Business are spending more on cloud, but need better guidance on how to migrate effectively, says new research from Claranet

New research commissioned by managed services provider Claranet has revealed that UK IT departments spent more on cloud in the past three years than they did on data centres. At the same time, the project found that this spend is set to increase significantly over the next three years as businesses gradually leave legacy behind and embrace more agile and flexible ways of working. This is encouraging news for cloud development in the UK, but businesses need more effective, comprehensive guidance in managing cloud migration strategies if they are to realise its full benefits.

The report – Beyond Digital Transformation: Reality check for European IT and Digital leaders – compiles the results of 750 surveyed IT professionals from across Europe. It found that UK businesses spent, on average, £360,000 on cloud over the last three years, compared to £343,000 on data centres. In addition, UK cloud spend is expected to increase by 37 per cent over the next three years. This underlines that there is a strong appetite for cloud amongst UK businesses and that embracing it more readily is a key priority for decision-makers. However, there is still progress to be made in terms of putting the strategies in place to make these migrations a real success.

Commenting on the results, Michel Robert, UK Managing Director at Claranet, explained:

The research highlights that the UK is moving in the right direction as far as cloud is concerned. In light of current economic uncertainty, it is encouraging to see that these efforts to innovate from a technology perspective are continuing apace. However, there is a difference between recognising the need for cloud, and knowing how to actually migrate in a way that ensures maximum benefits without being overly disruptive to the smooth running of the business."

This need for more cohesive cloud migration strategies is highlighted by the fact that there is still progress to be made in terms of automating IT processes, which so often goes hand-in-hand with successful cloud adoption. According to the research, 37 per cent of all businesses polled said that their infrastructure configuration is mostly manual and takes time to operate, opening the door to human error and meaning that time spent carrying out these tasks needs to be factored into the schedules of IT teams. To ensure automation becomes more prevalent, and therefore enables businesses to maximise the potential of cloud, it is important that organisations provide the right training so that teams know how to optimise and re-engineer their applications to derive maximum benefit. Working with a managed IT services provider can help this happen more quickly. Robert continued:

Whilst cloud adoption in the UK is on the up, professionals should now be thinking about what they can do to optimise the technology. For this to happen, it is important that organisations look at revamping internal practices in terms of skill levels in the IT department, as well as considering how an external provider can be a powerful ally in making automation – and true cloud migration – a reality. This will ensure that IT teams see automation as the norm, rather than the exception."

Robert went on to say that IT professionals should see the positives in this research, and use it as motivation to continue innovating.

Gone are the days when businesses run solely on legacy technology: cloud has become pervasive throughout the IT industry, and teams need the expertise to ensure they can fully optimise their applications for the cloud. There is plenty that still needs to be done in terms of putting the right migration strategies in place, but the desire to embrace cloud suggests that its full benefits can be achieved if the right approaches are taken."

For more information about the research, and to download the full report, visit: http://claranet.com/research

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