Almost two thirds of British enterprises have high growth ambitions but 94% confirmed Brexit has impacted IT decision-making

London - 10 July 2017

  • • Despite the ongoing market uncertainty, 90% of organisations expect to grow
  • • 58% of UK CIOs ranked the changing political climate as their biggest concern[1]
  • • 60% of British organisations are proactively investing in digital transformation to stay ahead in the changing market
  • • UK enterprises will move 46% of IT infrastructure to the cloud to manage change

Interoute, the UK-headquartered global cloud and network provider, has revealed that 90% of British enterprises remain ambitious for growth in the next 10 months despite operating in a market dealing with the impact of Brexit, dynamic technology change and global political uncertainty. In a survey of 120 UK IT leaders, 27% took a conservative view of growth, while 63% of British organisations predicted high growth.

The report, ‘Transforming for Success in a Changing World’, revealed how senior IT leaders plan to transform for success. Most UK CIOs (94%) confirmed that Brexit has impacted their IT decision-making. Nearly six in 10 (58%) see uncertainty around the changing political environment as the single biggest challenge to achieving their digital transformation objectives.  On top of this, over half (52%) believe there is a “lack of direction and consensus from the C-suite” at a time when clarity is needed most.

However, there is an optimistic reaction to change as almost 60% of organisations are making technology infrastructure decisions that allow them to respond to uncertainty to remain competitive and grow. Other key findings include:

  • • 58% cite the changing political climate as their biggest challenge when making decisions
  • • 35% are making technology infrastructure decisions to support change
  • • 24% are pursuing digital transformation initiatives that will help drive competitiveness
  • • 23% have cancelled at least one digital transformation project
  • • 18% are cautious about change, putting digital transformation budgets on hold for now

Matthew Finnie, CTO at Interoute commented, “This study proves that most British enterprises are proactively making technology decisions and are prepared to pivot quickly to remain competitive in the face of a changing and uncertain market. It also illustrates how technology planning has taken a strategic shift. Digital transformation is about ensuring an organisation is flexible enough to react to geo-political and market changes as well as delivering customer and business value. This requires an ICT infrastructure that enables, not inhibits, change. Rather than handcuffing an organisation to a specific vendor or inflexible infrastructure choice, it is about ensuring the platform and provider you choose gives you the freedom to change and adapt as the market does.”

Connecting the old with the new

Businesses driving towards different goals are contending with different legacy systems and internal infrastructure challenges to remain competitive, whilst managing costs and ensuring stability. The key objectives driving the digital transformation strategies of British business are the desire to:

  • • Modernise IT systems to improve operations and reduce costs (42%)
  • • Enhance experiences offered to employees (42%) and customers (38%)
  • • Globalise IT infrastructure to leverage skills from outside of the UK (38%)
  • • Foster innovation to drive new revenues and competitive advantage (35%)

Moving to the Cloud

In response to changing demands, businesses are migrating a significant proportion of their IT infrastructure (46% on average) to the cloud over the next 10 months. When it comes to choosing which cloud is best for applications, 90% highlighted the need for physical proximity between cloud-based applications and their customers.  And, almost three quarters (73%) stressed the importance of full integration between the cloud and network. Yet, organisations with a cloud strategy are divided over how firm their cloud mandate should be:

  • • 28% mandate cloud-first regardless of challenges and cost implications
  • • 28% understand that when an application requires complete re-factoring, reverting to a hybrid strategy makes sense
  • • 22% have the flexibility to decide the best infrastructure option for each application
  • • 21% appreciate that when an application requires a lift and shift, it makes sense not to migrate to the cloud

Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 15 data centres, 17 virtual data centres and 33 colocation centres, with connections to over 200 additional third-party data centres across Europe. Its full-service Unified ICT platform serves international enterprises and many of the world’s leading service providers, as well as governments and universities. Interoute’s Unified ICT strategy  provides solutions for enterprises seeking connectivity and a scalable, secure advanced platform on which they can build their voice, video, computing and data services, as well as service providers in need of high capacity international data transit and infrastructure. With established operations throughout Europe and USA, Interoute also owns and operates 24 connected city networks within Europe's major business centres.

About the Research

The survey, ‘Transforming for Success in a Changing World’, was carried out independently by Coleman-Parkes Research on behalf of Interoute in March 2017. The findings include feedback from 120 senior IT decision-makers in UK-based companies with global revenues of between £200M and £5 billion. It explored the challenges facing technology leaders, and how they were embracing digital transformation while reacting to wider geo-political and economic influences outside their control.

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