What are the three pillars that support the modern IT world?There can be different options, but we bet that cloud computing will be among them.
More and more modern businesses decide to start their cloud migration process for numerous reasons, and the UK companies are not lagging behind. Cloud services have become indispensable for businesses and organizations of all types. The technology goes beyond supporting the communications sector and now provides essential infrastructure for healthcare, manufacturing, retail, hospitality, financial services, and even public and voluntary organizations.
If you still doubt whether you need to join the cloud migration in the UK — keep reading; here's everything you need to know about the cloud and its benefits and drawbacks.
But first — a bit of numbers
In 2020, the United Kingdom's public cloud services market generated around $12 billion in revenue. The major participants in this market are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. Currently, AWS dominates the UK cloud infrastructure market with a significant market share.
This substantial revenue figure highlights the rapid adoption of cloud computing within the UK. Businesses of all sizes increasingly recognize the benefits of cloud solutions, namely scalability, flexibility, and cost efficiency. The UK's 2022 cloud infrastructure market was valued between £7.0 and £7.5 billion. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years, with the UK public cloud market forecast to reach $37.84 billion by 2028.
In the UK, International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts a robust 22% growth in public cloud spending for 2023, significantly outpacing the overall IT spending growth of 5% (according to IDC, 2023. Worldwide Black Book: Live Edition, July (V2 2023) Forecast (published July 2023).
What is unique about cloud migration in the UK?
Usually, cloud migration processes are similar worldwide: companies share the same challenges and opportunities. However, we want to mention a few aspects that differentiate the UK from others.
The UK's stringent data protection regulations, including GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018, require cloud providers to ensure strict data residency and privacy standards. As you understand, it adds complexity and cost to cloud migration projects.
With Brexit, the UK has started a new era of data protection independent from the EU.
Organizations undertaking cloud migration projects face increased complexity and potential compliance hurdles. It is related to the requirement to comply with both UK and EU regulations based on data flows and operations.
The widespread reliance on legacy systems within UK organizations also challenges cloud migration projects, particularly regarding integration, ultimately adding cost and complexity.
Of course, there is also a silver lining among these challenges. By prioritizing cloud solutions through its Cloud First policy, the UK government unlocks numerous benefits for public sector organizations and businesses, especially SMEs. Government grants and support programs further expedite cloud adoption by easing financial constraints and accelerating the cloud migration journey.
So, there are many pros…
…which can significantly fuel your interest in cloud migration.
Scalability is the pro to start with. With the cloud, you can avoid time-consuming tasks like server provisioning and software licensing, taking on more strategic initiatives.
Another crucial aspect is enhanced efficiency and performance. What does it give you? Well, it enables unparalleled scalability and resource availability, guaranteeing optimal performance and a positive user experience. Noteworthy: data stored in the cloud is readily accessible, eliminating latency concerns and simplifying backups.
For sure, we cannot omit reduced spending. With their pay-as-you-go model, cloud services offer a flexible and cost-effective alternative to traditional IT infrastructure. You can easily adjust resources on demand, paying only for what you use and optimizing your budget.
What else the cloud can offer is innovative solutions to your daily tasks. Cloud platforms provide a comprehensive toolkit for organizations to explore the possibilities of AI/ML, analytics, IoT, and more.
We left this for dessert — increased flexibility makes many companies switch to (or at least think about) cloud technologies. It lets you forget about borders and be free to work remotely and serve customers internationally.
…and cons, of course
Cloud is good — but not flawless.
Its first drawback lies in challenges with migrating large amounts of data. It needs some time, effort and specific solutions. If large databases cannot be transferred through the internet, hardware appliances provide a secure and reliable alternative. Apart from this, keep in mind that moving a ton of data to the cloud is a tough nut to crack. Get ready for potential delays and costs due to limited bandwidth and ongoing data transfer fees. Plan carefully and budget accordingly!
Data integrity is another bottleneck. Even the best cloud security can't guarantee everything. So, a data recovery plan is essential for safeguarding your data after migration.
The significant drawback of cloud for many businesses is insufficient security. Whether a small web store or a big financial institution, you want to avoid data leaks. Besides, cloud migration may require adjustments to ensure compliance with regulations and industry standards specific to your region. Ignoring these considerations can lead to negative legal and financial consequences. Thus, businesses must carefully assess security features, compliance, and data sovereignty before migration.
How about disruptions? Every organization knows that downtime is the worst time of a working process. The hustle and bustle multiplied with unsatisfied customers — and we get an absolute nightmare. You must keep your business running smoothly during migration. So, take care of plan B with clear procedures and backups to minimize potential downtime and data loss.
Summing it up
The future is in the cloud — at least, the nearest future. Cloud technology lets companies pay less and get more. It leads to higher productivity, scalability and flexibility, which positively affects business.
Although cloud migration has some specifics and drawbacks in the UK, the statistics show that cloud popularity will only grow.
If you are eager to switch your company to the cloud, feel free to contact us for a consultation!