How the Public Cloud Was Being Used by Enterprises in 2020
- 14.01.2021 08:58 pm
While the public cloud has been ‘mainstream’ for over a decade, there is still some uncertainty as to how it is being utilised across different types of organisations. It is normal to associate the use of the public cloud with fashionable tech startups such as Netflix and AirBnB- however, what about the ‘silent majority’ of large organisations with sophisticated IT infrastructure needs? How are multinational organisations with thousands of global employees, multiple territories and a packed developmental roadmap utilising the public cloud, if at all, in their quest to innovate and remain competitive in a rapidly evolving marketplace?
At the start of the year, Contino’s cloud report sought to find answers to these questions and many more, by surveying 250 IT decision-makers at enterprise organisations with at least 5,000 global employees, across major regions including the USA, APAC and Europe. There were some interesting, and sometimes non-intuitive, findings from the report, which have been summarised for your convenience below.
There is almost unanimous agreement on the technical and commercial benefits of the cloud
A whopping 99% of the respondents in Contino’s survey reported that they have experienced clear technical benefits of the public cloud versus going for an on-premises solution. This is largely driven by the distributed, flexible nature of cloud native operating models, where different application modules are containerised and orchestrated by a central program such as Google Kubernetes or Docker Swarm.
One of the top benefits of building cloud native applications, facilitated by the public cloud, cited by respondents was agility, i.e. the ability to modify individual modules in a non-linear fashion as required, rather than following a more traditional, linear approach such as waterfall. The ability of developers to break the application down into ‘microservices’ is a big driver behind this facility. Compared to a more monolithic structure where working on one part of the application jeopardises the function of the rest of the application, a microservices structure allows dev teams to work on individual components of an application based on error logs or user feedback, and minimise or eliminate disruption of service to the end user.
Finally, cost was another benefit cited by respondents, contrary to initial concerns from the c-suite in enterprise organisations over investing in new technology beyond their existing IT budgets. The measurability and effectiveness of public cloud based development approaches makes the ‘sell’ easier for IT managers within their own organisation. It was clear to the respondents of the survey that public cloud based scaling approaches are much more economical compared to on-premises, bespoke solutions.
Despite security concerns being a barrier, the public cloud has proven to be more secure and compliant than on-premises solutions
This was one of the paradoxical, non-intuitive findings of the survey: while security and compliance were stated as major barriers for not being able to use the cloud within the organisations, a huge 64% of respondents said that they actually find public cloud based solutions to be more secure than on-premises solutions. When you couple that with the scaling ability provided by the public cloud, which enables automated compliance initiatives such as ‘compliance as code’, it’s clear to see what both IT and compliance managers actually find the public cloud to be better than traditional, on-premises solutions.
IT managers are wary of being tied into long term contracts
This was probably one of the least surprising findings of the survey. You would be hard pressed to find any buying manager who is keen to get locked into a long contract with a vendor, and the survey respondents for this report were no different. A significant 63% of them stated that they were ‘somewhat’ or ‘very much’ afraid of making a commitment or big investment in the cloud. To be fair, this is contrasted by the fact that 77% of businesses are using cloud solutions, which suggests that the benefits offered by the public cloud far outweigh the risks of being locked into long contracts.
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