PCR Interviews Intel's UK Managing Director

Are businesses falling out of love with IT?

A new report from Intel claims IT is slipping down the priority list of many UK businesses, Andrew Wooden asks Intel’s UK Managing Director, Graham Palmer about the business world’s relationship with the ever-changing world of technology…

It’s your opinion that many businesses aren’t spending cash on desktops, laptops, tablets, or smartphones. Is that basically because of money, or because they don’t see a need for the new emerging tech the industry is pushing on to them?

Business is tough out there, and there are organisations that are making hard decisions every day. IT is dropping down their list of priorities, because there are other areas that are becoming more important to them. They are perhaps not realising that, actually, they have some responsibilities around security. They are potentially exposing their business continuity to risk.

According to your study, 13.8 per cent of IT decision makers say they have adopted cloud services. Moreover, nearly half of IT users and a quarter of IT decision makers aren’t even sure what cloud computing is. This paints a pretty stark portrait of cloud adoption – it’s your opinion that the hype is somewhat out of touch with the reality of the situation, then?

That’s interesting because the research stated that of the respondents that did not know what cloud is, when we drilled a little further, over half of those respondents were already using it! But there are things that the SMEs are worried about; data protection, reaching the data, reliability, and liability. All these things are very real challenges and concerns before they embrace cloud services. The tech industry is investing huge sums into the technology of the cloud, but we shouldn’t just be looking at the technology, its also about the practical and business aspects and concerns too.

The problem is there isn’t much clarity, which means there are a lot of contradictions. There was a recent report hailing the end of the data server, because businesses were moving over to the cloud. I take it you’d disagree with this assertion?

Yes, the server business itself is very strong at the moment, whether that’s cloud services or data centres, there’s a proliferation of integration within data centre servers. But many different scenarios may evolve as the market goes in different directions and I don’t see any slow down in that respect.

A huge amount of commentators claim that the increase in adoption of mobile devices and cloud technologies is coming up so fast, it won’t be long before it represents the bulk of computing. Is it premature to call the death of the desktop and localised storage?

Absolutely, I think again different types of computing devices will fit different situations. The growth in mobile computing is crucial in driving huge investment for the back-end infrastructure to support them. So actually, on both ends of that pipe, there’s great opportunity.

So it’s quite commonplace for workers to use their own mobiles or tablets for work use, or access to work servers. Perhaps filling the gap if employers aren’t providing mobile computing themselves. How much of a problem is this?

If a business has a plan and a strategy to ensure segregation of business data and private data, than it can be fully supported. The real issue is that you have to have that plan and strategy – a company that doesn’t have that plan exposes itself to reduced security for customer data and not meeting the minimum requirement for data protection.

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