UK businesses remain ‘risk-averse’ and lagging behind in cloud strategy, Intel argues

James has more than a decade of experience as a tech journalist, writer and editor, and served as Editor in Chief of TechForge Media between 2017 and 2021. James was named as one of the top 20 UK technology influencers by Tyto, and has also been cited by Onalytica, Feedspot and Zsah as an influential cloud computing writer.

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Organisations in the UK are among the least likely globally to have a cloud-first strategy, according to a new report from Intel Security.

The study, which polled more than 2,000 senior IT professionals, found the UK had pretty miserable scores across the board compared to their international brethren. The UK’s score of 70% for businesses who are cloud-first – whilst still a reasonable number – lagged behind the global average of more than 80%, while only 7% of UK firms said they stored all of their data in the public cloud, compared with 25% on average globally.

Similarly, the UK lags behind when it comes to having a DevSecOps – development, security, and operations – function in the business, with 28% compared to the 44% global average. As a result, shadow IT practices are likely to be more prevalent; almost three quarters (74%) of UK respondents said their organisation had public cloud services in use which were commissioned outside of the IT department, above the global average of 66%.

“Despite the majority belief that shadow IT is putting the organisation at risk, security technologies such as data loss prevention, encryption, and cloud access security brokers remain underutilised,” Intel noted in an executive summary. “Integrating these tools with an existing security system increases visibility, enables discovery of shadow services, and provides options for automatic protection of sensitive data at rest and in motion throughout any type of environment.”

One of the primary reasons for UK firms being tentative is that old favourite, the skills gap. Almost a quarter (24%) of respondents said that having skilled staff who understand cloud architecture will boost adoption rates. This rings true with similar research from Robert Half Technology earlier this month, which found that three quarters of UK-based CIOs and IT directors regularly encounter IT professionals who they believe are not up to the task.

In terms of global statistics, hybrid cloud usage increased from 19% to 57% of respondents year on year, while organisations using only private cloud dropped from 51% to 24%.

You can read the full report here (registration required).

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