December 2022 and January 2023, U.K. researcher Vanson Bourne surveyed 1,450 IT decision-makers around the world.
For the fifth consecutive year, Nutanix commissioned a global research study to learn about the state of global enterprise cloud deployments. In December 2022 and January 2023, U.K. researcher Vanson Bourne surveyed 1,450 IT decision-makers about the progress they’re making in their cloud-deployment journeys. The respondent base spanned multiple industries, business sizes, and geographies, including North and South America; Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); and the Asia-Pacific-Japan (APJ) region.
This report is supplemental to the global 5th Annual Enterprise Cloud Index master report and focuses on cloud deployments in the United Kingdom. It highlights how U.K. respondents cloud plans, priorities, and experiences compare to the rest of the EMEA region and around the world.
01IT shops in the U.K. surpass the averages in their use of mixed IT infrastructure.
Nearly three-fourths of ECI respondents in the U.K. (73%) report currently using multiple IT modes, whether it’s a mix of private and public clouds, multiple public clouds, or a combination of on-premises and hosted datacenter infrastructure. And 86% said they expect to be running multiple environments in one to three years (Figure 1). By comparison, 60% of the global ECI respondent base reported operating mixed environments today, while 74% said they plan to do so in one to three years.
In 1-3 years
Figure 1: Use of Multiple IT Environments
On-premises infrastructure only
Hosted infrastructure only
Single public cloud only
Both on-premises and hosted infrastructure
A breakdown: IT Models in Use and Planned
*Exclusively in use/planned totals may not equal 100% due to rounding.
02Performance is a bigger IT decision factor in the U.K
When asked to name the single most important criterion for making IT infrastructure investments, respondents diverse array of answers (Figure 2) reflected the differences in enterprise priorities, driven by factors such as vertical industry, company size, geography, local compliance regulation, business and sustainability goals, and internal IT philosophies and strategies. Notably, though, about twice as many respondents from the U.K. (15%) chose performance as their number-one priority when making infrastructure investment decisions, as the figure shows. As in past research years, cybersecurity continued to rank first or second in importance across respondents in the U.K., the EMEA region, and the global survey base. In the U.K., having the flexibility to run workloads across cloud and on-prem locations tied this year with cybersecurity as the second most important infrastructure selection criterion (11%).
Cybersecurity (including ransomware and malware protection)
Flexibility to run across clouds and on-prem
Regulatory concerns and compliance
Data protection and recovery (e.g. DR, replication, snaps, BU)
Data sovereignty (e.g., policies across clouds, digital shredding, restore access controls etc.)
Ability to easily move existing applications to the public cloud
Data distribution across edge, datacenter, public cloud(s)
Data services (e.g. files/ blocks/ objects)
Figure 2: Top-Ranked Driver of Infrastructure Decisions (Q4)
03Mixed environments create new challenges and demand for a single place to manage all workloads and data.
A consistent 94% of respondents across the U.K., the EMEA region, and the global ECI response pool agree that having a single platform to manage their diverse private and public infrastructures would be ideal. But while they concur on a common solution, they diverge in their challenge-level assessments of the many management aspects of their mixed environments. For example, while on average ECI respondents globally chose disaster recovery/business continuity most often as a mixed-infrastructure challenge (43%), far fewer selected this factor in the U.K. (34%), where it was mentioned sixth most often. Those in the U.K. instead cited security most often (47%), as Figure 3 shows, followed closely by data analytics and orchestration (46%). Data synchronization and data visibility tied for third as the most-often mentioned management challenge in the U.K. (42%).
Data visibility limitations are also a sticking point, as IT shops can’t manage and secure what they can’t see. While 96% of U.K. respondents agree it’s important to have full visibility into where all their data resides (Q11), only 44% of this group report having that visibility (Q9), indicating room for industry-wide improvement. U.K. respondents also report moderately lower levels of interoperability among their on-and off-prem environments: 14% describe interoperability levels as “very limited” compared to just 8% of global respondents.(Q2)
Data analytics and orchestration
Data storage costs
Disaster recovery/business continuity
Figure 3: Top-Mentioned Data Management Challenges in Mixed Environments (Q9a)
04All U.K. respondents moved applications between infrastructures in the past 12 months
Most did so in the hopes of improving their security posture or ability to meet regulatory requirements. These motivations were followed closely by desires to improve data access speeds, integrate with cloud-native services, and comply with IT management outsourcing initiatives (Figure 4). While outsourcing tied as the second most common reason for application movement in the U.K., it was far less of a factor across global respondents, tying for seventh in that group.
Note that cost considerations have significantly dropped among U.K. respondents since last year’s survey. Those interviewed for the 4th Annual ECI report cited cost most often as the reason for moving applications (44%), outpacing security and compliance (37%) by a moderate margin. By contrast, cost this year ranked sixth as the reason for moving apps, as the figure shows.
Generally, ECI respondents have been fickle about their assessment of cost and/or cost-savings potential with IT deployments. Cost has hovered somewhere near the middle of respondent criteria priority lists during the five years ECI research has been conducted. One rationale is that cost is a broad term with many components that’s difficult to compare apples to apples, particularly given differing opinions as to whether cloud computing is an IT consumption or IT operating model. At the same time, most respondents tend to give cost control a high ranking on their list of challenges: for example, 82% in the U.K., 81% of EMEA, and 85% of global respondents this year described cloud cost control as a challenge, and about a third of each group called it a “significant” one.(Q5)
To improve our security posture and/or to meet regulatory requirements
To improve data access speeds
To integrate with cloud-native services (e.g. AI/ ML etc.)
Outsourcing IT management
To gain better control of the application
To meet sustainability goals
Faster app development
Figure 4: Reasons for Moving Apps Across Infrastructure in the Past Year (Q6)
5th Annual ECI findings indicate a notable increase in the use of mixed IT infrastructure, which spans private datacenters, public clouds, and edge locations. U.K. respondent companies outpace other regions on this score and place more importance on performance when making infrastructure decisions. Data security is the top-ranked mixed-cloud management challenge in the U.K., while disaster recovery is the biggest challenge among all ECI respondents globally. Increased infrastructure diversity is driving IT pros to seek greater visibility across environments, improve interoperability among them, and find unified tools to holistically manage and secure their applications and data.