UK CIOs stepping-up digital transformation agenda and investing in technology that will meet user demands

Veeam Software published data which illustrates the uphill battle UK CIOs face as they respond to the digital transformation agenda. The research found that more than four in five UK business CIOs (82 percent) admit to suffering from an ‘Availability Gap’, the gap between user needs and how effectively the business can ensure application and data availability – well above the European average of 60 percent.

Despite ongoing investment, UK businesses’ quest for digital transformation is being hampered by failing to provide users with the technology they demand. Veeam’s study of 100 UK CIOs found that less than a quarter (24 percent) are able to recover mission-critical applications and more than two-thirds (67 percent) fail to backup their mission-critical data more frequently than every 30 minutes.

This is despite more than half of the UK respondents (53 percent) stating that downtime is unacceptable to their employees, compared to just 40 percent across the rest of Europe. However, the vast majority (73 percent) admitted that, despite increasing investment in their datacentre technology, they remain unable to meet these demands to be always-on.

UK businesses are targeting digital transformation as a key priority and it has become a mainstay of the boardroom agenda. Gartner has suggested that 125,000 large organisations are launching digital business initiatives and expect their digital revenue to increase by more than 80 percent by 2020, while IDC has predicted that digital transformation initiatives will more than double in the same time period. Without a clear route to ensuring constant access to data and applications – a hallmark of digital transformation – UK businesses could be behind the curve.

Richard Agnew, VP NW EMEA at Veeam Software, said: “We know that digital transformation is a major priority for many UK businesses and there are plenty of IT organisations which are delivering fantastic strides forward in meeting their digital objectives. But it’s concerning that when comparing the UK against the rest of Europe it is lagging behind and failing to deliver on users’ availability requirements. This is underlined by CIOs admitting their lack of focus on backup and recovery goes against their efforts to reduce IT costs. This must serve as a wake-up call for businesses – they need to offer users the technology that they demand to deliver an always-on enterprise, particularly as digital transformation is now top of the agenda.”

UK’s technology forecast is cloudy
451 Research has predicted that public storage spend will double in two years as on-premise storage declines, while cloud-based IT environments are widely expected to become more prevalent in the next few years. Veeam’s research finds that whilst the UK continues to invest in cloud as route to delivering transformative IT solutions, it is also behind the rest of Europe on cloud adoption in certain areas.

Nearly one third of UK CIOs (31 percent) admitted they do not use the cloud for data protection, compared to just 9 percent across the rest of Europe. The UK also ranks well below the rest of Europe in using the cloud for disaster recovery and archiving, with just 41 percent of UK businesses utilising the cloud for both compared to 57 percent and 61 percent respectively across Europe.

Agnew concluded: “A hybrid cloud infrastructure can help businesses to enable the always-on workplace that employees are increasingly demanding. Success will hinge on data and application availability in the hybrid cloud, and nothing less than 24.7.365 access to that data is acceptable. The UK can step up and improve its standing among its European peers by embracing next generation technologies that ensure availability for virtual, physical and cloud-based workloads.”