• Cloud infrastructure vital to digital transformation

        • With over a quarter (28%) of businesses in the UK having a fully formed digital transformation strategy in place, and over half (54%) are in the process of implementing one, research from Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) has found that the cloud is critical to more than eight in ten digital transformation projects. 

          The research, which was conducted by Vanson Bourne and surveyed UK-based IT and business decision-makers, sought to understand how companies were exploiting cloud and other next-generation technologies, and the barriers standing in the way of adoption.

          Almost all of the respondents (98%) said that their digital transformation strategy is at least fairly clearly defined, with just over a third (34%) having full clarity. When asked if their organisation is doing enough to become fully digitised 28 per cent felt they were doing more than enough, and a further 56 per cent stated that they were doing just enough. There is still work to be done with a lack of skills (40%) and the perennial lack of budget (38%) being cited as key hindrances to further and deeper digital transformation.

          Alex Hilton, CEO, Cloud Industry Forum said, “digital transformation is a well and truly established concept, with only a tiny minority of our sample not embracing it in some way.  We are beginning to see greater clarity in the way leaders are formulating their strategies, but it does not mean it is time to rest on our laurels.

          “There is still much that businesses can do to speed up processes, build efficiency and convince all leaders that digital is the way to go.  Cloud’s role in all of this remains vital, given its emphasis on flexibility at a time when these qualities are more important than ever.”

          Key findings include:

          • Over a quarter (28%) of businesses have a fully formed digital transformation strategy in place, and over half (54%) are in the process of implementing one
          • Cloud is critical to 22% of respondents’ digital transformation projects and very important in 60% of the sample
          • Organisations are continuing to harness the benefits of the Cloud with 93% now using cloud-based services in one form or another
          • 71% of businesses plan to build new applications for the Cloud in the future, moving away from legacy in favour of a more cloud-native approach and 87% expecting to increase their use of Cloud in the next year
          • However, there are challenges: around a third of IT projects are not being completed on time or budget

          Alex Hilton, continued: “UK businesses clearly recognise the need for transformation and are gradually leaving legacy technologies behind in favour of next-generation technologies as they pursue competitive advantage. Cloud is critical to this shift, thanks not only to the flexibility of the delivery model, but also the ease with which servers can be provisioned, which reduces financial and business risk. Furthermore, the cloud’s ability to explore the value of vast unstructured data sets is next to none, which in turn is essential for IoT and AI.

          “However, it’s clear that the majority of UK organisations are right at the start of this journey and many are being prevented from exploiting IoT, blockchain and AI due to skills shortages, a lack of vision, and, indeed, a lack of support from vendors. The research found that the lack of human resources, alongside a general skills shortage and a lack of budget, are the biggest challenges hampering further transformation.”

          The research is available as a White Paper, Cloud – the changing role of the IT department, and can be downloaded from https://www.cloudindustryforum.org/content/changing-role-it-department

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