Clouds over UK: State of the Nation’s Sector

The UK's cloud sector is a 'cirrus' business with plenty of notable names staying active, homegrown talent to check out and heatwave issues to consider.

Like a well-made London fog from the past, the tech industry has been quite cloudy throughout the 21st century.

From AWS’s cloud-based exploits to Microsoft’s Azure to UK-grown firms like Thought Machine, cloud computing is one of the strongest trends going in the global tech sector.

Trends in the tech world are looking quite sunny for the cloud. According to Gartner projections, cloud spending is expected to hit nearly $495 billion (£407 billion) worldwide in 2022. This is a 63% increase from the $313 billion (£258 billion) spent on cloud computing products in 2020.

With exciting events like the MongoDB World 2022 conference and startups like SurrealDB circling about the nation, it only feels right to give an update on cloud computing in the UK.

Notable Names in the Cloud Sector

Aside from the big three of Microsoft, Google and Amazon, cloud coverage in the UK is quite expansive. According to Crunchbase, there are over 900 cloud computing companies in the country.

Major names in the space include Instinctools, AllianceTek and CodeBright. In the startup spaces, firms like Greenpixie, Mast, Cyscale and the aforementioned SurrealDB are making moves to grow and improve their cloud capabilities.

Cloud computing’s flexibility in use cases means that a variety of industries benefit from the technology, not just tech. Mast utilises cloud technology to help lenders process mortgage applications faster than they could otherwise. Greenpixie is part of the wave of companies looking to help organisations measure their carbon footprint to hit the nation’s Net Zero goal.

On top of companies actively leveraging cloud computing, there are consulting firms who help clients integrate cloud technology into their business smoothly and easily. Companies like Logicsoft, Compucare Systems, Cloudreach and Altoros are some of the prominent names in this space.

Read more here: Google Cloud Sustainability Summit 2022: Building Mole Hills Instead of Mountains

Cloud Developments in the UK

This year has been a fairly eventful one up in the clouds. Managed services provider Node4 acquired Stafford-based risual to boost its cloud capabilities. Collateral and management solution provider CloudMargin announced it had gained seven new bank clients in the last quarter alone.

Over in Glasgow, fintech startup Know-It announced the official launch of its cloud-based credit management platform in early July. Another Glasgow organisation, iomart Group purchased a share of Concepta Capital, a holding company for a group of Yorkshire-based IT firms, including the ORIIUM and Pavilion IT brands, for £10.5 million.

Tech giant IBM also took home a major UK victory after securing a deal with the All England Lawn Tennis Club to create new ways for Wimbledon fans to watch the Championships using both cloud and AI innovations.

In mid-July, the British Army tapped London-based startup Hadean to build a cloud-distributed training platform for ground-based combat. The Co-operative Bank selected Finastra’s Kondor trading system, available via Microsoft Azure, to level up its treasury infrastructure, as well as to automate its manual reporting and processes.

In stormier news, the record-breaking heatwave that has been rocking the UK as of late had an adverse effect on cloud-computing data centres for two giants of the industry: Google and Oracle. Both companies reported cooling-related issues with their data centres which resulted in some users in the region being unable to utilise the companies’ cloud computing services. Environmental impacts like these might worsen as climate change cranks up the heat around the globe.

Read more here: Is The Glue Holding Our Digital Services Together Melting?

Into the Future

Overall, the cloud computing scene is just fine in the UK at the moment. Businesses are making moves, spending in the industry is expected to grow, and the thriving UK tech scene will hopefully continue to prosper.

However, as climate change’s impact on the environment increases in intensity, companies will need to develop new methods to keep their data centres cool and usable in the long-term. This, coupled with the hiring freeze impacting the global tech industry, might give companies pause when considering cloud computing options in the future.

Whether they rain gold or bring stormy weather, these clouds are sure to be ‘cirrus’ business.

Interested in cloud computing? Check out these courses from TechRepublic Academy.

Zephin Livingston
Zephin Livingston
Zephin Livingston is a content writer for eWeek, eWeek UK, IT Business Edge, and SoftwarePundit with years of experience in multiple fields including cybersecurity, tech, cultural criticism, and media literacy. They're currently based out of Seattle.
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