Enterprise ‘need for speed’ drives UK cloud growth


A growing number of enterprises in the UK are seeking managed cloud services with fast, low-latency links to global communications hubs, according to a new research report published by global technology research and advisory firm Information Services Group (ISG).

The 2022 ISG Provider Lens Next-Gen Private/Hybrid Cloud Data Center Services and Solutions report for the UK finds many companies are looking for alternatives to complex and costly on-premises IT. Service providers are meeting their needs with managed services, managed hosting and colocation offerings, and the most prized services are delivered through facilities with fast connections to financial centres in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris and North America, the report says.

“Thanks to the concentration of high-performance data centres around London, British companies have many options for well-connected cloud services,” said Anna Medkouri, partner, technology modernisation, ISG EMEA. “Data centre operators are still developing more sites around hubs like Canary Wharf and the Thames Estuary to meet growing demand.”

Within the UK’s private and hybrid cloud market, specialised and branded private cloud services are emerging to meet the needs of specific market segments, the report says. Providers are also introducing sovereign cloud options, especially for the public sector, to meet a growing demand for cloud resources that are tightly controlled by the organisation.

British companies turning to managed hosting services have two main strategies in mind, ISG says. Some want a service provider to take over management of their existing legacy infrastructure, either onsite or at a separate data centre, to free up resources for transformation initiatives. Others establish and run their transformed applications and systems on a cloud-based platform operated by a provider partner.

“Most enterprises in the UK have chosen IT modernisation strategies that involve close collaboration with cloud providers,” said Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research.

It is increasingly common for managed services, managed hosting and colocation providers in the UK to use intelligent automation, based on AI, machine learning and software-defined infrastructure, to improve service delivery and address the rising cost and tight supply of skilled labor, ISG says.

The report also examines other aspects of the UK’s growing private and hybrid cloud market, including the role of cloud providers in enterprise sustainability initiatives and edge computing. Fujitsu and Rackspace Technology were named as Leaders in three quadrants each, and Atos, BT and Kyndryl as Leaders in two quadrants each. Accenture, Capgemini, CGI, Claranet, Cognizant, Computacenter, Digital Realty, Ensono, Equinix, Global Switch, HCL, NTT Ltd., TCS, Telehouse, T-Systems, Vodafone and Wipro are named as Leaders in one quadrant each.

In addition, Claranet, Cloudreach and Pulsant are named as Rising Stars — companies with a “promising portfolio” and “high future potential” by ISG’s definition — in one quadrant each.

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