UK cloud journey still in formative stages

PRESS RELEASE: Many UK organisations have only just embarked on their journey to the cloud, according to research announced today by UK Cloud Services Provider, Redcentric. 41% of the 200 senior IT managers in medium and large UK organisations surveyed by Vanson Bourne, are still taking their first tentative steps towards Cloud and a further 32% have only just reached the half way point. In contrast just 3% have arrived at their final Cloud destination and only 11% can see the end in sight.

The research also highlighted five Cloud personas amongst UK IT managers. The majority, 50%, described themselves as evolutionary – taking a steady approach where cloud is a natural progression for the business. Only 4% were risk-taking experimenters, willing to accept the ups and downs of moving to the cloud and not entirely sure the direction they will take. The rest were 16% accelerators – who want to move to the cloud as fast as possible, 16% progressives – who want to use cloud to make bold business changes and 15% cautionaries – who are most cynical about cloud overall.

63% said that their ultimate cloud destination was to use a mix of selective cloud services, indicating that hybrid models will increasingly dominate in the future. In contrast only 9% will make large scale use of public cloud services, even fewer, 8%, intend to put everything in the cloud, but only 2% said they wouldn’t use the cloud at all. A tailor made strategy is also the most preferred cloud adoption approach – for 45% – over using off the shelf standard services (31%) or being self-guided (24%).

Andy Mills, Group Sales Director, Redcentric, said, “We wanted to help UK organisations understand where they are on the spectrum of cloud adoption compared to the rest of the market, and also where their journey is likely to take them next. The findings show clearly that most of UK plc is only just starting to see Cloud come to fruition and there is huge untapped potential still to explore.”

Most respondents, 65%, said that they had a ‘middle distance’ attitude to Cloud, characterised by using a hybrid mix of on-premise and cloud services that will fluctuate and change over time. This is in contrast to just 22% whose attitude was ‘short distance’ focused on quick, tactical fixes and a low of 14% who viewed Cloud as ‘long distance’ or a ‘transitional voyage’ for their organisation’s IT.

Positively 8% of respondents say they are extending their cloud journey to reap extra rewards but 7% say that the goalposts of their Cloud projects are constantly moving.

“UK IT managers clearly remain pragmatic about the adoption and benefits of cloud,” said Mills. “Most want it to work alongside their existing infrastructures in hybrid form but few are willing to stake their entire future strategy on it – yet.

“It’s positive to see that in spite of being in the early stages of their journey only a small portion of UK IT management is viewing cloud with high caution,” Mills continued. “Most have embraced the fact that cloud will play a significant part in their IT future.”

44% of respondents said they worked in a pro-Cloud industry sector compared to just 13% who said their industry was anti-Cloud, however fewer public sector respondents thought their sector was pro and more thought it was anti.

The in-house IT team is seen as the most valuable ‘partner’ on the journey to the Cloud, considered either highly valuable or crucial by 79%. However only 12% said their ultimate cloud destination was an internally managed approach. Specialist vendors and service providers are the next most highly valued or crucial cloud partner at 58%.

UK business and IT drivers behind the move to Cloud are many and varied. In the private sector, while cost cutting is a more common business driver for public sector (65% compared to 56% in private sector), improving business continuity and uptime is more common for the private sector (50% compared to 40%). Around a quarter of both public and private sector organisations see Cloud as a means of reducing risk.

Mills concluded, “Cloud adoption is a journey that nearly all UK organisations will make but most still have significant ‘hard yards’ ahead of them. What this research has shown is that there isn’t one single correct route to the cloud; it is dependent on their goals, aspirations, organisational and sector attitudes and risk profile. Success lies in building the right approach and finding the right partners to help you do that.”

Redcentric’s Journey to the Cloud research report can be downloaded from

About the research

Redcentric’s Journey to the Cloud research was conducted by Vanson Bourne and involved interviews with 200 senior IT managers from UK public and private sector organisations. The sample was divided approximately into thirds based on the following company sizes: 250-999 employees, 1000-2999 employees and 3000+ employees. Approximately one quarter of the sample was from public sector and the other three quarters were from a range of private sectors.