The Cloud in 2021: Adoption Continues – O’Reilly
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The Cloud in 2021: Adoption Continues – O’Reilly

Final yr, our report on cloud adoption confirmed that firms have been transferring shortly to undertake the cloud: 88% of our respondents from January 2020 stated that they used the cloud, and about 25% stated that their firms deliberate to maneuver all of their purposes to the cloud within the coming yr.

This yr, we needed to see whether or not that pattern continued, so we ran one other on-line survey from July 26, 2021, to August 4, 2021. Because the 2020 survey was taken when the pandemic was looming however hadn’t but taken maintain, we have been additionally interested in how the lockdown affected cloud adoption. The brief reply is “not a lot”; we noticed surprisingly few adjustments between January 2020 and July 2021. Cloud adoption was continuing quickly; that’s nonetheless the case.

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Government abstract

  • Roughly 90% of the respondents indicated that their organizations are utilizing the cloud. That’s a small enhance over final yr’s 88%.
  • The response to the survey was international; all continents (save Antarctica) have been represented. In comparison with final yr, there was a a lot greater proportion of respondents from Europe (33%, versus 11%) and a decrease proportion from North America (42%).
  • In each trade, at the least 75% of the respondents work for organizations utilizing the cloud. Essentially the most proactive industries are retail & ecommerce, finance & banking, and software program.
  • Amazon Net Companies (AWS) (62%), Microsoft Azure (48%), and Google Cloud (33%) are nonetheless the massive three, although Amazon’s market share has dropped barely since final yr (down from 67%). Most respondents use a number of cloud suppliers.
  • Business to trade, we noticed few variations in cloud suppliers, with two exceptions: Azure is used extra closely than AWS within the authorities and consulting & skilled companies sectors.
  • Two-thirds of respondents (67%) reported utilizing a public cloud; 45% are utilizing a non-public cloud; and 55% are utilizing historically managed on-premises infrastructure.
  • Virtually half (48%) stated they plan emigrate 50% or extra of their purposes to the cloud within the coming yr. 20% plan ti migrate all of their purposes.
  • 47% stated that their organizations are pursuing a cloud first technique. 30% stated that their organizations are already cloud native, and 37% stated that they plan to be cloud native inside three or extra years. Solely 5% are engaged in “repatriation” (bringing cloud purposes again to on-premises infrastructure).
  • Amongst respondents who’re utilizing the cloud, the most important concern is managing value (30%). Compliance is a comparatively minor concern (10%) and isn’t essentially the most important concern even in closely regulated sectors comparable to finance & banking (15%), authorities (19%), and healthcare (19%).
  • When requested what expertise organizations wanted to succeed, respondents have been divided pretty evenly, with “cloud-based safety” (59%) and “common cloud data” (54%) the commonest responses.

Demographics: Who responded

The survey was despatched to recipients of O’Reilly’s Programming and Infrastructure & Ops Newsletters, which collectively have 436,000 subscribers. 2,834 respondents accomplished the survey.

The respondents characterize a comparatively senior group. 36% have over 10 years’ expertise of their present function, and nearly half (49%) have over seven years’ expertise. Newer builders have been additionally well-represented. 23% have spent one to 3 years of their present place, and eight% have spent below one yr.

Parsing job titles is all the time problematic, on condition that the identical place may be expressed in many various methods. However, the highest 5 job titles have been developer (4.9%1), software program engineer (3.9%), CTO (3.0%), software program developer (3.0%), and architect (2.3%). We have been stunned by the variety of respondents who had the title CTO or CEO. No person listed CDO or chief information officer as a title.

Aggregating phrases like “software program,” “developer,” “programmer,” and others lets us estimate that 36% of the respondents are programmers. 21% are architects or technical leads. 10% are C-suite executives or administrators. 8% are managers. Solely 7% are information professionals (analysts, information scientists, or statisticians), and solely 6% are operations workers (DevOps practitioners, sysadmins, or web site reliability engineers).

The respondents got here from 128 totally different nations and have been unfold throughout all continents aside from Antarctica. Many of the respondents have been from North America (42%) and Europe (33%). 13% have been from Asia, although that nearly definitely doesn’t mirror the extent of cloud computing in Asia.

