90.4% of UK and Ireland businesses see cloud as critical to meeting immediate business needs 

NTT Ltd. has released its 2021 Hybrid Cloud Report, which highlights the critical need for business agility, and the role hybrid cloud has had on helping businesses achieve this.

The report, which conducted research with 950 decision-makers in 13 countries across five regions (115 respondents in UK & Ireland), highlighted the increasing reliance on technology and found that in the UK & Ireland:

  • A business lifeline: 87.8% agree that the pandemic has forced its business to rely on technology more than ever before
  • The benefits of hybrid cloud are already clear: With 64.3% of organisations  already using, or piloting hybrid cloud
  • Hybrid cloud is the future: The study found that  a further 30.4% of respondents plan to implement a hybrid solution within 12-24 months

It is clear that hybrid cloud is now seen as critical to data-driven processes and real-time decisions both now and in the future.

Hybrid cloud, when implemented correctly, drives efficiencies
During such an uncertain time, businesses are continuing to tighten their purse strings and look to hybrid cloud to increase cost efficiency and drive the organisation’s overall performance. The report found that in the UK & Ireland a more efficient total cost of IT operations is the joint biggest driver alongside improved overall business agility (38.3%) of hybrid cloud adoption, especially given the shift to a distributed workforce model where businesses now need to access data and applications in new, different and often complex ways.

In addition to this, the use of hybrid cloud is helping a third of UK & Ireland businesses (33.3%) improve the speed of deployment of applications and services in order to create operational efficiencies. After working with NTT to implement a hybrid IT infrastructure, Christophe Le Caignec, Head of IT Operations, at Lefebvre Sarrut Services, said: “‘Our infrastructure now lets us focus our time and resources on application development and lifecycle management, helping us to bring new services to market much more quickly.”

Businesses, however, need to implement hybrid cloud in a way that will optimise environments to maximise efficiencies. This is why over two in five organisations (44.3%) in the UK & Ireland strongly agree on the need to engage with experts, such as managed cloud providers.

Overcoming hurdles
Beyond maximising cost efficiencies, businesses are also charged with changing attitudes to security and compliance and the complexities of implementing hybrid cloud. The report found that 40.9% of UK & Ireland respondents claim that the difficulties in managing data security is the greatest barrier to adopting hybrid cloud. To overcome these barriers when working in such complex environments, organisations must choose the right environment that will securely host their mission-critical applications across public and private clouds; and work with a partner who understands the industries they’re working in to ensure compliance.

The report found that network performance and a shortage of skills were also regarded as sizeable barriers to hybrid cloud adoption. Both, if not appropriately addressed, when implementing the cloud, could undo the benefits it offers.

Rob​ Lopez, Executive Vice President, Intelligent Infrastructure at NTT Ltd., comments “As businesses look to navigate the new year, they must look to hybrid cloud environments that are optimised for agility, security and supported by the right network architecture while also meeting compliance requirements. This is the foundation upon which cloud is successful and will enable businesses to weather any form of disruption that comes their way.”

Partnering for success 
Industry collaboration and working with external experts will provide businesses with the right knowledge and skills to set up their hybrid cloud environments for agility. When we asked our respondents about the types of partner used, three quarters (75.0%) of UK & Ireland businesses said they engaged with systems integrators, while 61.6% engaged with specialist information security consultants or MSSPs, highlighting the importance of security to cloud deployments.

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