Public cloud usage skyrockets but financing could be better, argues research

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.


While this publication has been examining the futures of the private and hybrid clouds – and naturally found both to be in demand – a new piece of research from Cloud Cruiser has found that the same is true for the public cloud, fuelled primarily by big data and analytics.

The study, which polled almost 200 respondents at the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Global Summit last month in Chicago, found that 92% of respondents were currently using a public cloud, while even more (95%) believe public cloud usage will grow further. Of that number, 40% believe their company’s use of public cloud will go up by 25-50%, compared to 38% for 10-25% and 17% for less than 10%.

Not surprisingly, more than half (54%) of those polled said they used AWS as their only cloud environment. Of those that were using more than one cloud, 27% were using Microsoft Azure, 12% were using Google Cloud Platform, while 22% were combining AWS with a private cloud. Yet 14% of respondents – presumably those who were at least exploring the idea – said they were not using Amazon’s services.

Not surprisingly, the majority (59%) of those who are using AWS say they are deploying it for development and testing purposes. Big data and analytics (31%) was second on the list, ahead of sandboxes (30%), customer facing applications (25%) and backup (19%). Only 2% of those polled said they were using AWS for eCommerce.

Yet the research also found that organisations can be profligate with regard to their cloud spend. Almost a third (31%) admitted they do not proactively manage their cloud usage, with custom systems (25%) the most popular ahead of vendor-issued tools. Perhaps it’s little wonder; only 18% described sorting out cloud bills with finance as ‘easy’, compared to ‘just okay’ (40%), ‘challenging’ (39%), and ‘horrible’ (3%).

Naturally, this is the point where you would expect to read about Cloud Cruiser’s new product that helps customers with financial issues – and you would be correct, with Cloud Cruiser 16 being essentially a ‘smart meter’ for multi-cloud environments. This publication has covered similar ideas in the past, not least, whose ‘reactive servers’ don’t just stop at pay as you go, meaning that theoretically users will pay for 1GB of output if a 4GB server is lightly used.

“IT teams are under tremendous pressure to deliver cloud services as quickly as possible to the business. The reality is they can only move at the speed of finance,” said Cloud Cruiser CMO Deirdre Mahon. “If business, IT, and finance stakeholders cannot view the same real-time dashboard showing exactly what cloud services are being consumed by whom, services will come to a screeching halt.”

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