Particularly, there have been few respondents from China: solely 8, or about 0.3% of the overall. South America, Oceania, and Africa have been additionally represented, by 6%, 4%, and a pair of% of the respondents, respectively. These outcomes are considerably totally different from final yr’s. In 2020, two-thirds of the respondents have been from North America, and solely 11% have been from Europe. The opposite continents confirmed little change. Final yr, we famous that European organizations have been reluctant to undertake the cloud. That’s clearly not true.

Cloud customers are unfold all through the commercial spectrum. Respondents to our survey have been clustered most strongly within the software program trade (36%). The following largest group contains these who replied “different” (13%), and they’re certainly scattered via industries from artwork to aviation (together with some outliers like prophecy, which we by no means knew was an trade). Consulting & skilled companies (12%) was third; we suspect that many respondents on this group might equally properly say they have been in the software program trade. Finance & banking (11%) was additionally well- represented. 5% of the respondents work in healthcare; one other 5% have been from greater training; 4% have been in authorities; and a complete of 4% work in electronics & {hardware} or computer systems (2% every). Surprisingly, solely 3% of the respondents work in retail & ecommerce; we might have anticipated Amazon alone to account for that.

These outcomes are similar to the outcomes from final yr’s survey, with two main variations: this yr, a good bigger proportion of our respondents have been from the software program trade (23% in 2020), and a considerably bigger group labeled their industries as “different” (20%).

Survey respondents by trade

What does this imply? Lower than it appears. We’ve got to remind each ourselves and our readers that the variety of respondents in any sector displays, first, the scale of that sector; second, our mailing lists’ penetration into that sector; and solely third, cloud utilization in that sector. The truth that 35% of the respondents are within the software program trade whereas solely 5% are in healthcare doesn’t by itself imply that the cloud has penetrated rather more deeply into software program. It implies that the healthcare trade has fewer readers of our newsletters than does the software program trade, hardly a shocking conclusion. To estimate cloud utilization in any given sector, it’s a must to look solely at that sector’s information. What it says is that our conclusions concerning the software program trade are primarily based on roughly 1,000 respondents, whereas conclusions concerning the healthcare trade are solely primarily based on about 150 respondents, and are correspondingly much less dependable.

The large image

The large image received’t shock anybody. Virtually all the respondents work for organizations which might be utilizing cloud computing; solely 10.3% answered a query asking why their group doesn’t use cloud computing, implying that cloud utilization is 89.7%. Likewise, when requested what cloud supplier they’re utilizing, 10.7% stated “not relevant,” suggesting cloud utilization of 89.3%. We are able to get a 3rd repair on cloud utilization by a later query about cloud applied sciences. We requested whether or not respondents are utilizing public clouds, non-public clouds, hybrid clouds, multiclouds, or historically managed
infrastructure. Respondents have been allowed to pick out a number of solutions, and most did. Nonetheless, respondents whose organizations aren’t utilizing any cloud know-how would verify “historically managed infrastructure.” These respondents amounted to 7.5% of the overall, suggesting 92.5% of the respondents are utilizing the cloud in some kind. Subsequently, we are able to say with some confidence that the variety of respondents whose organizations are utilizing the cloud is someplace between 89% and 93%.

These figures evaluate with 88% from our 2020 survey—a change that might be insignificant. Nonetheless, it’s price asking what “insignificant” means: would we anticipate the variety of “not utilizing” responses to be close to zero? On one hand, we’re stunned that there hasn’t been a bigger change from yr to yr; however, if you’re already close to 90%, gaining even a single proportion level is troublesome. We may be considerably (solely considerably) assured that there’s a real pattern as a result of we requested the identical query three alternative ways and acquired related outcomes. A further proportion level or two could also be all we get, even when it doesn’t permit us to be as assured as we’d like.

Did the pandemic have an impact? It definitely didn’t gradual cloud adoption. Cloud computing was an apparent answer when it turned troublesome or unimaginable to workers on-premises infrastructure. You might argue that the pandemic wasn’t a lot of an accelerant both, and it might be exhausting to disagree. As soon as once more although, if you’re at 88%, gaining a proportion level (or two or three) is an achievement.

AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud: The large three and past

The large three in cloud computing are Amazon Net Companies (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, utilized by 62%, 48%, and 33% of the respondents, respectively. (As a result of many organizations use a number of suppliers, respondents have been allowed to pick out multiple choice.) Oracle Cloud (6%), IBM Cloud (5%), and Alibaba Cloud (2%) took fourth via sixth place. They’ve an extended technique to go to catch as much as the leaders,
though Oracle appears to have surpassed IBM. It’s additionally price noting that, though Alibaba’s 2% appears weak, we anticipate Alibaba to be strongest in China, the place we had only a few respondents. Higher visibility into Chinese language trade would possibly change the image dramatically.

9% of the respondents chosen “different” as their cloud supplier. The main “different” supplier was Digital Ocean (1.4%), which nearly edged out Alibaba. Salesforce, Rackspace, SAP, and VMware additionally appeared among the many “others,” together with the Asian supplier Tencent. Many of those “different” suppliers are software-as-a-service firms that don’t present the sort of infrastructure companies on which the massive three have constructed their companies. Lastly, 11% of the respondents answered “not relevant.” These are presumably respondents whose organizations aren’t utilizing the cloud.

In comparison with final yr, AWS seems to have misplaced some market share, going from 67% in 2020 to 62%. Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud stay unchanged.

P.c of respondents utilizing every of the key cloud suppliers

Cloud utilization by trade

One aim of our survey was to find out how cloud utilization varies from trade to trade. We felt that one of the simplest ways to reply that query was to go at it in reverse, by trying on the respondents who answered the query “What finest describes why your group doesn’t use cloud computing?” (which we’ll talk about in additional element later). Our outcomes supplied different methods to reply this query—for instance, by “not relevant” responses to questions on cloud suppliers. All approaches yielded considerably the identical solutions.

We discovered that retail & ecommerce, media & leisure, finance & banking, and software program stand out because the trade sectors with the very best cloud use. Solely 3.1% of the respondents from the retail & ecommerce sector answered this query, indicating that cloud utilization was near common (96.9%). 5.1% of the respondents in media & leisure, 7.2% of the respondents in finance & banking, and seven.5% of the respondents in software program answered this query, suggesting 94.9%, 92.8%, and 92.5% cloud utilization, respectively. Most industries (together with healthcare and better training) clustered round 10% of organizations that aren’t utilizing the cloud, or 90% cloud utilization. Essentially the most cloud-averse industries have been electronics & {hardware} (with 25% indicating that they don’t use the cloud) and authorities (16% not utilizing). However contemplate: 25% of respondents indicating that they don’t use the cloud implies that 75% of the respondents do. Whereas we noticed variation from trade to trade, cloud customers are a stable majority in all places.

Can we get past the numbers to the “why”? Maybe not with out a way more detailed survey, however we are able to make some guesses. Though we had few respondents from the retail & ecommerce sector, it’s essential to notice that this trade is the place the cloud took off: AWS started when Amazon began promoting “extra capability” in its information facilities. Jeff Bezos paved the best way for this together with his well-known “API mandate” memo, which required all software program to be constructed as collections of companies. In media & leisure, Netflix has been very public about its cloud technique. The corporate depends on the cloud for all of its scalable computing and storage wants, an strategy initially undertaken as a approach of avoiding on-premises infrastructure as a single level of failure.

However historical past typically counts for little in tech. What’s extra essential is that retail & ecommerce is a sector topic to very large fluctuations in load. Black Friday is approaching as we publish this; want we are saying extra? In case your ecommerce web site slows to a crawl below heavy load, you lose gross sales. The cloud is a perfect answer to that downside. No CIO needs to construct an on-premises information heart that may deal with 100x adjustments in load. The identical is true for Netflix, although maybe to not the identical diploma: a brand new film launch nearly definitely creates a spike in visitors, presumably an enormous one. And within the
previous few years, film studios, distributors like Amazon, and plenty of others within the trade have realized that the way forward for films lies in promoting subscriptions to streaming companies, not cinema tickets. Cloud applied sciences are perfect for streaming companies.

