Managed services outfit Claranet had a good year thanks to the acquisitions it made just before its financial year ended in June.
The firm has reported a 40 percent increase in revenue – £216.5 million up from £152.5 million from the previous year.
UK acquisitions included application management player Ardenta and security firm Sec-1. There were deals struck in France, Portugal and the Netherlands to bolster the Group operations.
Charles Nasser, founder and CEO of Claranet, said that its growth now gave it the chance to provide more scale and capabilities “that are increasingly relevant to our customers’ journey, allowing us to develop ever stronger relationships. As we continue to expand our portfolio of services, we are also attracting larger customers with a broader range of services.
“This strategy has enabled us to make significant inroads with upcoming technologies and related services in the areas of Public Cloud, DevOps, Security and Big data.”
Nasser also indicated that there would not be a change to its strategy of using acquisition as a means of expanding the business.
“The steps we have taken to grow the business provide the ideal platform from which we can consolidate our position in the market and pursue further growth as the IT services industry continues to evolve and consolidate”, he said.
Claranet CFO Nigel Fairhurst said: “The investments we’ve made over the past few years in our staff, technical expertise and partnerships mean that we’re now capable of competing with some of the biggest players in the industry, and we fully expect to maintain this momentum into the next financial year.”
Managed service provider Claranet has written a cheque for firms in the UK, France and Portugal as part of its cunning plan to become a European player.
Claranet has gone through refinancing, which provides it with an acquisition facility of £80 million.
It has written a cheque for Leeds-based Sec-1, which is a security outfit with a turnover of £6 million and comes with 60 staff. The firm’s founders Matt Hawnt and Gary O’Leary-Steele will remain with Claranet.
In France, it bought Oxalide which is a DevOps and cloud specialist with a turnover of £15 million.
It bought ITEN Solutions in Portugal with revenues of £69 million and 360 staff. The firm had itself been created by merging two of the largest players in that market and now makes Claranet one of the main operators in the country.
Charles Nasser, founder and CEO of the Claranet Group said that the growth, combined with acquisitions made the company a significant operation in the managed IT services market in Europe.
“These latest acquisitions represent a significant step forward for Claranet, confirming our market-leading position in France and Portugal and boosting our Group-wide security and application management capabilities for the benefit of our customers,” he added.
Nasser expects to see a continued consolidation of the European managed services market over the next 24-months and we are on a strong footing in all major markets in Western Europe.
A survey of 300 plus UK IT decision makers found that over two thirds of those surveyed thought cloud computing is as secure as having kit on the premises.
The annual survey, conducted by Claranet, shows that figure is up from the 54 percent figure it polled last year.
Over 73 percent of those surveyed aare now using some form of cloud service. It’s the middle market which shows the most growth with a significant 81 percent of companies using cloud services. The figure for that segment last year was 65 percent.
Claranet UK MD, Michel Robert, said that security still worries end users but businesses are not frightened.
The survey showed that 81 percent of firms managed to reduce capital expenditure while 75 percent of companies “reduced pressure” on IT department.
The survey was managed by market research company Vanson Bourne in September 2013. Twenty six per cent of the respondents came from the professional services sector; 21 percent from financial services; 20 percent from retail, distribution and transport; and 14 percent from media, leisure and entertainment. The rest operated in other commercial markets.
Despite the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) culture being praised by organisations, three quarters also believe that this new model poses an increased security threat.
That’s according to research by Claranet, which surveyed 250 senior IT decision-makers in a range of businesses and public sector organisations.
It found that 72 percent of organisations currently have a mobile working service that enables employees to access corporate networks remotely, either on corporate-owned or personal devices.
However, significant security concerns persist, with 70 percent of organisations identifying worries over increased data loss, while 51 percent fear that mobile working leads to less control over how data is used. A further 50 percent believe it poses a greater risk of unauthorised access to IT systems.
The research also revealed a general failure to implement a formal BYOD strategy, with only 26 percent reporting that they had a specific policy in place.
Just over a third of those queried also said they didn’t allow employees to use their personal devices to access corporate networks, and 10 percent said they actively seeked to discourage BYOD.
Claranet’s UK Managing Director, Michel Robert, said organisations urgently needed to formulate a mobile working strategy, whether they approved of BYOD or not.
He said this was because it was impossible to ignore the reality of technically savvy employees who rely on mobile devices for personal and business use.