78% of UK organisations using cloud based services

Stats — it’s often suggested you can make them say what you want. Last week, James reported on figures that said 19% of organisations were actively using cloud. While this week, I can quote figures from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), who report that 78% of UK businesses have adopted at least one cloud based service.

Which should we believe?

Well, a lot comes down to how we define “using cloud”. Maybe that would be logging into a third-party cloud-based CRM each day (SaaS) or using a private on-premise cloud to deliver virtual desktops to internal users. Perhaps it involves backing up data to an off-site public cloud provider as part of a disaster recovery strategy — or any number of other cloud deployments (IaaS, PaaS… Xaas!). It’s all a little fuzzy.

Momentum and direction

What the figures do agree on though, is a trend. Leaving aside the discrepancies in the actual figures quoted, a clear movement towards the mainstream adoption of cloud computing in business is apparent, as identified by CIF’s polling of 250 IT and business decision-makers in June of this year. That figure of 78% of businesses actively using cloud was a 15% increase over the same time last year.

And if we look at the change since CIF first started conducting their research in 2010, we see a growth of 60.5% in UK cloud adoption in just four years.

Based on those figures, CIF are projecting with quite some confidence that by this time next year, 90% of businesses in the UK will be using at least one cloud service.

Here on the front line, we’re seeing it too

Quite aside from the fact that we use cloud in our own business, we’re seeing many of our customers making the move into cloud for themselves. Customers that have for many years used our data centre space to colocate their physical IT operations are transitioning to cloud data centres to free themselves from the responsibility of hardware investment and management, while others are shifting from renting individual dedicated servers to using on-demand virtual machines in their very own slice of our public cloud.

Finally… cloud is more than a technical consideration

It’s interesting to note that the survey wasn’t limited to IT staff alone — business decision-makers were polled as part of the research, which reflects the growing understanding that cloud computing isn’t purely a “technical” or IT decision.

Cloud is now fundamentally a business decision.

Of course, there are purely technical (IT) benefits, but without the flexibility that cloud affords organisations to change the way in which they are able to operate, innovate and react to new opportunities, it’s going to be difficult for IT-dependent businesses to remain competitive and reach their true potential.

Are you one of the 78% of UK businesses estimated to be actively using a cloud service? If so, what form does that take? If not, do you plan on making a move? And as usual, if you have any questions, you’re welcome to ask.

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