Nearly each software program firm, from startups to established distributors like Microsoft and Adobe, now presents “software program as a service” (SaaS), an strategy arguably pioneered by Salesforce. Whether or not or not subscription companies are the way forward for software program, most software program firms are betting closely on cloud choices, they usually’re constructing these choices within the cloud.

Understanding why banks are transferring to the cloud could also be tougher, however we predict it comes right down to focusing in your core competence. The finance & banking trade has traditionally been very conservative, with organizations going for many years with out important change to their enterprise fashions or procedures. Prior to now decade, that stability has gone out the window. Monetary service firms and banks are actually providing on-line and cell merchandise, funding companies, monetary planning, and rather more. The easiest way to service these new purposes isn’t by constructing out legacy infrastructure designed to assist legacy purposes largely unchanged for the reason that starting of computing; it’s by transferring to an infrastructure that may scale on demand and that may be shortly tailored to assist new purposes.

Cloud utilization by trade

Our subsequent step was to have a look at the cloud suppliers to find out what suppliers are utilized by every trade. Are some suppliers used extra broadly in sure industries than in others? Once we checked out this query, we noticed a well-recognized sample: AWS is essentially the most broadly used, adopted by Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. AWS dominates media & leisure (79%) and is essentially the most generally used supplier in each sector aside from consulting & skilled companies (58%, in comparison with Azure at 60%) and authorities (52%, in comparison with Azure at 59%).

Along with authorities and consulting & skilled companies, Azure is broadly utilized in finance & banking (55%). That shouldn’t be shocking given the historic prominence of Microsoft Workplace on this trade.

Google Cloud was third in each sector aside from media & leisure (35%), the place it edged out Azure. It’s strongest within the consulting & skilled companies sector (41%) and the comparatively small computer systems sector (40%) and weakest in authorities (16%), healthcare (25%), and finance & banking (29%).

Electronics & {hardware} had the best variety of respondents who answered “not relevant” (28%). Though there have been surprisingly few respondents from the retail & ecommerce sector, it had the fewest (3%) respondents who answered “not relevant.”

AWS’s, Microsoft Azure’s, and Google Cloud’s shares have been closest to one another within the greater training sector (49%, 43%, and 39%, respectively).

Cloud supplier utilization by trade

Cloud utilization by geography

We questioned whether or not the utilization of various cloud suppliers different by continent: are some cloud suppliers extra common on some continents than on others? By and enormous, the reply is not any. AWS leads by a considerable margin on each continent, and Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud take second and third place, although their relative strengths fluctuate. Google Cloud is considerably stronger in South America (49%) and Asia (40%) than on the opposite continents. Azure is strongest in Oceania (55%), Africa (51%), and Europe (50%).

Alibaba Cloud is a considerably extra frequent selection in Asia (5%) and Oceania (3%), however not sufficient to vary the image considerably. Keep in mind, although, that we had few respondents from China, the place we suspect that cloud adoption is important and Alibaba is a powerful contender.

Though the odds are comparatively small, it’s additionally price noting that extra respondents in Oceania are utilizing “different” suppliers (13%), presumably as a result of their relative geographic isolation makes native cloud suppliers extra enticing, and that a big proportion of respondents in Europe answered “not relevant” (14%), indicating that cloud adoption should still be lagging considerably.

Cloud vendor utilization by continent:
North America
Cloud vendor utilization by continent:
Cloud vendor utilization by continent:
Cloud vendor utilization by continent:
South America
Cloud vendor utilization by continent:
Cloud vendor utilization by continent:

Whereas we’ll talk about multicloud in additional element later, it’s fascinating that this diagram provides some hints concerning the extent of deployment on a number of clouds. Do not forget that respondents might and incessantly did choose a number of cloud suppliers, so the overall proportion in any continent (all the time higher than 100%) is a really tough indicator of a number of cloud deployments. By that measure, Africa (totaling 142%) and Europe (158%) have the fewest a number of cloud deployments; Oceania (179%) has essentially the most.

Public or not

We requested our respondents what cloud applied sciences they’re utilizing. 67% (two-thirds) are utilizing a public cloud supplier, comparable to AWS, versus 61% in 2020. 45% are utilizing a non-public cloud—non-public infrastructure (on-premises or maybe hosted) that’s accessed utilizing cloud APIs—which represents a ten% enhance over 2020 (35%). And 55% are utilizing historically managed on-premises infrastructure, versus 49% final yr.

