Across all UK industry sectors, the major IT initiatives of 2011 were aimed at reducing costs and improving
operational efficiencies – server virtualisation and desktop virtualisation were near the top of most enterprise CIOs’
priority lists, as budgets and head-count were frozen or reduced. Now, however, as we move into 2012 and
firms plan for the future, CEOs look to IT to support business initiatives: they want to use IT to improve sales and
customer service performance, for example by using web-based applications internally and e-commerce to boost
external sales. The problem? All these initiatives rely on IT infrastructure and operations, which in many enterprises
have been starved of investment. To solve this problem they will need to use cloud computing technology,
which has the potential to lower IT costs and at the same time improve agility and flexibility. How can it do this?
Cloud technology makes it possible for IT to deliver new servers in minutes rather than months, and to purchase
computing and storage only when they are needed and to pay for only what is used. However, cloud services are
not without risk: they must be planned and implemented with due care.