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On the starting blocks: UK organisations are still at the beginning of their journeys to the cloud

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Cloud technology and services have become ubiquitous – according to the media and commentators that is. Wherever you look there’s someone telling you that you ought to have moved your entire operations and data into the cloud by now. Even consumers have got in on the act, with the likes of Google docs, iCloud and Dropbox. So have you? Are you now a fully-fledged member of the cloud user group?

We wanted to help companies understand the variety of different stages their journey to the cloud is likely to go through, and in turn help them identify where they currently are on the spectrum. By mapping this route, we can help them see where the journey is likely to take them next.

So we went out and talked to 200 UK companies to identify common themes and trends. As it turns out, UK organisations are not as far along in their journey to the cloud as perhaps the industry would have us believe with many companies only just starting on their journey. In direct opposition to popular belief, we found that 41% have just taken their first move into the cloud, with an additional 32% only getting to the halfway point. Just 11% of those interviewed think that the end is in sight.

The research also found that IT managers are not looking to use the cloud to make ‘big bang’ changes to their operations. In fact most favour an evolutionary approach where the cloud is a natural progression for the business. This means that understanding the changes that will be necessary to move steadily into the cloud, along with what the transition looks like at each stage is vital to the success of a cloud implementation. Yet for some IT managers this roadmap is already a little confused – only a few that we spoke to had a long term cloud strategy.

While understanding ‘why’ you’re moving to the cloud is important, the ‘how’ you’re going to get there will underpin your actions, so working out what resources you’re going to need should form part of the strategy. IT managers told us that their in-house IT team is the most crucial element to cloud success. This is likely to be due to the team’s inherent understanding of the business and how it breathes, moves and lives. The in-house IT team provide a valuable insight into how the organisation will interact with the cloud.

Yet, while the role of the in-house IT team is crucial. Only 12% of those that we spoke to said their implementation would be managed internally. Over half will turn to specialist vendors, service providers and cloud specialists instead. It makes sense to bring in external resources especially if that partner can work tightly alongside the in-house team. This delivers a multitude of benefits: a clear understanding of the company and how it works, with oversight of how cloud will help support the business’ continued ambitions.

We can see that UK IT managers are positive about cloud adoption, with 44% telling us that they worked in a pro-cloud industry. For the industry that represents a huge opportunity. We’re delighted that, despite being in the early stages of their journey, most have embraced the cloud and the part it will play in the future direction of the organisation. The key to success is to ensure that they remain in control and work with the partners that are able to support their journey from start to finish.

For further information and to see the full findings from Redcentric's research, download the Journey To The Cloud Report here.

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