Cloud expansion fuelled by falling budgets, experts claim

UK businesses will increasingly rely on cloud computing solutions to backup their data and operate systems because they represent cheaper options than traditional alternatives, according to the National Outsourcing Association (NOA).

Over the next two years, cloud-based providers are expected to experience a growth rate in the region of 78 per cent, with the peak coming at some point in 2012. These figures have been published in a recent report into cloud computing and IT spending authored by the NOA.

The NOA says that the three per cent penetration level for cloud technology that exists today is a fraction of the potential expansion which will be seen as budgets are slashed and savings are sought.

Businesses are also believed to be turning to the cloud in order to access a more scalable set of technologies which can adjust in line with the storage and backup needs of any given firm, and as data volumes increase exponentially.

The NOA found that the majority of businesses it questioned in creating the report would be looking to integrate cloud-based solutions with current in-house systems, rather than migrating everything to the cloud in a single upgrade. Virtually every respondent said that cloud computing would be intrinsically linked to desktop computing in the near future.

The biggest concern amongst businesses considering adopting cloud solutions is the risk of becoming inextricably tethered to a single provider for a prolonged period without the ability to change. 92 per cent of those questioned cited this as a significant issue.

The security of data on cloud platforms is also an ongoing area of concern, with nearly 75 per cent stating that the adoption of cloud-based solutions would be a worry because data protection concerns had not been fully addressed.

The NOA’s Martyn Hart said that the UK business community was about to experience a significant shift towards cloud computing in the next two years. He also said that universal adoption was beyond the horizon for the time being, with adoption levels just beginning to pick up pace.

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