Respondents might choose a number of solutions, and plenty of did. It’s not shocking that so many organizations seem like utilizing on-prem infrastructure; we’re really stunned that the quantity isn’t greater, since in any cloud transformation, the remnants of conventional infrastructure are essentially the very last thing to vanish. And most firms aren’t that far alongside of their transformations. Transferring to the cloud could also be an essential aim, and cloud assets are in all probability already offering important infrastructure. However eliminating all (and even most) conventional infrastructure is a really heavy elevate.

That’s not the entire story. 29% of the respondents stated they’re utilizing a hybrid cloud (a big drop from final yr’s 39%), and 23% are utilizing multicloud (roughly the identical yr over yr). A multicloud technique builds programs that run throughout a number of cloud suppliers. Hybrid cloud goes even farther, incorporating non-public cloud infrastructure (on-premises or hosted) operating cloud APIs. When executed appropriately, multiclouds and hybrid clouds can present continuity within the face of supplier outages, the power to make use of “the very best instrument for the job” on totally different utility workloads (for instance, leveraging Google Cloud’s AI amenities), and simpler regulatory compliance (as a result of delicate workloads can keep on non-public programs).

Subsequently, respondents who chosen “hybrid cloud” must also have chosen “public cloud” and “non-public cloud” (or, presumably, “conventional infrastructure”). Certainly, that’s what we noticed. Solely 11% of the respondents who chosen “hybrid cloud” didn’t choose another sorts—and we’d guess that’s as a result of they assumed that “hybrid” implied the others. 27% of those that chosen “hybrid” chosen all 5 sorts, and the rest chosen some mixture of the 5 choices. The identical was true for respondents who chosen “multicloud”: solely 4% chosen “multicloud” by itself. (“Multicloud” and “hybrid cloud” have been incessantly chosen collectively.)

Cloud know-how utilization

We’re puzzled by the distinction between 2020 and 2021. An enhance in using public clouds, non-public clouds, and even conventional infrastructure is smart: customers have clearly change into extra comfy mixing and matching infrastructure to go well with their wants. We don’t anticipate using conventional infrastructure to disappear. However why did utilization of hybrid clouds drop? We don’t have a superb reply, besides to notice that many respondents (certainly, a 3rd of the overall) who didn’t choose both “multicloud” or “hybrid cloud” nonetheless chosen a number of infrastructure sorts. A mixture of public cloud and conventional infrastructure was most typical, adopted by public cloud, non-public cloud, and conventional infrastructure. These mixtures point out that many respondents are clearly utilizing some type of multicloud or hybrid cloud, even when they aren’t together with that of their responses.

We are able to’t ignore the slip within the proportion of respondents answering “hybrid cloud.” Which will point out some skepticism about this most formidable cloud structure. It might even be an artifact of the pandemic. We’ve already stated that the pandemic gave many firms a superb cause to maneuver on-premises infrastructure to the cloud. However whereas the pandemic could have been a superb time to begin cloud transformations, it was arguably a poor time to begin very formidable initiatives. Can we think about CTOs saying, “Sure, we’re transferring to the cloud, however we’re retaining it so simple as doable” Undoubtedly.

We additionally checked out what kinds of cloud applied sciences have been enticing to totally different industries. Public clouds are most closely utilized in retail & ecommerce (79%), media & leisure (73%), and software program (72%). Hybrid clouds are strongest in consulting & skilled companies (38%), presumably as a result of consultants typically play a job in integrating totally different cloud suppliers right into a seamless complete.Personal clouds are strongest in telecommunications (64%), which was the one sector during which non-public clouds led public clouds (60%).

Historically managed on-premises infrastructure is most generally utilized in authorities (72%). Different industries the place the variety of respondents utilizing conventional infrastructure equaled or exceeded the quantity reporting any type of cloud infrastructure included greater training (61%), healthcare (61%), telecommunications (67%), computer systems (65%), and electronics & {hardware} (58%).

