Cloud computing has been one of the top initiatives the past couple years for businesses. There are several reasons businesses want to leverage the cloud as their preferred provider of IT services including the need to quickly develop new, custom software to compete in the digital economy. Over the past couple years there has been great debate over the definition, value, and the right way to use cloud. The yearly Rightscale State of the Cloud Report has been documenting the progress of the cloud computing. The 2018 version has just been published and is publicly available here. The report is based on the feedback of nearly 1000 technical professionals across a broad cross-section of industries. The respondents were nearly evenly split between enterprise and SMB size businesses.
The entire report is worth a thorough review. I am taking away four theme's impacting enterprise customers this year:
- Cloud adaption is not a question of "if" but "how"
- It is a multi-cloud world
- Both Private and Public cloud use is growing
- Cloud use is changing the role of IT
This year 96% of respondents now report using the cloud in production. Consumption of both Private and Public cloud services has continued to grow. Every business is utilizing cloud services in 2018. We are past the tipping point for the consumption of cloud computing by most every enterprise. 38% of enterprises reported public cloud consumption is their top 2018 priority. This is up sharply from 29% just last year. The use of hybrid cloud where workloads can run in private or public cloud service using the same control plane is a priority for 45% of businesses. Businesses now expect the agility, flexibility, and reduced time to value advantages of cloud computing. Clearly we have past the tipping point and all businesses are using and accelerating their use of cloud computing. The job of IT professionals is to help their businesses take full advantages of cloud computing in 2018.
My second observation was more of a confirmation that businesses do not view cloud as a place but a portfolio of cloud services and providers. Most of my customers are consuming cloud services from a number of providers and delivery models. For example, most of my customers are using Salesforce for customer relationship management, and Workday for human resource management functions in addition to VMware, AWS and/or Azure for infrastructure as a service functions for building and running applications. This year 81% of the Rightscale State of the Cloud Report respondents report having a multi-cloud strategy. On average businesses are now using more than three cloud public and private cloud services and experimenting with almost two more in 2018. The number of enterprises with a multi-cloud strategy remained relative flat compared to 2017 indicating to me that this issue has been settled and the focus is on execution and consumption of services from multiple cloud service providers.
In 2018, businesses are running about the same number of workloads in public and private clouds. Both public and private cloud spend is continuing to grow. In 2018, 26% of enterprises plan to more than double their public cloud spending while 23% of enterprises will grow their spending on private cloud by more than 50%. My smartest customers are investing in both public and private cloud services and capabilities so they can enjoy the advantages of both models today and in the future. Like any service delivery model using the right service for the workload is critical as well as maintaining the capability of both is in businesses best interest.
The evolution of cloud service consumption by business is also changing the role of enterprise IT. Looking at the top Cloud Challenges in this year's report I notice the issues have remained consistent over the last few years. Security is always at the top of the list. I think the issue is less about whether cloud is more or less secure but the fact that securing workloads, data, and communications in clouds is different. I think the security challenges are tightly aligned to second significant challenge of the lack of cloud skilled resources. Many of my customers are moving their resources out of the day to day operations of the cloud using managed services and dedicating there people to security, and consuming cloud services faster.
I am noticing that the role of Enterprise IT has changed in 2018 with much more of a focus on governing and optimizing the use of cloud services instead of designing, building, and deploying clouds. As cloud consumption has continued to grow, the need to optimize the number of cloud services and costs for these services has become more important and the top priority for enterprise IT.
Cloud computing has reached the tipping point of adoption in 2018. This year's Rightscale 2018 The State of the Cloud Report confirms shows that businesses are not debating if cloud but how to use and it and use it faster. The cloud is not a place but a portfolio of IT services delivered via multi-cloud services: software, infrastructure, private, public, and hybrid. The transition to cloud is changing the role of enterprise IT. The Lack of resource and cloud expertise is requiring enterprise IT to focus their resources on governance and optimization while depending on service providers to build, and operate the cloud services. 2018 will be an interesting year as the consumption of cloud IT services continues to grow and business become more reliant on enterprise IT to govern how cloud services are consumed rather than what technology is used to deliver the cloud services.