Cloud Future

Serviceteam IT UK Cloud Snapshot Survey 2017

Cloud may already be the heart of many companies’ infrastructure but it would be nothing without the veins of connectivity that keep the data flowing.

The survey asked if respondents were considering moving additional applications and services to the cloud and what connectivity companies use to access their cloud solutions. This was split out from their normal office connectivity unless they relied upon an open public cloud connection.

How are Cloud Services Interconnected?

Of those surveyed, VPN was the most popular method of interconnection between cloud services. 40% of those surveyed answered that they used a VPN in order to connect their networks, whilst 32% connected via the public internet and 28% through a direct connection.

When broken down into the different industries, a diverse range of results can be seen. For example 40% of the insurance sector use a direct connection, and yet in the Technology sector, only 12% connected their networks using a direct connection.

28% of the respondents use a Cloud Connect to connect their private and cloud networks

VPN: 40%
Public internet: 32%
Direct connection: 28%

How are these interconnected?

32% use the public Internet to access services in the cloud

39% use VPN over the public Internet to access services in the cloud

Latency is associated with reliability and can dictate whether a workload can be moved to the cloud. While most of the applications accessed over the public internet are SaaS solutions, some companies were accessing their own services hosted by cloud providers. Most companies had not fully considered reducing latency by utilising direct connection (Cloud Connect) to their cloud platforms and hybrid solutions.

VPNs are quick and simple to deploy and can encompass remote sites and users as well as the main corporate location connecting through encrypted tunnels to the cloud infrastructure, or connecting two separate cloud platforms. 39% use a VPN over the public Internet. Nearly a third use the public internet without a VPN. This is mainly being used for cloud based applications such as CRM rather than accessing corporate infrastructures.

The use of the public internet could also be the cause for some of the reported concerns regarding the security of the cloud and latency. 28% use direct connections such as Microsoft Azure Express Route and AWS Direct Connect. Direct connections provide a more secure solution to cloud access and can deliver lower latency. Often direct connections are perceived as more complex to set up and less flexible than VPNs, however, this is no longer the case and they can also offer higher bandwidth for a lower cost. The direct connection use will grow as more companies understand the technical, operational and cost benefits.

What are the barriers to cloud expansion?

50% of respondents to the survey felt that there were not any barriers preventing them from moving additional applications to the cloud, whilst the other 50% thought that there were. A third of those respondents highlighted uncontrolled variable cost as a further barrier to cloud adoption and 24% and 25% of those respondents listed reliability of data and latency respectively as potential barriers.

The format of this question allowed respondents to be able to input their own response in addition to the multiple-choice options given. Looking at these individual responses produced some interesting information. One of the answers given was customer acceptance. This therefore suggests that some companies are reluctant to make greater use of the cloud due to a lack of trust from customers.

25% highlighted latency as a barrier to cloud expansion in their business

None: 50%
Security: 46%
Cost: 33%
Vendor Lock-in: 28%
Data Control: 26%
Latency: 25%
Existing Infrastructure: 24%
Reliability: 24%

Do you feel there are any barriers halting further expansion of the use of the cloud in your business, if so, what are these barriers?

Will more applications and services move to the cloud?

Our research found that 69% of the respondents from all sectors included in the survey are considering moving additional applications and services to the cloud. Less than a third of respondents answered that they would not be moving any additional applications to the cloud in the future. Interestingly, when broken down to the individual sectors, the findings were wildly different. For example, 67% of the Advertising & Marketing sector indicated they would not be moving additional applications and services to the cloud.

69% are considering moving additional applications and services to the cloud

Yes: 69%
No; 31%

Are you considering moving additional applications and services to the cloud?

The use of cloud in UK businesses is widespread but some of the concerns such as loss of control and security that have been around for the last decade have still not been eliminated and many people may always hold these views.

The idea that everything will be delivered from the cloud is not going to be a reality for many businesses but the fact that cloud makes up a core element of UK IT deployments is arguably already the case.