UK businesses are embracing cloud and DevOps to drive IT transformation in a bid to keep up with increasing customer demands and disruptive competitors. The 2017 global study of IT professionals from enterprise open source infrastructure solution provider SUSE® explores the latest trends behind IT transformation, revealing that organisations in the UK are taking advantage of software-defined infrastructure (SDI), containers and DevOps to keep pace with the demands of today’s markets.
The study provides insight into what is driving the rapid growth and momentum of new technologies and strategies. It highlights why these are vital to transformation initiatives in the UK as organisations look to improve agility, reduce risk and decrease operational expenses. Study insights include:
- Cloud adoption continues – Use of cloud across UK businesses is expected to increase further over the next two years, particularly hybrid (65 per cent of respondents) and private cloud (62 per cent). Just 41 per cent of respondents expect to increase use of public cloud. The key drivers of this increase in cloud use across the UK are improving developer / programmer productivity (60 per cent) along with improving business agility and innovation (60 per cent) and cost reduction / budget constraints (59 per cent).
- Searching for simplified cloud security – 91 per cent of UK respondents would ideally go from development in public cloud to production in private cloud while 28 per cent have already migrated workloads from public to private cloud in the last 12 months. 64 per cent expect to do so in the next two years. The key drivers are security problems (62 per cent) and availability issues (49 per cent).
- In fact, companies in the UK are more likely than those in other markets to prefer private cloud for business-critical workloads (54 per cent compared to the global average of 43 per cent). Security expectations are high, with 83 per cent of UK respondents expecting private cloud to simplify data security issues.
- SDI is the future for data centres – 95 per cent of respondents believe software-defined infrastructure (SDI) is the future of the data centre. Key business and technology advantages associated with SDI include faster delivery of IT resources (67 per cent) and simplified data centre management (55 per cent).
- DevOps moves from hype to reality – Companies are prioritising a DevOps approach, with 96 per cent of UK respondents viewing DevOps as part of their future IT strategy – more than any other region. In line with this, 75 per cent plan to modify their application development and delivery to a DevOps model. Executing on DevOps successfully can be complex, but SDI can provide the flexible and modular cloud infrastructure ideally suited for a true DevOps approach.
- Container adoption continues to gain traction – 32 per cent of British companies are currently running workloads using containers in production, with another 33 per cent planning to use them in the next 12 months. Many see containers as an enabler for DevOps, with key benefits including cloud portability (56 per cent), application scalability (45 per cent) and better allocation of resources (42 per cent). However, potential challenges remain, particularly storage (51 per cent), security (48 per cent) and the need for specialist skills (46 per cent).
- Skills and experience still a top concern – More than two-thirdsof UK organisations (69 per cent) are still concerned about the lack of available skillsets in the market when moving to cloud, while almost three quarters (74 per cent) are concerned about the lack of skills within their own company. Accordingly, IT leaders say it is important to address and enhance skills in private cloud (99 per cent), public cloud (94 per cent) and hybrid cloud (92 per cent), along with emerging areas such as AI, DevOps, containers and OpenStack. More than half (56 per cent) say the responsibility for developing new IT skills lies with employees rather than the organisation.
With many British companies shifting toward private and hybrid cloud solutions, OpenStack is becoming increasingly popular. Of the UK companies surveyed, 20 per cent have already deployed OpenStack while 42 per cent are currently testing. Companies are turning to this open source private cloud technology because of its flexibility (60 per cent), the opportunity to reduce overall costs (44 per cent) and integration opportunities (40 per cent).
“Faced with increasing customer demands and industry disruption, IT leaders in the UK are rethinking their approach and searching for the best way to quickly increase agility and speed while keeping costs down,” said Danny Rowark, ?regional director EMEA West at SUSE. “Cloud is a clear enabler for UK businesses with many implementing cloud- and DevOps-first strategies to underpin wide scale digital transformation. Open source solutions can play a key role in enabling organisations to successfully implement these strategies. They provide an agile and sustainable infrastructure to support transformation, reducing costs and offering freedom from vendor lock-in without compromising on security or user experience.”
“Today, every business is a digital business, and adopting a flexible, agile software-defined infrastructure can make the difference between success and failure,” said Thomas Di Giacomo, SUSE CTO. “SUSE’s view, borne out by thousands of successful enterprise deployments, is that innovation and adaptability inherent in open source software is ideal for customers who are meeting today’s IT requirements while preparing for a successful tomorrow.”