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Enterprise Public Cloud Services To Double By 2021: Study

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A recently published industry report suggested that use of public cloud services by organizations may nearly double in the next two years.

About 27 percent of business workloads currently use public cloud services, but that number is expected to reach 48 percent in 1-2 years, according to survey findings published by Spiceworks, an Austin, Texas-based marketing services company. The report, “Public Cloud Trends in 2019 and Beyond,” surveyed over 450 IT decision makers back in April.

As more workloads and applications shift to the cloud, 69 percent of businesses believe the flexibility inherent in cloud environments will allow them to more easily adopt emerging technologies such as edge computing, serverless computing, and container technologies.

Spiceworks research shows approximately one third of businesses plan to adopt edge computing, serverless computing, and container technologies by 2020. Adoption rates are even higher in large enterprises with more than 5,000 employees. For example, by 2020, 65 percent of large enterprises plan to use edge computing and 73 percent plan to use container technologies, up from 32 percent and 39 percent today, respectively.

“Our findings indicate many businesses are eager to capitalize on emerging cloud-centric technologies,” said Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks. “This interest creates new opportunities for cloud vendors to provide solutions and services that can help organizations reap the benefits of serverless computing, edge computing, and containers.”

Moving more sensitive data to public clouds

While there’s little doubt an industry shift to public cloud environments continues, many businesses still choose to run some workloads and applications fully on-premises, particularly those housing sensitive company information such as database servers (59 percent), identity management systems (57 percent), and ERP systems (46 percent). However, among those businesses, approximately 20 percent are considering moving these workloads to public clouds in the next 12 months.

When examining other common workloads and applications, the results show more than half of businesses run their web/ecommerce properties and email workloads fully in public clouds today, while approximately a quarter do the same for their communications tools, mobile services, and CRM systems.

Organizations are more likely to take a hybrid approach for their productivity and backup/disaster recovery applications, running some workloads on-premises and some in public clouds.

AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud score

Spiceworks also examined how public cloud providers are perceived among the businesses currently leveraging each brand. The results show Amazon Web Services (AWS) narrowly edges out the competition for maximum uptime, best-in-class data security, and value for money, three of the top five most critical purchase consideration factors according to IT decision makers.

Microsoft Azure took the top spot for compatibility with existing services and tied with AWS for being the most trusted partner. Google Cloud Platform ranked the highest for being simple to manage and an innovative provider. Additionally, more than a third of organizations said they’re open to using smaller, local cloud infrastructure providers.

Security, a public cloud concern

Overall, the study reveals a positive outlook for providers of public cloud infrastructure, applications, and services with a variety of opportunities for vendors to provide customers with more services and support. For example, many organizations reported they’d like more support from cloud vendors when it comes to maintaining data security (43 percent), migrating workloads to the cloud (39 percent), and complying with data regulations (28 percent).

However, the research indicates there are a few hurdles cloud vendors will need to address, including:

  • Retaining customers: Approximately 80 percent of businesses said they would stop purchasing from their cloud service provider if they experienced unreliable service, substantial price increases, or if there was a security issue with their vendor.
  • Offering flexible options: Cloud lock-in continues to bother nearly a quarter (22 percent) of organizations.
  • Overcoming security concerns: 30 percent of businesses reported facing data security challenges in the cloud. This increases to nearly 50 percent in enterprises with 1,000 or more employees.

“In order to retain business, cloud vendors need to be more proactive about combating the factors that could drive their customers to a competitor,” said Tsai.

“For example, public cloud vendors can benefit by being transparent with IT decision makers about safeguards they have in place to protect sensitive data customers are storing or considering storing in public clouds,” he summed up.

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