What trends can be taken from Cisco’s UK cloud adoption research?

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Research recently published by Cisco Systems has revealed that cloud usage in the United Kingdom and Ireland is becoming increasingly mainstream.

Cisco, who recently brought out their cloud networking app, found a number of interesting results in their ‘CloudWatch Summer’ report:

  • Nine tenths of those polled saw the cloud as an important process – up 38% from last year
  • Nearly a third see cloud as being critical to their company – up 24% from last year
  • Security is less of a concern although still a worry – just over half saw said they had security concerns, down 20% from last year

This certainly aligns with other research Cisco has done this year on the subject. This year’s Global Cloud Networking Survey showed that worldwide cloud adoption would quadruple by the year’s end.

It could be argued that the numbers almost appear to be an irrelevance if the arrows keep pointing up.  Almost, but not quite.

Moving forward from the hype

Plenty of research over the past six months has shown cloud is moving swiftly away from being a buzzword and into a hard and fast business model, and this is no exception.

The report instantly notes the difference between 2011 and 2012, with last year being the year the hype was over and this year showing “companies…experiencing for themselves how to make the most of [cloud]”.

Ian Foddering, technical director of Cisco UK and Ireland, said of the findings: “This new report validates a shift that many of us in the IT industry have been witnessing first hand over the last 6-12 months – cloud usage has now gone mainstream”.

“All these signs point towards a well-established market where the previously blurred boundaries of cloud computing are clearing. IT decision makers [are] now more educated about the distinctions between cloud and managed services and more willing to invest”, he added.

Cost cutting is the key in the UK

So what would be the first thing that enters people’s heads as soon as reasons for adoption are mentioned?

Cutting costs, efficiency and scalability would all be the logical steps most people would take, and Cisco found that in the UK, with a recession still biting, cost-efficiency is the best reason for adopting.

Reducing cost was the number one benefit to 57% of respondents, with easier maintenance (56%) and automatic updating (48%) the next best trends.

The North Bridge Venture Partners survey into cloud adoption, published last month and focused globally on 785 industry experts, found that scalability (57%) was the most important factor for them just ahead of efficiency (54%).

Cisco also makes an interesting point in terms of cloud outages, a hot topic following Amazon’s unforeseen knockout over the weekend.

“In the early days of cloud, adopters could forgive the occasional glitch. Now cloud is reaching the masses, and customers are becoming savvier, these sorts of issues are far less acceptable”, the report notes.

Cisco has first found why businesses are moving over to the cloud – now they want to know why businesses are staying there. But are people expecting too much?

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