The tech sector loves itself some numbers – the splashier, the better. Cloud computing has been no exception. Since cloud technology began revolutionizing IT shops of all shapes and sizes, we’ve seen a steady stream of lofty statistics and bold predictions about the future of cloud.
The latest and greatest numbers about cloud highlight that many organizations are in adoption mode.
“I often refer to this year as the year of the cloud land grab,” says Ed Featherston, VP and principal architect at Cloud Technology Partners. “I liken it to the homestead years of the 1800's in the US, when the different territories tried attracting homesteaders for mutual benefit and growth.”
[ What is multi-cloud and what can it do for you? See our related article, Multi-cloud vs. hybrid cloud: What's the difference? ]
In Featherston’s analogy, the various cloud vendors and platforms are the territories; CIOs and their teams are the rugged and self-reliant homesteaders. And it means this is a good time to be settling the cloud frontier: “Each of the cloud ‘territories’ are trying to attract ‘homesteaders’ to move their workloads into the cloud, offering a variety of features, services, and incentives, making it a very attractive time to consider making the move,” he says.
It’s a diverse frontier, too. The various stats and forecasts for cloud speak to our increasingly hybrid world: There’s no one-size-fits-all story in these numbers. Rather, IT leaders have an increasing number of appealing options for their environments across private cloud, public cloud, and traditional data center infrastructure.
There’s no shortage of numbers out there, but we culled these for your consideration and use, trying to favor the meaningful over the splashy. (But, yes, there’s some splashy, too.) On to the highlights:
2020: The year during which combined IT infrastructure spending on private and public cloud will eclipse spending on traditional data centers, according to research firm IDC. The company predicts that public cloud will account for 31.68 percent of IT infrastructure spending in 2020, while private cloud will take a 19.82 percent slice of the budget pie, totaling more than half (51.5 percent) of all infrastructure spending for the first time, with the rest going to traditional data centers. It’s likely a point-of-no-return milestone for cloud, too: in 2021, the last year in its current forecast, IDC expects the balance to continue tilting further toward cloud, with combined public and private cloud dollars making up 53.15 percent of infrastructure spending.
"Growing demand for access to agile IT resources and proliferation of next-generation workloads will continue driving adoption of cloud-based services. In turn, this move leads to a shift in IT infrastructure spending from traditional enterprise on-premises deployments to data centers delivering cloud services and corporate private clouds,” said Natalya Yezkhova, IDC research director for storage systems, in a press release.
62.3 percent: The percentage of total private cloud spending that will go to on-premises private clouds in 2017, according to IDC. That represents an expected 13.1 percent compounded annual growth rate in on-premises private cloud spending at year-end.
40 percent: The average reduction of total cost of ownership (TCO) among cloud adopters across four key industries, according to Cloud Technology Partners in its report, “Cloud Economics - Are You Getting The Bigger Picture?” The report examines ways to make the business case for cloud, and the various ways in which an organization can track and quantify cloud’s benefits. It includes average TCO figures for the financial services (42 percent), technology (40 percent), manufacturing (42 percent), and communications (37 percent) sectors – and those industries aren’t outliers, apparently.
“In general, we see average TCO saving of around 40 percent regardless of industry,” the report reads. In fact, that 40 percent average excludes some segments that see even greater wins: “For retail and other sectors that experience large seasonal or cyclical changes, savings are often greater.”
88 percent: That's the spread between top banks and their lower-performing peers when it comes to hybrid cloud adoption. Top-performing banks are 88 percent more likely than their underperforming peers to implement a hybrid cloud, according to a recent report from the IBM Institute for Business Value on hybrid cloud in the banking sector: “Banks in our survey that outperformed their peers in both revenue growth and operating efficiency are significantly more likely to embrace adoption of hybrid cloud.” Top banks are 88 percent more likely than their underperforming peers to implement a hybrid cloud as part of their overall business strategies – and 34 percent more likely to adopt hybrid cloud as a means of lowering operational costs.
$91,740,000,000: The expected hybrid cloud market in 2021, according to research firm MarketsandMarkets. If you lost track of the zeroes, that’s $91.74 billion – up from an estimated $33.28 billion in 2016. If the prediction holds true, it will mean an compound annual growth rate of 22.5 percent during that time period.
37 percent of respondents in the 2017 OpenStack User Survey report clouds with 1,000 or more cores, a sign that the clouds themselves are growing bigger. That’s up from 29 percent in 2016. The survey also found that 16 percent of clouds are running 1 petabyte or more of object storage, a four-fold increase from the prior year.
14-11-25-21-28: In percentage terms, how OpenStack cloud use breaks down by company size in the 2017 OpenStack User Survey:
- 100,000+ employees: 14 percent
- 10,000-99,000 employees: 11 percent
- 1,000-9,999 employees: 25 percent
- 100-999 employees: 21 percent
- Less than 100 employees: 28 percent
The notion that cloud is best suited for a particular company size or type just doesn’t carry water anymore. (If you’re wondering what happened to the missing 1 percent when you add up the percentages and get 99: Those are respondents who didn’t say or didn’t know.)
21 percent of companies fit the “safety-conscious” category in Bain & Company’s recent report, “The Changing Faces of Cloud.” Bain notes that the category (one of five “faces” of the cloud) has remained consistent in size (around 20 percent) since Bain first issued this report in 2011. Spending by this group has been consistently ticking upward. It’s also a great example, as are the other four “faces,” of the fact that cloud is not one-size-fits-all, which is contributing to the growth of hybrid environments. As the report says:
“Safety-conscious customers are eager to adopt the cloud, but for a range of reasons – such as industry-specific regulation, national data sovereignty rules or the size of their companies – they prefer a private, dedicated cloud environment for most of their cloud applications.”
20-49-35: The breakdown, in percentage terms, of planned hybrid cloud adoption among large enterprises (20 percent), midsize companies (49 percent), and small businesses (35 percent), in a recent Cloud Adoption Trends Studies report by research firm Techaisle. Notably, that 20 percent figure for large firms pushes that category near saturation: 75 percent of the 750 enterprise respondents in Techaisle’s survey indicated they’re already using some form of hybrid infrastructure.
“Even accounts that are pursuing other strategies are ripe for hybrid cloud in the future,” the report reads. “In small business, for example, we see that 64 percent of those currently using private cloud and 30 percent planning to implement private cloud – in effect, using internal infrastructure to deliver on-demand services. It is easy to imagine these firms hitting the limit of their internal resources, and bridging to external cloud when they do so.”
~0: Give or take, the likelihood that companies will have a formal “no-cloud” policy in place come 2020, according to Gartner. The research firm predicted such policies will be about as common as “no-internet” policies are today. As we noted in a recent piece on key cloud trends in 2017: “You’re about as likely to see Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster in your office as you will be to encounter a no-cloud rule.” Gartner noted that this doesn’t mean every company will move every workload to the cloud, of course. That’s one key reason that hybrid will be the most common cloud model.
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