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Nearly 80% of UK businesses now using cloud service

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According to an annual study from Vanson Bourne, 78% of UK-based organisations are using a cloud-based service.  In total, the number of UK businesses embracing the cloud has increased by 61.5% since 2010 (when the research was first conducted).

The research, carried out in June 2014 for cloud industry body CIF, indicated a 15% increase in the adoption of cloud services compared to September 2013.  It is estimated that this rate will increase to 20% by Autumn 2014.

As many would have expected, the overwhelming majority of businesses are using a hybrid of cloud and traditional computing.  Although the majority are using cloud services, approximately 85% are also operating either servers or internal data centres on site.

Amongst the UK market, the use of cloud services is more prevalent amongst larger organisations than SMEs and the public sector.  Over 80% of large companies use cloud services, that figure is around 75% for SMEs and lower still at under 70% for the public sector.

In terms of the key reasons for organisations embracing the cloud, flexibility is the main reason for adoption in the private sector, with cost savings the key reason in the public sector (with just over one in five citing this reason).

The most popular cloud services are web hosting, hosted email, CRM, remote backup and disaster recovery solutions.

Although privacy and security risks are sometimes seen as objections for companies looking at cloud solutions, 98% of those surveyed reported no security breaches in their cloud services.

The view from CIF is that cloud service popularity will rise further following Microsoft’s cessation of support for Windows Server 2003 – indeed over 60% of those surveyed were still running Windows Server 2003.

The CIF estimate that cloud adoption will increase by around 15% and that 90% of all UK businesses will be utilising cloud services by the end of next year.

Christophe Boudet, Akita’s Managing Director, said: “It is evident that hybrid solutions are the best fit for a good number of organisations, at least in the short and medium-term.  Importantly though, increasing numbers of SMEs are now viewing IT as an enabler, capable of leading to key business process improvements and efficiency gains.  In the past, IT was viewed as a cost to deliver a service, rather than an opportunity to work smarter.

“It is important for organisations to plan for the future, however, as there are significant numbers of SMEs operating software close, or indeed past, its’ supported life.

“At Akita, we believe that businesses should be discussing their future requirements with an IT partner capable of not only implementing cloud and hybrid IT systems, but also one who can consider how businesses can use data and information more efficiently to impact on the bottom line.”