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UK spending more on cloud than data centres - but is it money well spent?

27 Jun 2018

Over the last three years businesses have spent more on cloud than they have on data centres, but they’re not spending it well.

That’s according to managed service provider Claranet as it commissioned research to look into the matter.

The report (Beyond Digital Transformation: Reality check for European IT and digital leaders) forecasts that spending on cloud is set increase substantially over the next three years too, driven by businesses gradually leaving legacy technologies behind and embracing more agile and flexible ways of working.

While Claranet says this is encouraging news for cloud development in the UK, for businesses to realise the cloud’s full benefits they need comprehensive guidance and strategies to migrate effectively and successfully.

Of the 750 surveyed IT professionals from across Europe, the average spend for UK businesses on cloud over the last three years was £360,000 as opposed to £343,000 on data centres. Cloud spend in the UK is expected to increase by 37 percent over the next three years.

Claranet UK managing director Michel Robert says there is a strong appetite for cloud amongst UK businesses.

“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,” says Robert.

“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.”

37 percent of all businesses polled in the survey revealed that their current infrastructure is mainly manual and takes time to operate. This, Claranet asserts, opens the door for human error to creep in, as well as adds unnecessary time that has to be factored into the schedules of IT teams.

Robert says in order for businesses to reap the full benefits of cloud, it’s vital that they ensure automation becomes more prevalent by providing the right training so that teams know how to optimise and re-engineer their applications to derive maximum benefit – or work with a managed IT services provider to get it done more quickly.

“Whilst cloud adoption in the UK is on the up, professionals should now be thinking about what they can do to optimise the technology,” says Robert.

“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.”

While there are the issues of whether businesses are ready for cloud migration, Robert says IT teams should take the positives out of this research.

“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,” says Robert.

“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.”

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