UK cloud adoption rate hits 88%, but hybrid estates are the future

Clouds sunbeam

Businesses are prepping to expand their cloud usage over the next 12 months, with the majority of businesses focusing on hybrid offerings, research by the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) has revealed.

“We are entering an unprecedented time of change as digital technologies disrupt entire industries and customer expectations," said Alex Hilton, CIF's CEO.

"Cloud is critical in enabling companies to cope with this change and this research highlights how organisations are increasingly and consistently warming to the cloud delivery model, especially as they begin the realise the benefits to be had from migrating their apps and infrastructure to the cloud."

CIF's research found that 88% of businesses are already using the cloud, but just over half (58%) of these are taking a hybrid approach. These statistics indicate firms realising the merits of spreading their infrastructure across both cloud and on-premise platforms to ensure they have the best of both worlds - the flexibility of cloud with the peace of mind of on-premise infrastructure.

This attitude is reflected in the IT industry's concerns about cloud, which remain around data privacy (62%) and a lack of budget (35%).

“Although a growing number of companies can foresee a time when they will move all of their IT to the cloud - with UK businesses steadily adopting a ‘cloud first approach’ - this change won’t happen overnight," Hiton added.

"While smaller businesses are able to make the logical step to remove their depreciated hardware assets and move entirely to the cloud, this is less feasible for larger organisations with heavy infrastructure investments. Therefore, ‘cloud everything’ will not be attainable for all for some time and we predict that the vast majority of companies will continue to maintain hybrid IT environments."

CIF draw comparisons with previous research studies. When its research was first carried out, seven years ago, demand for cloud has increased significantly. Cloud adoption rates have grown 83% and Hilton believes this momentum will continue.

"However, a barrier to this is the digital skills shortage that the UK is currently facing," he said. "This is why the Cloud Industry Forum has built and launched the Professional Membership Programme to aid the development of key digital and cloud computing skills.”

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.