IT Triggers Impacting the SMB in 2014: infrastructure refresh, cloud economics and Internet Bandwidth drive attraction of Hybrid IT as a Service.

Position:2014 PREDICTIONS

The Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) has outlined a set of 5 triggers impacting upon small and mid-sized businesses that it believes will shape IT buying behaviour throughout 2014.

Alex Hilton, CEO of CIF, said, "Following our analysis of our recent research project of 250 UK-based SMEs, and in light of wider market conditions and technical innovation, the Cloud Industry Forum expects that the majority of UK small to mid-sized organisations will be adopting and maintaining a hybrid approach to their IT. 69% of organisations claim to use at least one cloud service, however, only 12% of firms today believe they can put everything in the cloud, meaning the vast majority will remain in a hybrid state for the foreseeable future."

Hilton continued, "As a result of our assessment we have outlined the top five considerations we believe that the SMB will face in 2014 when looking at upgrading or refreshing infrastructure or investing in new IT capabilities which are as follows:

  1. Hybrid IT (a blend of on-premise and public cloud services) will increase as the defacto status of IT adoption across the SMB sector. As such, a key consideration for any SMB is ensuring that they can manage their IT as a whole, and therefore, capabilities for monitoring and management of IT operations become more critical in delivering an end-to-end service and will encourage more organisations to adopt IT as a managed service.

  2. Desktop refresh advances cloud productivity solutions: The approaching end-of-life of desktop technologies such as Windows XP and Office 2003 will add impetus to the migration of traditional PC workloads to cloud services like Microsoft's Office 365 where new economies of scale and collaboration can be achieved.

  3. Server refresh still supports focal IT capability: The approaching end-of-life of older operating systems and solutions such as Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft's Small Business Server will drive a review and refresh of IT server infrastructure in the SMB sector, with many opting to retain critical services like Credentials (e.g. Active Directory), Print Management and File Management on-premise as a central service.

  4. Affordable bandwidth dictates location of services: Whilst we see the sensitivity of data location easing slightly in the UK, it is the constraints on Internet bandwidth for many SMB's that will continue to dictate where application workloads will be run, i.e. where it is most optimal for the organisation. Those with primarily...

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