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Growing appetite for hybrid I.T.


Article Type: Analysis          Published: 05-2016         Views: 1451      

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Demand for Cloud computing is continuing to increase while colocation looks set to decline, according to new research from Pulsant

Cloud requirements are on the rise and businesses are set to increase usage - so say 83% of respondents in recent research commissioned by Pulsant. Of that number, almost half (39%) said this increase would be significant. The research also found that while colocation and cloud continue to co-exist, only 61% of respondents said their need for colocation would increase.

The objective of the study was to understand and investigate the needs, expectations, opinions and experiences of the sample with regards to cloud, IT and service providers. The sample comprised senior IT decision makers and C-level executives across UK-based organisations in a host of different industries.

The survey also found that this difference in growth between cloud and colocation wasn't reflected in IT budgets - respondents said 22% of their IT spend was on colocation, while cloud only accounted for 15% of budget.

The reasons for choosing one IT sourcing route over the other relate to issues such as ownership of the IT equipment, ease of moving providers and the investment required. Another factor to consider is the way buying has changed; gone are the days of multi-disciplinary procurement teams and six-month long decision-making. This no longer works as the pace of technology change has sped up significantly, and the products or solutions considered at the beginning of such a buying cycle may, in fact, be outdated once a decision is actually made. Today's procurement is quicker and more dynamic, and while it's a long way off from buying everything online with a company credit card, it still influences the decisions that are made and the technology routes taken.

When asked which organisation-specific issues affected this choice, respondents to the Pulsant survey identified cost and security as the main factors. This certainly reflects the attitude of the rest of the industry8. When it comes to cloud, it is not always possible to ensure that data is stored within the UK or, indeed, the European Union, which was highlighted by companies in the Education Sector, for example. Additionally, resellers of cloud and colocation services also noted it was often their customers that were resistant to the cloud. Other issues noted by respondents included the management and control of data.

OWNING YOUR ASSETS
One of the major advantages of cloud computing is the use of an operating expenditure model (OPEX) when it comes to buying. Essentially what this means is that cloud offers organisations the opportunity to cost and pay for the services differently - from monthly service charges, to pay-as-you-go models - while removing the need to also pay for maintenance.

When asked if it was important for the company to own its IT assets, respondents in the Pulsant survey were evenly matched in their responses - 47% said no, while 53% said yes. Looking at the broader industry, these figures are perhaps a reflection on the diversity within it. Some CIOs have a technical background and place strong emphasis on owning their IT assets; this is perhaps based on their experience with the company or market in which it operates. Other reasons for the reluctance to outsource are related to regulation and a lack of legal precedence when it comes to the behaviour of cloud providers in terms of mal-management, under performance or dispute resolution.

On the other side of the spectrum, there are those CIOs that can't imagine why they would need to own their IT assets, for any number of reasons, including millennial CIOs, or those that don't have the in-house skills to maintain the equipment, or want the benefit of always having access to the latest technology.

The latter category is completely at ease with outsourcing to a provider with the infrastructure, skills and data centre capacity to support them. This allows CIOs and their teams to focus on their core issues and day-to-day running of their own IT estate. According to the Cloud Industry Forum's report on UK adoption and trends for 2016, the impact of cloud adoption is significant on the IT department - half of respondents said the team was focused on new priorities and one quarter indicated the workload for maintenance was reduced.

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