Cloud know-how utilization by trade

When requested about their group’s cloud technique, nearly half of the respondents (47%) answered “cloud first,” which means that wherever doable, new initiatives contemplate the cloud as the primary choice. Solely 5% chosen “cloud repatriation,” or bringing companies that have been beforehand moved to the cloud again in-house. 10% indicated a multicloud technique, the place they work with a number of public cloud suppliers; and 9% indicated that their technique is to use software-as-a-service cloud suppliers the place doable (e.g., particular purposes from firms like Salesforce and SAP), thus minimizing the necessity to develop their very own in-house cloud experience. Since “Purchase earlier than construct; solely construct software program associated to your core competence” is a vital precept in any digital transformation, we anticipated to see a higher funding in software-as-a-service merchandise. Maybe this quantity actually implies that nearly any firm might want to construct software program round its core worth proposition.

Cloud migration methods

Our respondents strategy cloud migration aggressively. Virtually half (48%) stated they plan emigrate 50% or extra of their purposes to the cloud within the coming yr; the most important group (20%) stated they plan emigrate 100% of their purposes. (We marvel if, for a lot of of those respondents, a migration was already in progress.) 16% stated they plan emigrate 25% of their purposes. 36% answered “not relevant,” which can imply that they aren’t utilizing the cloud (although this could point out a lot decrease cloud utilization than different questions do) or that the respondent’s group has already moved its purposes to the cloud. It’s in all probability a mixture of each.

When requested particularly about cloud native growth (constructing software program to run in a scalable cloud surroundings, whether or not that cloud is public, non-public, or hybrid), there was a good cut up between those that don’t have any plan to go cloud native, respondents representing companies which might be already 100% cloud native, and respondents who thought they’d be cloud native sooner or later sooner or later. Every group was (very) roughly a 3rd of the overall. Wanting in additional element at respondents who’re within the strategy of going cloud native, solely 6% anticipate to be cloud native inside a yr. The biggest group (20%) stated they’d be cloud native inside three or extra years, indicating a common course, if not a selected aim.

Going cloud native

Does the 67% who’re planning to be or are already cloud native battle with the 47% who stated that they’re pursuing a cloud first technique? It’s jarring—“cloud native” is, if something, a stronger assertion than “cloud first.” Presumably anybody who works for a corporation that’s already cloud native can be pursuing a cloud first technique. A number of the hole disappears if we embody respondents executing a multicloud technique within the “cloud first” group, which brings the “cloud first” whole to 57%. In any case, “cloud native” as outlined by Wikipedia explicitly consists of hybrid clouds.

Maybe extra to the purpose: there’s quite a lot of latitude in how respondents would possibly interpret slogans and buzzwords like “cloud native” and “cloud first.” Somebody who says that their group can be “cloud native” sooner or later sooner or later (whether or not it takes one yr, two years, or three or extra years) isn’t saying that there aren’t important noncloud initiatives in progress, and three or extra years hardly units an formidable aim. However no matter how respondents could have understood these phrases, it’s clear {that a} substantial majority are transferring in a course that locations all of their workloads within the cloud.

Price and different points

Survey respondents constantly reported that value is a priority. When requested about a very powerful initiatives of their organizations pertaining to public cloud adoption, 30% of all respondents stated “managing value.” Different essential cloud initiatives embody efficiency optimization (13%), modernizing purposes (19%), automating compliance and governance (10%), and cloud migration itself (11%). Solely 6% listed migrating to a multicloud technique as a problem—shocking given the massive quantity who stated they’re pursuing hybrid cloud or multicloud methods.

These outcomes have been related throughout all industries. In nearly each sector, managing value was perceived as a very powerful cloud initiative. Authorities and finance & banking have been outliers; in these sectors, modernizing purposes was a higher concern than value administration. (23% of the respondents within the authorities sector listed modernization as a very powerful initiative, as did 21% of the respondents from finance & banking.)

Most essential initiatives that organizations can be tackling

Amongst respondents who aren’t utilizing cloud computing, 21% stated that regulatory necessities require them to maintain information on-premises; 19% stated that value is a very powerful issue; and 19% have been involved with the danger of migration. Comparatively few have been involved concerning the availability of expertise (6%, in sharp distinction to our 2021 Knowledge/AI Wage Survey outcomes), and 5% stated vendor lock-in is a priority. Once more, this aligns properly with our outcomes from 2020: retaining information on-premises was the commonest cause for
not utilizing cloud computing, and value was the second, adopted by migration danger.

