Many UK firms say they don't really trust their cloud providers any more

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Over half of UK IT professionals currently trust public cloud services less than they did two years ago, new research from hosting firm Leaseweb Global has claimed. 

The company attributed these issues to concerns around transparency, costs, customer service, and the ease of migrating workloads.

The research talked to 500 UK-based IT professionals with experience with public cloud providers over the last two years.

What did the research find?

In terms of the concerns around migration, the majority (57%) of Leaseweb's respondents had previously found it challenging to migrate workloads out of a public cloud environment, while just under half (49%) said they had encountered difficulties in understanding their cloud usage costs.

Despite this, nearly three quarters (72%) of the research's respondents agreed they have effectively controlled public cloud usage costs, while 46% stated they ‘somewhat agree’ and almost half (49%) had struggled to get hold of a public cloud provider’s customer services.

The research also demonstrated a move away from the “cloud first” methodology, where a business considers cloud-based technology solutions before all others.

In the period from January 2019 to December 2021, 36% of organizations described their approach to IT infrastructure as ‘cloud first’, with only 19% stating their organization was officially committed to a ‘cloud-only’ approach.

However from January 2022 onwards, ‘cloud first’ commitments had decreased to 31%, with the proportion of those selecting ‘cloud only’ rising to 25% of respondents.

Despite this rising lack of trust, public cloud remains a very popular option among IT professionals.

When asked about the optimum IT infrastructure for their organization, private cloud only (23%) and a mixture of on-premise and public cloud (20%) were the most popular selections among respondents. 

These were followed by public cloud only (17%) and a mixture of on-premises and private cloud (14%), with on-premises only the least popular selection at 7%.

In addition, two-thirds (66%) of respondents agreed that the industry will see the end of on-premise infrastructure over the next two years. 

But it's perhaps not just IT workers themselves who are becoming critical of public cloud providers, their practices are increasingly drawing the ire of regulators.

UK digital watchdog Ofcom is set to launch an investigation into the state of the cloud computing market, examining the market power of the largest firms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, and Google, and if this power is causing any detrimental impacts on outcomes for consumers. 

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Will McCurdy has been writing about technology for over five years. He has a wide range of specialities including cybersecurity, fintech, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, cloud computing, payments, artificial intelligence, retail technology, and venture capital investment. He has previously written for AltFi, FStech, Retail Systems, and National Technology News and is an experienced podcast and webinar host, as well as an avid long-form feature writer.