State Of Enterprise IT 2018

The evolution of IT

Cloud computing

By Simon Crawley, Project Manager

Cloud computing has been a core part of how enterprises commission IT services for almost a decade now. In recent years it’s been identified as one of the main reasons why individual departments are buying their own IT services, and last year we said that in turn is causing IT purchases to increasingly happen outside of IT.

Unsurprisingly, investment in cloud continues to increase. Half or more respondents say that investment in Software-, Platform-, and Infrastructure-as-a-Service solutions have increased over the last year. This time last year a similar number reported an increase compared to the previous year too, meaning that we have yet to reach peak investment in cloud.

That’s really evident when looking at the average amount of company data stored in the cloud. It’s already nearly half - 47% on average - and respondents tell us that they predict it’ll increase to an average of 57% over the next twelve months 2017{47,57}2018. In fact, more than six in ten will be moving more data into the cloud this year, and one in ten anticipate that all of their organisation’s data will be stored in the cloud by the end of 2018.

Part of this drive towards full cloud adoption comes from individual departments, as you’d expect. Around four in ten say that cloud services in general and department-specific cloud solutions (like marketing automation suites, or SalesForce) are being funded without IT’s involvement, so the need to target sales messaging to decision makers elsewhere in the organisation has never been greater.

There’s some evidence to suggest that cloud is starting to allow easier, possibly cheaper, application development. As adoption grows, interest in low-code or no-code development is picking up. 21% are investigating it, 29% are now planning to invest, and 33% are fully investing in it. Much like cloud allowing departments to cut out the IT department’s strategy and purchasing arm, it’s starting to allow departments to cut out the development team too.

This might create a problem over the course of the year. GDPR is due to come into effect in 2018 and it needs better data accountability which cloud arguably doesn’t help with. IT decision makers we spoke to know this - over half agree that moving away from cloud would make GDPR compliance much easier. And as the rise in cloud makes customers and departments demand more availability of existing data, the IT department will need to improve the ability to share sensitive data with third party systems.

Both of these reasons are likely causes for the increased attention to hybrid cloud. 93% of respondents say their organisation is investigating it, with 50% investing too.

After customer experience and personalisation, hybrid cloud is the second biggest digital trend of 2018.

Even though hybrid cloud might be thought of as a small evolution on an established technology, IT decision makers think its impact will be huge this year. A third say that it has the potential to disrupt both their company and their industry over the next year, which isn't far behind the Internet of Things, AI, and machine learning.

For marketers, that means an emphasis on how their solutions can help implement or complement hybrid cloud will be key over 2018.

Organisations are more likely to be investing in this than machine learning, AI, or blockchain, and the massive adoption of existing cloud solutions means that organisations will be better aware of the benefits of hybrid cloud already.

Any thoughts?

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