Enterprise Cloud Adoption Expands, Containing Costs a Big Concern

Edward GatelyEnterprise multi-cloud and hybrid cloud adoption continue to grow while optimizing cloud costs is the top initiative across all cloud users.

That’s according to RightScale’s 2017 State of the Cloud Survey. It includes responses from 1,002 technology professionals at large and small enterprises across a broad cross-section of industries.

Michael Crandell, RightScale’s CEO, tells Channel Partners that for channel businesses such as managed hosting, outsourcing, system integration, IT consulting or other value-added services, “this multi-cloud landscape offers opportunity to capture and retain business by helping your customers use cloud resources.”

RightScale's Michael Crandell“One of the biggest opportunities for RightScale partners is helping customers not only manage complex cloud deployments, but also get a handle on increasing cloud costs,” he said. “RightScale works with a number of channel partners, including Telstra, Offis, Industrie IT and others to help their customers move into the cloud and manage costs effectively there.”

According to the survey, hybrid cloud is the preferred enterprise strategy, but private cloud adoption fell. Some 85 percent of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy, up from 82 percent in 2016. However, private cloud adoption fell from 77 percent to 72 percent as focus shifts to public cloud.

Public cloud users already are running applications in an average of 1.8 public clouds, while experimenting with 1.8 more. Private cloud users are using 2.3 private clouds today and experimenting with an additional 2.1 private clouds.

Respondents run 41 percent of workloads in the public cloud and 38 percent in a private cloud. Among enterprises, respondents run 32 percent of workloads in public cloud and 43 percent in private cloud.{ad}

Optimizing cloud costs is the top initiative across all cloud users (53 percent) and especially among mature cloud users (64 percent). Respondents estimate 30 percent of cloud spend is wasted, while RightScale has measured actual waste between 30 and 45 percent. Despite an increased focus on cloud cost management, few companies are taking critical actions to optimize cloud costs, such as shutting down unused workloads or selecting lower-cost clouds or regions, according to the survey.

Enterprise central IT has a broader view of its cloud role in 2017 that includes selecting public clouds (65 percent), deciding/advising on which apps move to cloud (63 percent), and selecting private clouds (63 percent). In comparison, respondents in business units are less likely to delegate authority to central IT for selecting public clouds (41 percent), deciding/advising on which apps move to cloud (45 percent), and selecting private clouds (38 percent).

Lack of resources/expertise, the top cloud challenge in 2016, was less of a challenge in 2017, with only 25 percent citing it as a major concern, down from 32 percent in 2016, according to the survey. Concerns about security …


… also fell to 25 percent, versus 29 percent last year. Managing cloud spend fell slightly from 26 to 25 percent to tie for the biggest challenge. The most cited challenge among mature cloud users is managing costs (24 percent) while among cloud beginners it is security (32 percent).

“One of the more surprising trend lines we’ve seen over the past few years is how cloud maturity impacts cloud challenges,” Crandell said. “When enterprises get good at cloud, things like security become less of a challenge, and things like cost management become the big area of focus.”

Other survey findings include:{ad}

  • DevOps adoption continued to rise from 74 to 78 percent with enterprises reaching 84 percent. Thirty percent of enterprises are adopting DevOps company-wide, up from 21 percent in 2016. Overall Docker adoption surged to 35 percent, taking the lead over Chef and Puppet at 28 percent each. Kubernetes adoption also grew to 14 percent from 7 percent in 2016.
  • Overall Azure adoption grew from 20 to 34 percent of respondents, while AWS stayed flat at 57 percent of respondents. Google also grew from 10 to 15 percent to maintain third position. Azure also reduced the AWS lead among enterprises; Azure increased adoption significantly from 26 percent to 43 percent while AWS adoption in this group increased slightly from 56 percent to 59 percent.
  • AWS holds a significant lead in the number of VMs its users are running: 28 percent of respondents have more than 100 VMs in AWS, while only 13 percent have more than 100 VMs in Azure. Among enterprises, 38 percent have more than 100 VMs in AWS, and 21 percent have more than 100 in Azure.
  • Private cloud adoption flattens. VMware vSphere continues to lead with 42 percent adoption, slightly below last year (44 percent). OpenStack (20 percent), and VMware vCloud Suite (19 percent) were also flat in growth. Azure Pack/Stack was the only private cloud technology to show significant growth, up from 9 percent to 14 percent.

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