Just 16 per cent of UK firms consider cost to be the main driver for initial cloud adoption, a new survey from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) has found.

The majority of respondents (53 per cent) said that the flexibility that cloud services enable in a business is now more likely to encourage them to start using cloud computing. This was particularly true for businesses with fewer than 20 employees.

However, cost became a more significant driver for organizations (69 per cent) that were planning to expand their cloud service adoption or consider how they currently access technology through the supply chain.

Generally, the survey found that cloud adoption was becoming widely accepted in U.K. organizations. The Cloud Industry Forum questioned 450 senior IT and business decision-makers in public and private sector end-user organizations and 200 people from the channel, including IT consultancies and systems integrators, for the survey.

Nearly half (48 per cent) of all organizations questioned use a cloud service, with companies with more than 20 staff more likely to adopt cloud than smaller firms and public organizations.

Heads of IT also tend to be the people who take the decision to move to the cloud (65 per cent), compared to 25 per cent who said it was still the responsibility of CEOs or managing directors.

Meanwhile, organizations that have adopted cloud services are mostly very satisfied with them. The major cloud services being deployed are email, back-up and disaster recovery, storage and Web-hosting services.

Satisfaction was at 94 per cent, which was encouraging existing users to expand their adoption to other areas of their IT operations.

Piers Linney, joint CEO for Outsourcery, a founder member of CIF, said: “With only two per cent of respondents saying they would never consider cloud, it is clear that we are heralding a new era in business computing that will be disruptive for many of the existing providers of IT and comms solutions.”

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