Another Bullish Forecast for Cloud Adoption
New research confirms that a majority of U.S. enterprises will increase annual spending on cloud computing in 2016, with nearly half identifying increased business efficiencies as the primary benefit of switching from on-premises to cloud computing.
Meanwhile, application delivery and development are among the emerging cloud use cases.
The business-to-business research firm Clutch found that most cloud adopters are using Microsoft Azure (23 percent of respondents), Amazon Web Services (AWS, 22 percent), Google Cloud (21 percent) and IBM Cloud (17 percent). The preference for Azure likely reflects greater enterprise use of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) applications, the researcher noted.
Citing separate research results from Synergy Research Group, Clutch said the four largest cloud providers together held 54 percent of the global cloud infrastructure services market at the end of July 2015, with AWS (NASDAQ: AMZN) grabbing an estimated 30 percent. (The estimate includes infrastructure- and platform-as-a-services along with private and hybrid cloud services.)
"The cloud infrastructure services market is quite clearly bifurcating with a widening gap between the big four cloud providers and the rest of the service provider community," John Dinsdale, a chief analyst and research director at Synergy Research Group, said in a research note.
Synergy also estimates that quarterly revenues from cloud infrastructure services are approaching a hefty $6 billion.
With 47 percent of respondents citing business efficiency as the primary reason for shifting to cloud computing, 70 percent of those cloud adopters also said they use cloud infrastructure primarily for file storage.
Interestingly, security was second only to "increased efficiency" as a reason for shifting to cloud computing (45 percent). Security was cited as the "primary benefit" by 21 percent of respondents, the highest total for any perceived benefit in the cloud survey. That data point indicates that cloud computing may slowly be shedding its reputation for being fraught with security gaps.
While file storage remains the top use case for cloud users, that category also includes the storage of other data as well as applications. Application deployment was cited by about half of enterprise respondents as a cloud use case while slightly less than half listed application testing and development. Some respondents stressed that application deployment is a higher priority cloud-computing task than file storage, and the latter is, in the words of one respondent, "a byproduct of using the cloud."
All this bodes well for wider cloud adoption in 2016, according to the Clutch forecast. The study found that a whopping 90 percent of businesses surveyed planned to increase cloud spending in 2016. Of those, 42 percent said they expect to increase annual spending by as much as 30 percent this year.
Clutch, Washington, DC, said it interviewed IT managers at about 300 enterprises with between 100 and 5,000 employees.