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Serviceteam IT, in partnership with Doogheno, conducted a study to reveal the most significant challenges facing UK businesses and the trends of the use of cloud in the UK. After extensive research, Serviceteam IT are unaware of any report that specifically addresses the challenges facing UK businesses and the state of the cloud in the UK. Although cyber-security and GDPR affect more countries than simply the UK, Brexit is an issue that will have an impact on UK firms in particular. Given the specificity of Brexit to the UK, we believe this report provides an important insight into the challenges facing UK businesses and therefore fills an important gap in previous research publications.
The use of cloud technology has become a central component of many business’ infrastructure, with increasing numbers expanding into the cloud each year. According to research produced by the IDC , over 68% of businesses currently use some form of cloud service and of those surveyed in our research project 93% of respondents used some form of cloud technology. It is projected that by 2018 close to half of total IT spending will be on cloud- based technology LINK.
At the same time, the uncertainty regarding cloud adoption is rising due to the multitude of problems currently facing businesses in the UK. Such challenges include the implementation of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), the uncertainty of Brexit and the unprecedented increase in cyber-security attacks. Although not an exhaustive list, these factors present a significant challenge to businesses in the UK and may have a subsequent effect on the way in which the cloud is used.
GDPR aims to modernise the data protection laws currently in place in the EU with the ultimate aim of providing consistency between the privacy laws in nations within the EU. It works to directly replace the Data Protection Act that is currently in operation. Any organisation using EU citizen’s data must be found to comply with GDPR, irrespective of where they are located.
Many are worried how organisations will be affected by the implementation of GDPR in 2018, as there are doubts regarding the ability of firms to fully comply with this regulation. In the past this was never a problem for firms as the majority of their data was held on-premise. With the adoption of the cloud however this has all changed, as a company’s data may be stored all over the world with the exact location unknown to many. This privacy law will hold penalties of up to 4% of global annual turnover, which aims to ensure that firms make the necessary changes to comply with this legislation.
Brexit presents a challenge to businesses currently due to the uncertainty of Britain’s future position in Europe. A representative from the company Analsys Mason commented that ‘anything to do with Brexit is uncertain’. There is huge potential for changes in the UK as a result of Brexit, and these changes may have a subsequent impact on the IT plans of UK firms.
Finally, cyber-security has become a prevalent issue in the news over the past 12 months, with major cases such as the NHS WannaCry attack being a prominent feature in the news. The results of the government’s Cyber Security Breach 2017 Survey found that cyber-security remains a priority for the leaders of businesses, with 74% of respondents expressing cyber-security as a very high or fairly high priority.
Read more about the findings and see the data from the UK Cloud Survey 2017
See the data from the sectors surveyed in the UK Cloud Survey 2017
In order to obtain the data necessary for the completion of this research, a combination of in-depth interviews and a questionnaire was used, giving both scope and depth to the research. Respondents to the survey were located across the UK, making this a nationwide survey of UK businesses.
The questionnaire, entitled ‘The UK Cloud Snapshot Survey’, comprised of an online questionnaire completed over a four-week period between the 14th of July and the 11th of August 2017. The sampled population of over 1,100 included individuals from a multitude of sectors including Insurance, Advertising, Technology, Marketing and Scientific research. The variety of sectors included in the survey allowed for a more diverse range of answers and enabled comparisons to be drawn between different sectors of the economy.
The organisations that were included in the sample ranged in size, with annual turnovers of up to £850 million. All those that responded to the survey held positions in relation to IT, including IT managers, directors and operations managers. The decision to narrow down the occupations included in the survey enabled the collection of the best possible data, as these individuals would be likely to have the greatest knowledge of the use of the cloud in their business.
In addition to the survey, a total of four in-depth interviews were conducted in order gain a more detailed understanding of the reasoning behind responses. The interviewees were also from a range of different industries giving an insight into the challenges specific to certain companies and industries.
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