Cloud services helped over 90 per cent of UK businesses to mitigate the IT challenge of COVID


Cloud Covid-19 has forced a real-life, real-time digital transformation on the majority of enterprises, and many leaders have seen digital’s long-term value as a result. This is according to the latest research from Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) which has found that 69 per cent of organisations have sped up their plans in some way as a result of the pandemic.

The latest research White Paper entitled Adapt, innovate, advance: Digital transformation in the Covid-19 era, was conducted by Vanson Bourne and surveyed UK-based IT and business decision-makers. CIF sought to understand the impact of the pandemic on all sizes of business, and how they were utilising cloud services to help them through the pandemic.

According to the research, 91 per cent of decision-makers claimed that the cloud played an important part in their response, with 40 per cent describing its role as critical.  The most widely cited advantage is how it has enabled a swift transition from office to home working (54 per cent), with greater organisational agility (44 per cent), the ability for business to continue as usual (42 per cent), and easier scalability (33 per cent) also widely mentioned.

Alex Hilton, CEO, Cloud Industry Forum, stated: “On the whole, organisations did a commendable job of adapting in the face of an unprecedented situation; it is safe to say that many have been pleasantly surprised at how successful the shift to remote working has been. Benefits that might not have been so obvious beforehand have been recognised, giving many organisations a powerful platform to improve their long-term processes for the better.”

“Our research found that just over a third of respondents (35 per cent) had a digital transformation strategy in place before the arrival of Covid-19, which likely gave them the impetus to act quickly during the sudden shift to home working. An additional 38 per cent were in the process of implementing one before the pandemic, while 14 per cent were forced to scale up their plans as lockdowns began to bite. This paints a fairly positive picture of digital plans and preparedness, although a fairly significant minority were caught off guard.”

Other key findings included:

  • 94 per cent of organisations are using at least one cloud service or more
  • The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the large majority of organisations (83 per cent) to change their IT strategy in some way
  • Four in ten businesses (41 per cent) concede that their remote working solutions are not as secure as the office, highlighting security concerns
  • 55 per cent of respondents have increased their cloud adoption as a direct result of Covid
  • Remote working has brought many positives, with 56 per cent highlighting flexible working and 41 per cent enjoying increased use of cloud-based collaboration apps
  • Almost three-quarters of respondents (73 per cent) either had a digital transformation strategy in place before the pandemic or were in the process of implementing one
  • 60 per cent of leaders believe that their company is doing “just enough” to become digitised, leaving room for further acceleration in digital adoption
  • Stretched budgets, a lack of in-house skills and an underdeveloped company culture are considered major hurdles to further digitisation
  • 88 per cent of organisations expect their adoption of cloud services to increase in the next 12 months

Hilton continued: “Business models have been shredded and now is a time of reinvention for many. Those already in the digital fast lane did well during this crisis, while those in the digital slow lane fared less well. For many it is time to play catch-up. Speed is of the essence and the survey calls out cloud as the engine for transformation.”

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