A 2018 cloud computing study by IDG Communications, InfoWorld’s parent company, has found that organizations continue to increase their investment and evolve their cloud environments to leverage the technology to drive their business forward. With 73 percent of the 550 surveyed organizations having at least one application, or a portion of their computing infrastructure already in the cloud, it is no longer a question of if organizations will adopt cloud, but how.
The study discovered several key trends about the how of enterprise cloud adoption, including reduced concerns over cloud providers’ security, the increasing complexity of cloud deployments, and the increase in as-a-service deployment thinking.
The cloud is evolving into complex environments
Cloud environments are maturing and, in some cases, growing more complex. While 43 percent are using hybrid cloud only and 12 percent are using multicloud only, 30 percent are using both. The perceived benefits of using multicloud include:
- increased cloud options (59 percent)
- easier and faster disaster recovery (40 percent)
- increased flexibility by allowing the spread of workloads across multiple clouds (38 percent
The evolution of more complex environments has also generated the need for, or discussion around, viewing cloud providers as a portfolio, with 51 percent of respondents beginning to think this way. Organizations in technology-dependent industries are much more apt to be thinking of cloud providers within a portfolio strategy: financial services (63 percent) and high tech (63 percent) top the list, whereas manufacturing (43 percent) and education (41 percent) are least likely to be thinking of cloud providers within a portfolio strategy.
Cloud spending is on the rise as the benefits become clearer
As business stakeholders see the benefits and results of cloud adoption, more than one third of respondents (38 percent) shared that their IT department feels pressure to migrate 100 percent to the cloud. Enterprise organizations (companies with 1,000 or more employees) are feeling that pressure more than their small and medium business counterparts (companies with fewer than 1,000 employees). Forty-four percent of enterprise organizations, compared with 31 percent of small to medium organizations, feel pressure from executive management or individual lines of business to migrate 100 percent to the cloud.
“IT organizations are being asked to improve the speed of IT service delivery and react to changing market conditions. Cloud solutions provide the flexibility to do just that,” says Julie Ekstrom, senior vice president of IDG Communications. “Organizations are relying on a mix of cloud delivery models to meet this need. However, it requires management of multiple vendors. As tech executives explore new areas of cloud investment, they examine their portfolio of cloud vendors to see what solutions can grow and what new vendors will work collaboratively with their existing portfolio for ease of adoption.”
The percent of IT budgets allocated to cloud computing has remained relatively consistent at 30 percent in the 2018 study, compared with 28 percent in 2016. However, total dollars spent are increasing this year, especially by small to medium businesses. The average overall investment jumped from $1.6 million in 2016 to $2.2 million in 2018. Small and medium businesses’ cloud budgets increased from $286,000 in 2016 to $889,000 in 2018. Enterprise investment levels saw an increase from $3.0 million in 2016 to $3.5 million in 2018.