UK Companies Still Fret Over SaaS And The Cloud

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

British companies are lagging in the adoption of SaaS compared to other countries, and they also remain cautious about using the cloud model for their business apps

British companies remain apprehensive about fully adopting the cloud model for their business applications, and are also lagging behind other countries in the adoption of SaaS (Software as a Service).

That is according to new research from structured data specialist RainStor, which said that its findings show that only 22 percent of UK companies are already using a SaaS application, compared with 49 percent in the United States. A further 28 percent of UK companies intend to make use of SaaS in the foreseeable future, compared with 42 percent of US companies.

The cautious attitude of the Brits compared to their American cousins was amply demonstrated as the research also found that 82 percent of UK companies already using SaaS would like to take a copy of their data at least once a week, compared to only 46 percent of US companies.

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This cautious nature towards SaaS also corresponds with the British attitude to the cloud, with UK companies less willing to fully adopt a cloud model for their business applications. This was starkly illustrated when 38 percent of UK companies said they would prefer to keep a copy of SaaS data on-site, rather than with another third party cloud provider. Only 5 percent of US companies had the same reticence.

“UK companies clearly have a degree of apprehension towards SaaS applications and cloud computing,” said Andy Ben-Dyke, CTO at RainStor. “That’s quite surprising given the pressure on IT budgets, but it is incumbent on the IT industry to address these security and liability concerns. The concept of SaaS data escrow and providing companies with a facility to keep copies of their SaaS data will go a long way to minimising these concerns and speed up cloud adoption.”

RainStor based its research on a sample of 400 senior IT decision makers, across the US (300) and the UK (100), working for companies with 500 to 5,000 staff.

Its data goes some way to back up research last month from software management vendor SafeNet, which found that most UK businesses are concerned about introducing virtualisation, cloud computing and SaaS into their organisations, over fears of complex licensing issues.

And back in July, Gartner called upon SaaS vendors to “reaffirm fundamentals,” after a survey of UK and US software-as-a-service (SaaS) users found them underwhelmed by their experience of it.