprises, small to medium-sized businesses and public sector organisations on behalf of the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF). The research assessed the state of play regarding cloud adoption, how organisations have coped with the challenges of the last couple of years, and what needs to be done to address any lingering issues
The survey results underline the integral role that cloud continues to play in the ongoing transformation of businesses and highlight that lack of budget, legacy integration issues and continued reliance on CapEx approaches, remain key hurdles to overcome.
Cloud is firmly embedded within organisations’ digital transformation strategies, but there remain a number of challenges for decision-makers to address. Legacy integration, skills shortages and lack of budget sit high up in the list of challenges, although security concerns are becoming a less significant barrier to progress.
Alex Hilton, CEO of the Cloud Industry Forum, said: “It is hugely encouraging to see that after 12 years of CIF reports, security is no longer the biggest issue standing in the way of cloud adoption. The fact that respondents almost universally recognise the ability of cloud to save the organisation money, also bodes well for the future.”
Cloud integral to business transformation
- 93 per cent of respondents said that cloud is important to their company’s digital transformation strategy, with 72 per cent considering it either very important or critical.
- Cloud’s benefits are numerous, with respondents citing greater business agility (52 per cent), improved scalability (48 per cent) and better business resilience (45 per cent) as their top three advantages.
- 96 per cent said cloud has saved their organisation money, while 61 per cent consider the business more secure thanks to cloud technology.
Barriers to cloud implementation
- Lack of budget is the main challenge (cited by 44 per cent), followed by insufficient manpower and resources (41 per cent).
- Skills shortages were close behind (35 per cent), alongside integration issues with existing legacy technology (also 35 per cent).
- While 41 per cent of businesses reported that its easier to source OpEx budget, a similar proportion (37 per cent) said the same in relation to CapEx budgeting, suggesting companies are struggling to move on from legacy models.
- Security is at the top of the agenda as a key area of focus for the next 12 months (mentioned by 58 per cent), although it is less of an inhibitor of cloud adoption than in previous years.
Cost remains king
- 84% of respondents said that strong sustainability credentials are important, however cost, trust and scale do trump them at the point of procurement.
- Cost is the most widely mentioned consideration (53 per cent), followed by the number of services available (51 per cent), trust (50 per cent), ability to scale (34 per cent) and the speed of response of a chosen cloud managed service provider (26 per cent).
Digging more deeply into the impact cloud has had on businesses, 80 per cent agreed that cloud migration has simplified the challenges faced by the IT department. In a similar vein, 81 per cent agreed that cloud has been critical in helping their company manage during the pandemic, while 83 per cent consider it a key enabler for the future.
“As the final pandemic restrictions in the UK are lifted, many leaders are now planning how to further evolve their technology capabilities to meet the needs of a changed working environment,” Hilton said.
“However, some of the perennial barriers to further digital transformation remain stubbornly in place. Problems with legacy integration cropped up several times throughout the survey, suggesting that organisations need a helping hand when it comes to balancing business continuity with the need to embrace new tech. This is reflected in the ongoing reliance on CapEx budgeting, which illustrates how companies are still heavily focused on fundamentals such as infrastructure.”
Commenting on the survey findings, Hilton noted that cloud providers that make strides to embrace clear ESG and sustainability strategies will benefit, but ultimately, cost remains king in terms of customers’ purchasing priorities, as well as a high quality of service and extensive technical capabilities.
“This gives cloud providers a clear plan of action when working out how they can assist businesses in the coming year. Leaders are eager to embrace change and evolution now that the worst of the pandemic appears to be behind us, but there are clear gaps in their expertise that need to be filled. Those that help organisations answer the burning questions around budget, legacy integration and moving away from CapEx spending models are the ones that will prosper,” he concluded.