The enterprise networking industry is in a state of change; the shift to the cloud has been steady, slowly gaining market-wide approval – but the results of research by our sister site Computing show that the reality is less encouraging.

The cloud took several years to be accepted as a viable business model in the enterprise, said Mike South of Colt Technology in a Computing websem, and it’s now rubbing off on other technologies like software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV).

However, research shows that fewer than 15 per cent of firms consider themselves fully virtualised, and more than two-fifths still have their core functions on-premise. A third are only at the start of the cloud journey; one in ten haven’t started to implement the cloud yet; and, most worryingly, 3.5 per cent don’t see any need for the technology.

There is an increasing amount to play for in the business space as the cloud takes over, and a lot of what happens next is likely to come down to enterprise migration away from an on-prem model. Luke Braham, IT manager at global staffing agency Red, agreed:

“Red…was probably in the hybrid cloud space four years ago, and we’re ninety-five per cent of the way towards a complete cloud solution. From a physical hardware perspective we probably only have three servers, and those are distributed across regions…

“It surprises me that any customer hasn’t moved towards a Microsoft Office 365-type suite – and that could be, for seventy-five per cent of organisations, what they need, which would suggest that that number should be a lot higher.”

All attendees agreed that moving to the cloud means migrating a substantial portion of the critical business processes; not just email, which in the case of Microsoft, Google and other providers has been in the cloud for 20 years already.

The necessity of a telecoms market shift to a more flexible way of working – inspired by the agility of working in the cloud – was also discussed in the websem. Like the shift to the cloud, attendees acknowledged that the transition to on-demand networking will not happen overnight.