According to recent research conducted by the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), UK businesses looking to embrace digital transformation consider the cloud to be a crucial cog in this process.
However, the evidence also demonstrates that there is room for the cloud to evolve further, in order to mitigate lingering cloud migration challenges and a desire to keep some resources on-premises. According to HyperGrid, this is where Enterprise Cloud-as-a-Service (ECaaS) can make a difference.
The CIF research, which polled 250 IT and business decision-makers across a range of UK organisations earlier this year, found that 92 per cent of companies polled consider the cloud to be quite important, very important or critical to their digital transformation strategy, which highlights the appetite for remotely based cloud. However, the survey also revealed that 63 per cent of IT decision-makers that use cloud-based services embrace a hybrid approach, with 43 per cent saying they intend to keep at least some business-critical apps or services on-premises.
Doug Rich, VP of EMEA at HyperGrid, believes that these trends point to the need for an approach which blends the benefits of cloud-based hosting with on-premises infrastructure in a way that goes beyond historic offerings.
Rich said: "CIF's research has underlined just how crucial cloud is in enabling digital transformation, and there is a tangible desire amongst key decision-makers to embrace it on a more wholesale basis. Its core benefits, including the flexibility of consumption-based pricing and the agility it brings by freeing up IT departments to focus on innovation, are already well-documented. Despite this trend, there remains a steadfast need for companies to keep some of their applications and data a little closer to home. Hybrid IT environments have gone some way towards addressing these concerns, but shortcomings in the way we approach cloud and on-premises infrastructure remain. What businesses need is a service that effectively combines the best of both worlds in a way that has not been achieved before."
To illustrate this point, the CIF research also found that 52 per cent of IT decision-makers found complexity of migration a difficulty when moving to a cloud solution. Alongside this, 48 per cent said privacy or security concerns are a barrier to digital transformation, with 50 per cent citing investments in legacy systems as a hurdle. These figures demonstrate how organisations are frequently obliged to keep at least some of their infrastructure on-premises, and how the available cloud solutions make it difficult for them to strike this balance.
Rich added: "It's a near-impossible task to persuade businesses to migrate all of their data and applications to a remotely cloud-based solution. With this in mind, ECaaS is set to play a key role in defining how companies embrace cloud in the future. This solution goes a step further than current hybrid cloud arrangements, by enabling applications and resources stored in both public and private clouds to be easily managed from one central location. Crucially, ECaaS allows for the installation of public cloud on-premises, enabling businesses to benefit from a consumption-based usage model and third-party management of the infrastructure, while also gaining the security and peace of mind offered by keeping infrastructure on-premises."