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.

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Adopting cloud computing services — where are you up to?

Data included as part of a recent infographic over at CloudTweaks indicates that 50% of organisations are now well on their way to incorporating cloud computing services as part of their IT strategy.

The figures report that 19% of businesses are now using cloud in some form (although this does seem a little low depending on how loosely the term “cloud” is applied!) while 31% are not yet engaged with the idea at all.

What are the factors between these divisions? Thankfully, the infographic gives us some pointers, weighing up the pull and repel elements that are driving and blocking cloud adoption.

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Announcing Cloud² launch — true commercial resilience via the power of two

How resilient is resilient? And, what’s at stake? Two irrevocably linked questions when it comes to the technology that drives your business.

There’s no doubt that at some level, your business depends on some kind of underlying hosting infrastructure. Your business depends on your data. And your business probably depends on the online applications that your people — or customers — use every day.

A question that might be uncomfortable to wonder about then is: does all of this depend on one data centre? One platform? One supplier, even?

This is where the power of two comes in.

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From colocation to cloud data centre — a customer case study with Abstract Ltd

Freedom from the responsibilities of managing their own physical hosting infrastructure — and a service provider they could feel secure with for the future… the motivation (and the must-haves) for Abstract’s move from colocation to cloud.

“The move to the cloud took a lot of planning and effort on everyone’s part but has been worth it. Not only for the reduction in stress levels now that we have passed the hardware responsibility over to 1st Easy but also the fact that we can spin servers up and down as and when we need them. The flexibility that has given us is immeasurable.” — Daniel Meggitt, Director at Abstract.

That’s the result, but what about the story behind these words? Read about Abstract’s journey from a colocated infrastructure to their own cloud data centre, in our latest cloud case study.

Thank you very much to Daniel and his team for their time and insight, which is very much appreciated!

Second cloud build-out coming soon, providing unique commercial resilience in Manchester

The power of two… We’ve recently announced that work has begun on our second cloud build-out, across the city at our second data centre location, TeleData Manchester.

That geographic separation is important, as it will mean that we’ll be able to offer even greater reliability to our cloud customers, who will benefit from what is best described as “commercial” resilience.

In what we believe to be a unique among cloud infrastructure providers in the North West, customers will be able to take advantage of a doubling up (often referred to as “redundancy”) at each layer of our infrastructure — both in physical terms, and supplier terms: diversity right across our offering.

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Cloud. We’re not just a provider, we’re a user too.

Maybe that’s one of the weightiest endorsements we can give to cloud computing. We don’t just “sell” it — we use it. Cloud has become an integral part of our business, not just because it’s our core service, but because it now underpins our own IT strategy.

So, what better way to illustrate a real world example of how cloud changes a business, than to take a candid look at how it has impacted on the fortunes of 1st Easy — the company I co-founded almost 15 years ago?

Let’s begin by looking at how our hosting operation looked a few years ago.

Back in 2010, our data centre was approaching full capacity: we had cabinet, after cabinet, after cabinet, full of servers to support our shared and dedicated hosting services.

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VMware User Group Northwest event round up

It was a pleasure to be a part of the latest VMware User Group (VMUG) meet up in Manchester last week. Northwest UK Group Leader Nathan Byrne presided over a packed timetable of training and talks that culminated in the vBeers social evening at Tiger Tiger.

During his presentation, 1st Easy director Steve Bell recounted a history of computing from his “card-punching” days working with the IBM mainframes of the late ’70s, through to opportune meetings with the founders of Netscape and Google investors, right up to the cloud-based infrastructure-as-a-service arrangements that he’s involved with today.

Steve Bell chats with VMUG members after his presentation

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Cloud Data Centre (cDC) case study: Knowledge Powered Solutions

A dependable, flexible platform — without the capital investment and management overhead. A cloud provider that would do more than simply hand over the keys. These were among the main considerations for Knowledge Powered Solutions as they looked at their options for delivering their knowledge management software.

Find out how our teams worked together in our latest cloud data centre case study; with thanks to the team at KPS for their time and feedback in producing the study, which is much appreciated!

Our cloud computing evening at MOSI – a quick review

In the city where the Industrial Revolution began, at a venue devoted to exploring innovation, science and technology, 1st Easy director Steve Bell took us on a tour from the earliest days of industrialised output to the modern world where computing power is available on tap.

In the latest of our cloud computing seminar and business networking events, the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester played (a fantastic!) host to Steve’s intriguingly titled talk “From water wheel to… cloud?” during which he explored the role of cloud in the modern business.

Cloud computing services event

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1st Easy cloud event: From water wheel to… cloud?

What’s a water wheel got to do with cloud? You might well ask — just how do we get from the historic cast iron water wheel outside our leafy Cheshire HQ all the way to cloud computing?

Where: Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester

When: Wednesday 22nd January, 6pm

Come along to our talk (everyone is invited!) where 1st Easy co-founder and director Steve Bell will be revealing exactly what the link is. We’ll also be talking about how cloud can help modern businesses to reach their true potential, offering one-to-one demonstrations of cloud data centres, while you’ll also be able to network with other businesses over evening drinks and nibbles.