Causes organizations usually are not utilizing cloud computing

Why is value such a important issue? It’s straightforward to get into cloud computing on a small scale: constructing some experimental apps within the cloud as a result of you possibly can lease time utilizing an organization bank card slightly than going via IT for extra assets. If profitable, these purposes change into actual software program investments that it’s essential assist. They begin to require extra assets, and because the scale grows, you discover that your cloud supplier is getting the “economies of scale,” not you. Cloud suppliers definitely know the right way to set pricing in order that it’s straightforward to maneuver in however troublesome to maneuver out.

So, sure, value must be managed. And one technique to handle cloud value is to remain away. You’re not locked right into a vendor if you happen to don’t have a vendor. However that’s a simplistic reply. Good value administration must account for the true advantages of transferring to the cloud, which normally don’t contain value. By analogy, meeting strains didn’t decrease the price of constructing a manufacturing facility; they made factories simpler. The cloud’s capacity to scale shortly to deal with sudden adjustments in workload is price lots. Do your purposes immediately change into sluggish if there’s a sudden spike in load, and does that trigger you to lose gross sales? In 2021, “Please be affected person; our programs are experiencing heavy load” tells clients to go elsewhere. Improved uptime can be price lots; cloud suppliers have a number of information facilities and backup energy that the majority companies can’t afford. (At O’Reilly, we discovered this firsthand throughout the California fires of 2019, which disabled our on-premises infrastructure. We’re now 100% within the cloud, and we’re positive different firms discovered the identical lesson.)

Regulatory necessities are a giant concern for respondents who aren’t utilizing cloud computing (21%). Once we take a look at respondents as an entire, although, we see one thing totally different. In most industries, roughly 10% of the respondents listed regulatory compliance as a very powerful initiative. Essentially the most notable outliers have been finance & banking (15%), authorities (19%), and healthcare (19%)—however compliance nonetheless wasn’t the most important concern for these industries. Respondents from the upper training sector reported little concern about compliance (4.8%). Different industries that have been comparatively unconcerned about compliance included electronics & {hardware} and media & leisure (each 3.8%). Though we’re stunned by the responses from greater training, on the entire, these observations make sense: compliance is a giant situation for industries which might be closely regulated and fewer of a problem for industries that aren’t. Nonetheless, it’s additionally essential to look at that concern about compliance isn’t stopping closely regulated industries from transferring to the cloud. Once more, regulatory compliance is a priority—however that concern is trumped by the necessity to present new sorts of purposes.


Though solely 6% of the respondents who aren’t utilizing cloud computing stated that ability availability was a problem, we’re skeptical about that—if you happen to’re not transferring to the cloud, you don’t want cloud expertise. We acquired a special reply once we requested all respondents what expertise have been wanted to develop their cloud infrastructure. (For this query, respondents have been allowed to decide on a number of choices.) The most typical response was “cloud-based safety” (59%; over half of the respondents), with “common cloud data” second (54%). That’s a superb signal. Organizations are lastly waking as much as the truth that safety is crucial, not one thing that’s added on if there’s time.

Expertise wanted to develop a cloud infrastructure

Maybe the most important factor to be taught from this query, although, is that over 35% of the respondents chosen all the expertise (besides different”). Most of them have been round 45%. Containers (46%), Kubernetes (44%), microservices (45%), compliance (38%), monitoring (51%), observability (40%), scaling (41%), and efficiency (44%) are all on this territory. Our respondents seem like saying that they want every little thing. All the talents. There’s undoubtedly a scarcity in cloud experience. In our not too long ago revealed 2021 Knowledge/AI Wage Survey report, we famous that cloud certifications have been most related to wage will increase. That claims lots: there’s demand, and employers are prepared to pay for expertise.

Portability between clouds

Our remaining query appeared ahead to the subsequent technology of cloud computing. We requested concerning the boundaries to transferring workloads freely between cloud deployment platforms: what it takes to transfer purposes seamlessly from one cloud to a different, to a non-public cloud, and even to conventional infrastructure. That’s actually the aim of a hybrid cloud.

