Barriers to cloud adoption remain, but security no longer the biggest inhibitor, says Cloud Industry Forum research


New research from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) has found that 32% of business and IT decision-makers believe security concerns are holding their organisation back from fully advancing technology usage. While security remains a key hurdle, it is no longer the main inhibitor to tech adoption, ranking behind lack of budget (34%) and legacy integration issues (44%).

The data, taken from CIF’s latest research white paper, also underlined the integral role that cloud continues to play in the ongoing transformation of businesses. Almost all respondents (96%) said cloud has saved their organisation money, while 61% said their company is more secure thanks to cloud technology. Despite this, 37% said that it is easier to source CAPEX budget than OPEX, suggesting that more needs to be done help businesses move away from older, less flexible CAPEX models.

Alex Hilton, CEO of the Cloud Industry Forum, said: “As the final pandemic restrictions in the UK are lifted, many leaders are now planning how to further evolve their technology capabilities to meet the needs of a changed working environment.

“It is hugely encouraging to see that after 12 years of CIF reports, security is no longer the biggest issue standing in the way of cloud adoption. The fact that respondents almost universally recognise the ability of cloud to save the organisation money also bodes well for the future.

“However, some of the perennial barriers to further digital transformation remain stubbornly in place. Problems with legacy integration cropped up several times throughout the survey, suggesting that organisations need a helping hand when it comes to balancing business continuity with the need to embrace new tech. This is reflected in the ongoing reliance on CAPEX budgeting, which illustrates how companies are still heavily focused on fundamentals such as infrastructure.”

When choosing cloud providers to assist them with the above challenges, 84% of respondents said that strong sustainability credentials are important. While this points to an evident passion for ESG, sustainability was cited by just 25% of decision-makers when considered alongside other factors, such as cost (53%), the number of services available (51%), trust (50%), ability to scale (34%) and the speed of response of a chosen cloud managed service provider (26%).

Hilton added: “Cloud providers that make strides to embrace clear ESG and sustainability strategies will benefit, but ultimately, cost remains king in terms of customers’ purchasing priorities, as well as a high quality of service and extensive technical capabilities.”

He concluded: “This gives cloud providers a clear plan of action when working out how they can assist businesses in the coming year. Leaders are eager to embrace change and evolution now that the worst of the pandemic appears to be behind us, but there are clear gaps in their expertise that need to be filled. Those that help organisations answer the burning questions around budget, legacy integration and moving away from CAPEX spending models are the ones that will prosper.”

About the research

The statistics were taken from CIF’s latest research white paper, entitled The transformational impact of cloud. The survey was conducted by Vanson Bourne and polled 250 UK-based IT decision-makers, assessing the state of play regarding cloud adoption, how organisations have coped with the challenges of the last couple of years, and what needs to be done to address any lingering issues.

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