A huge survey of 2,000 IT decision makers across 100 countries and diverse industries by Paessler has revealed interesting insights into cloud adoption.
In Favour of The Cloud
Most respondents were in favour of the cloud (80%), particularly those located in the USA and the UK. German IT decision makers (ITDMs) were the least enthusiastic. However, it is important to note that a favourable opinion of cloud services didn't necessarily translate into adoption or extensive use.
ITDMs are using the cloud for email (32%), web hosting, content management and blogging (39%), office applications (31%) and file sharing (32%). Cloud services most in demand are apps. Only 15% of ITDMs are using compute in the cloud (running processes and applications) and nearly 45% say that they have no plans to migrate these.
Cloud Adoption Priorities
Those looking to adopt the cloud in the coming year were planning to use the same applications, but with industry-specific services to provide extra value. In priority order, planned cloud service adoptions are email at 27%, web hosting at 27%, Microsoft Office and collaboration functionalities at 20% and VMS at 18%.
However, from 2018 onwards, the picture changes. Next year, the priorities for ITDMs are to build in backup functions (34%), network monitoring services (42%), CRM functionality (35%) and industry specific functionalities (29%).
Blockers to Cloud Adoption
Those who are yet to migrate to the cloud cite issues around data security, cost, a lack of knowledge and insufficient resources to manage the transition. Functions cited as unsuitable for the cloud - at least in perception - were compute (44%), network monitoring (42%), backup (36%) and certain industry-specific applications at 34%. Data security was cited most frequently as a key obstacle to migration, with nearly 85% of respondents saying that it represented an area of concern to a moderate or significant degree.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Businesses are increasingly switching on to using IaaS providers. Azure is the most popular IaaS in terms of production at nearly 18% and Amazon AWS is at nearly 13%. Google has fallen far behind at just under 9%. However, late-adopters suggested that they were increasingly interested in Google for migrations in 2018. Where ITDMs are largely experimenting with public service cloud, Azure leads at 31%, Amazon AWS is hot on its heels at 30% and Google Cloud stands at 15%. Again however, when quizzed about future intentions, 25% of ITDMs said that they were looking at Google Cloud.
Over 75% of ITDMs will use web hosting, Office applications and email in the cloud, and over half of compute, backup and network monitoring will be based in the cloud. Within the next two years however, on-site applications will become a minority service, and most applications will have migrated into the cloud.
Enterprise IT has been transformed by cloud services and these benefits are now extending to the SME and SMB markets. Having navigated around large vendor marketing hype, small IT teams are seeking out options which offer genuine value. ITDMs are demonstrating positivity and acceptance of the cloud, particularly for applications which support productivity.
Network monitoring and compute are far behind on the cloud service popularity stakes, but email web hosting and Office applications are widely in use. Azure has the lead spot of the PaaS cloud providers, hotly followed by Amazon AWS and with Google trailing behind. However, the Google Cloud brand is growing and is of interest to many SME and SMB customers for the future.
Cloud and hybrid cloud migrations will raise fresh challenges for IT professionals and may cause the role of the administrator to evolve. Manpower and knowledge remain key blockers to deployments and better training and accreditation will be necessary. Deeper infrastructure understanding will also be necessary for IT teams to be able to manage disparate systems and environments on-premises, requiring toolsets and management processes that provide a holistic overview, with robust cybersecurity measures in place.
Over 2,000 IT decision makers in nearly 100 countries were surveyed by Paessler, spanning industries that included telecoms, manufacturing, government, energy, healthcare, financial services, transport, education and consumer goods.