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April 3, 2011

91% UK businesses seek hybrid cloud, but majority expressing concern: 2e2

57% of UK businesses are struggling to establish if cloud services are suitable for them

By CBR Staff Writer

A vast majority of UK businesses, 91%, want hybrid cloud model as their most preferred option, but 71% of them are concerned about the potential management complexity this will bring, according to a research commissioned by ICT services provider 2e2.

The research indicated that due to vendor rhetoric, over half (57%) of UK businesses are struggling to establish if cloud services are suitable for them and if so, how best to implement them.

2e2 CTO Nathan Marke said based on the fact that 91% of those surveyed want a hybrid model, it’s clear the vast majority of businesses understand the different options that are available.

"The concern now is how to make it work for the business and how to manage cloud based services once they are implemented," Marke said.

With IT research Gartner estimating that the average utilisation rate of in-house IT infrastructure is only 15-20%, it is clear that the on-demand nature of cloud brings significant financial benefits, as well as improving flexibility and agility.

However, 68% of organisations felt that there were significant risks in migrating to the cloud because of the complex and interdependent nature of their in-house IT infrastructures.

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Fifty-six per cent of respondents also stated that they fear they will have less control over the organisation’s overall IT infrastructure if they move their IT services to the cloud.

To get a clear picture on the hybrid model, Marke explained the first step for businesses is to audit the cloud infrastructure. This will help them to make informed decisions about how to rationalise IT, whether cloud can play a part in that, security and cost factors.

The survey also highlighted that current maintenance, support and managed service contracts act as a barrier to moving IT services into the cloud.

It added that 57% noted that these contracts would lead to delays in them deploying some cloud services.

This isn’t surprising when you consider that often organisations will have three- to five-year fixed-term contracts for in-house software or hardware maintenance and support.

Also, there is a worry of businesses migrating to a cloud model now that they will still be committed to legacy contracts that they won’t utilise, the report said.

2e2 commissioned the survey, which consisted of 200 IT directors within large enterprise organisations, to independent research company Vanson Bourne.

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