Cloud integration top priority for businesses - report

Is there a silver lining for business IT?

According to a new report released by Cisco, businesses in the UK are changing the roles of their IT departments as uptake of the cloud continues across the country.

Companies spend almost a quarter of their total outgoings on cloud services, according to the report, while 77 per cent told Cisco's survey that integrating the cloud in their systems was now their top priority.

The report (PDF), named 'The Impact of Cloud on IT Consumption Models' was produced in conjunction with Intel and is based on a survey of around 4,000 IT 'decision makers'. Of those, 60% were from enterprise-class companies (more than 1,000 employees worldwide), 40% from midsized ones (500 to 999 employees) and 11% companies from those with more than 10,000 people globally.

The survey respondents overwhelmingly believed that the cloud will benefit IT planning. Cisco notes in the report that there are many IT solutions available to users of the cloud – that there is no 'one size fits all' method. Most companies looking to the cloud, the study reports, are doing so to reduce complexity in their IT systems, lower overall operating costs and drive efficiency for specific applications within their business models.

Rogue purchasing

Interestingly, 72 per cent of respondents to Cisco's survey revealed that they expect IT departments will start to serve as 'brokers' of services to companies. This, the report argues, would result in the IT staff of companies having to battle against the BYOD (bring-your-own-device) trend, trying to win over employees to the use of their supported software rather than that of a third party.

The effect of this move already noticeable, with 49 per cent of UK respondents to the survey indicating they had seen "rogue purchasing" without consulting IT. Summarising the findings, Cisco's cloud leader, Jo Laking, said "It will be impossible for IT to survive without learning to collaborate".

With the cloud offering services on-the-spot, it seems that IT departments will have to think about restructuring in order to meet the new demands of their cloud-heavy companies.

Making your journey to the cloud