Utility portability and safety have been the most important issues (each 24%). The necessity for portability is apparent. However what could lie behind concern over portability is the string of growth platforms which have promised utility portability, going again at the least to Digital Tools’s CORBA in 1991 (and presumably a lot earlier). Containers and container orchestration are themselves “write as soon as, run anyplace” applied sciences. Net Meeting (Wasm) is the present fashionable try to seek out this holy grail; we’ll discover out within the coming years whether or not it suffices.

Safety on one platform is difficult sufficient, and writing software program that’s safe throughout a number of execution environments is rather more troublesome. With the growing variety of high-profile assaults in opposition to giant companies, executives have a proper to be involved. On the identical time, each safety professional we’ve talked to has emphasised that a very powerful factor any group can do is to concentrate to the fundamentals: authentication, authorization, software program replace, backups, and different facets of safety hygiene. Within the cloud, the instruments and methods used to implement these fundamentals are totally different and arguably extra complicated, however the fundamentals stay the identical.

Different issues all clustered round 10%: essentially the most important embody information portability (12%), essential and infrequently ignored; the price of transferring information out of 1 cloud supplier into one other (9%), a priority we noticed elsewhere on this examine; managing compliance and, extra typically, managing workloads at scale throughout a number of platforms (each 8%); and visibility into utility efficiency (7%).

Obstacles to transferring purposes between clouds

Till subsequent yr

What did we be taught? Cloud adoption continues, and it doesn’t seem to have been affected by the pandemic. Roughly 90% of our respondents work for organizations which might be transferring purposes to the cloud. This proportion is just barely bigger than final yr (88%) and will not even be important. (However remember the fact that if you’re at 90%, any additional positive aspects include nice problem. In apply, 90% is about as near “all people” as you will get.)

We additionally imagine that we’re solely on the starting of cloud adoption. Our viewers is technically refined, they usually’re extra more likely to be cloud adopters. A big majority of the respondents are within the strategy of transferring purposes to the cloud, indicating that “cloud” is a piece in progress. It’s clearly a state of affairs during which the extra you do, the extra you see that may be executed. The extra workloads you progress to the cloud, the extra you notice that different workloads can transfer. Extra essential, the extra comfy you might be with the cloud, the extra progressive you may be in pushing your digital transformation even additional.

Considerations about compliance stay important. Not surprisingly, these issues are greater amongst respondents who aren’t utilizing the cloud than amongst those that are. That’s pure—however trying on the fast tempo of cloud adoption in closely regulated industries like finance & banking makes us assume that “compliance” is extra of an excuse for noncloud customers than an actual concern. Sure, compliance is a matter, nevertheless it’s a problem that many organizations are fixing.

Managing prices is clearly an essential concern, and in contrast to compliance, it’s a concern ranked extra extremely by cloud customers than nonusers. That’s each regular and wholesome. The frequent notion that cloud computing is cheap isn’t actuality. With the ability to allocate a number of servers or high-powered compute engines with a bank card is definitely a reasonable technique to begin a challenge, however these financial savings evaporate at enterprise scale. The cloud supplier will reap the economies of scale. For a consumer, the cloud’s actual benefits aren’t in value financial savings however in flexibility, reliability, and scaling.

Lastly, cloud expertise are in demand throughout the board. Basic expertise, particular experience in areas like safety, microservices, containers, and orchestration—all are wanted. Whether or not or not there’s a scarcity of cloud experience within the job market, this is a superb time to pursue coaching alternatives. Many organizations are coping with the query of whether or not to rent or practice their workers for brand new capabilities. When pursuing a cloud transformation, it makes eminent sense to depend on builders who already perceive your online business and your purposes. Hiring new expertise is all the time essential, however giving your present workers new expertise could also be extra productive in the long term. If your online business goes to be a cloud enterprise, then your software program builders have to change into cloud builders.


  1. A quick word about precision. We’ve rounded percentages to the closest 1%, besides in some instances the place the proportion is small (below 10%). With practically 3,000 respondents, 0.1% solely represents 3 customers, and we’d argue that drawing conclusions primarily based on a distinction of a proportion level or two is misusing the information.

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