Businesses across North America and Europe are set to nearly double the amount of workloads and applications they run in the public cloud within the next one to two years.
That’s according to Spiceworks’ new study, Public Cloud Trends in 2019 and Beyond. The survey polled more than 450 IT decision makers representing a variety of industries, including education, health care, nonprofits, government, finance, retail, construction, manufacturing and IT services.
Spiceworks also examined how public cloud providers are perceived among the businesses using each brand’s clouds. AWS earned top marks for maximum uptime, Microsoft Azure for compatibility and Google Cloud Platform for manageability.
“Our findings indicate many businesses are eager to capitalize on emerging cloud-centric technologies,” said Peter Tsai, Spiceworks’ senior technology analyst. “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.”
On average, businesses now run 27% of their workloads and applications in public clouds, and this is expected to reach 48% in the next couple of years. As more workloads and applications shift to the cloud, 69% 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.
About 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. By 2020, 65% of large enterprises plan to use edge computing and 73% plan to use container technologies, up from 32% and 39% today, respectively.
Many businesses still choose to run some workloads and applications fully on-premises, particularly those housing sensitive company information such as database servers (59%), identity management systems (57%), and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems (46%). However, among those businesses, about one in five (20%) is considering moving these workloads to public clouds in the next year.
When examining other common workloads and applications, the results show more than half of businesses run their web/e-commerce properties and email workloads fully in public clouds today, while about one-quarter do the same for their communications tools, mobile services and customer relationship management (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.
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%), migrating workloads to the cloud (39%) and complying with data regulations (28%).
About 80% 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. In addition, 30% of businesses reported facing data security challenges in the cloud. This increases to nearly 50% 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,” Tsai said. “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.”