The cloud remains a long-term investment priority for 60% of leading companies in the UK and Ireland, despite the current macroeconomic headwinds and the recent slowdown in the growth of global cloud service providers.
This is according to the latest survey by Tata Consultancy Services of senior business leaders from around the world, Connected future: how the cloud drives business innovation.
The global survey of 972 senior executives included 102 respondents from across the UK and Ireland. It reveals that innovation is a major driver of cloud investment, with 63% of UK and Irish executives stating that the cloud is critical as an innovation catalyst for the future of their organisations. This figure is slightly higher than the global average of 59%.
This seems especially true for artificial intelligence (AI): 74% of UK and Irish respondents have invested in AI and machine learning capabilities in the past two years, while 78% plan to do so in the next 12-24 months. Both technologies are heavily dependent on access to large amounts of data and scalability through the cloud.
Over half of UK and Irish respondents (56%) ranked new ways of working to improve employee engagement and productivity (e.g. remote collaboration technology) as their most desired innovation outcome cloud-enabled. Progress is ongoing, with 32% are already realizing the desired innovation outcomes in this area.
Furthermore, the study also finds that a clear majority of respondents (75%) in the UK and Ireland use cloud technologies to achieve their sustainability goals, higher than the global average of 67%. However, 48% reported difficulty understanding the carbon footprint of cloud service providers. This suggests that while the majority of respondents see the cloud as an important, and so far successful, part of their sustainability strategy and are increasingly using cloud tools to assess their carbon footprint, they now require the same visibility from their suppliers. cloud services.
Overall, despite significant progress in recent years, the study reveals that businesses still have a long way to go to harness the full power and potential of the cloud. Other key findings for the UK and Ireland include:
- Industry clouds or vertical clouds are rapidly emerging as a fast-track path to more business skills and capabilities, with the vast majority of executives (79%) already evaluating, adopting or using them in business today. This is higher than the global average of 73%, indicating that the UK and Ireland are ahead in leveraging the cloud for industry-specific applications.
- 84% of respondents want to participate in digital ecosystems, but most are still far from realizing their full value: 43% are still in the early stages of transitioning to mature digital ecosystems.
- Critical skills shortages continue to hit businesses in the cloud space, with nearly half (up to 55%) of respondents reporting a lack of in-house comprehensive cloud skills.
Venu Gudimetla, Head of Cloud Business UK&I, TCS, said: Despite the challenging economic climate, most businesses in the UK and Ireland are prioritizing long-term investments in the cloud to power innovations such as artificial intelligence and drive new business models. Interestingly, the UK and Ireland are already making headway when it comes to industry-specific cloud deployments and meeting their sustainability goals. We expect to see innovation accelerate as more companies begin to leverage cloud technologies for long-term growth and profitability.
Krishnan Ramanujam, president, Enterprise Growth Group, TCS, said: The desire for greater efficiency, resiliency and flexibility drove early cloud adoption and these remain critical drivers. Businesses now understand more deeply how cloud drives long-term business growth and innovation, and for most, the journey is only just beginning.
The cloud is a frequent source of short-term ROI anxiety, but growth and transformation is a long game. Reconciling these two realities is a challenge and a necessity, but fully achievable with the right strategy and planning. This is critical because the cloud is now the unifying digital fabric of every enterprise, powering powerful technologies – from generative AI to the edge and quantum computing – and is ushering in the next wave of innovations now and into the future.”
The 2023 TCS Global Cloud Study surveyed 972 senior executives of companies exceeding $1 billion in annual revenue from multiple industries across Asia, Europe and North America. Most companies have annual revenues of more than $5 billion. Individual markets examined include:
- Continental Europe (Germany, Spain, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg).
- UK and Ireland
- North America (United States, Canada, Mexico).
- APAC (India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand).
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