Cloud Adoption Let the Facts speak for themselves

The Cloud Industry Forum exists to drive best practice in cloud services delivery and to educate and inform the market on related issues. A core aspect of our activity is to conduct independent market research to provide clarity and transparency on key trends.

The latest (of 3) research projects conducted over 18 months and across 250 UK-based organisations has just been completed and the highlights are as follows:

61 per cent of the organisations surveyed are currently formally using at least one Cloud-based service, with a 92 per cent satisfaction level with their experience.

This adoption figure represents an increase of twenty seven percent since the original research was last conducted in January 2011. Broken down, adoption in larger organisations is most prevalent, standing at 68 per cent, with adoption in organisations with fewer than 20 employees standing at just over half (52 per cent). This strikes a contrast to the previous research in November 11, which found no discernible correlation between the size of an organisation and Cloud adoption, although it does reflect a similar position of Enterprise leadership that was seen originally seen at the beginning of 2011.

The findings reveal little disparity between public sector (62 per cent) and private sector (61 per cent) adoption. The last research however found that the public sector lagged the private – 49 per cent and 56 per cent respectively – pointing to a dramatic increase in public sector Cloud adoption.

In terms of future adoption, of the 39% not using Cloud services today, around one in four plan to do so in the coming year. Organisations that do not use Cloud and have no concrete plans too, are positive/not closed to the idea. This roughly reflects the last survey where 17 per cent said “Yes” and 59 per cent said “Possibly”. Broken down by sector and size, public sector organisations and SMEs appear to be the most dynamic sectors for growth in the next 12 months, with 34 per cent and 30 per cent respectively.

The research clearly demonstrates a solid increase in Cloud adoption in the UK and confirms that enthusiasm for Cloud services remains strong. Although there have been increases in adoption across the board, the public sector has seen the most considerable growth, which, given the recent Government interest in Cloud, should come as little surprise. In a departure from our previous research, enterprises of 200 employees or more have leapt ahead of smaller organisations in terms of Cloud adoption.

Just over three quarters (76 per cent) of respondents currently using Cloud services expect to increase their use over the next 12 months, slightly up from the previous figure, which stood at 73 per cent. Email services, collaboration services, data storage services and data back-up services emerged as the area’s most likely to benefit from this expected increase.

The research also continues to reflect that the primary reason for the initial adoption of cloud services is the flexible model of delivery (71 per cent), as well as scalability (66 per cent) and the low cost of adoption (58 per cent). Once again operational cost savings where not seen as the major driver, however it is increasingly important to the majority of respondents (52 per cent).

Another aspect of cloud adoption is understanding the processes and assistance needed. It was noteworthy that 59% of organisations that bought cloud services carried out a trial before they entered into a contract. Furthermore, only 16% of organisations implemented the solution themselves, whilst 50% required specific assistance from the CSP and the balance used third party specialist services . Clearly an implementation/migrations services capability and try-before-you-buy capabilities are important points for differentiation in the market.

As the number of cloud adopters increases, so too does the number of Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) and service models in the market, resulting in a diverse and complex supply chain. Many established suppliers have altered their business models to include Cloud Services within their portfolio; 66 per cent of end users have expressed an increasing expectation of self service in light of the new service models enabled by Cloud Computing; and a new breed of Cloud brokerages and aggregators are forming to provide commercial guidance and a single point of contact to customers.

Whether buying direct online or via a third party it is essential that an organisation can establish confidence (i.e. trust) in the Service Provider/s so that they can be ultimately confident in both their expectations; in the nature of service provided; the responsibilities of the parties, and, the important issues to consider in entering, managing, and ultimately exiting a contract.

In validation of CIF’s certified Code of Practice, 78 per cent of organisations now using, or planning to use, Cloud services see value in working with a Cloud Service Provider (CSP) that has signed up to an industry Code of Practice.

So, in short, the UK cloud market is in a healthy state, both in terms of adoption and satisfaction.

To get a copy of the full 2012-2013 UK Cloud Adoption Research Results which will be published in a free White Paper, please subscribe to our updates at


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