Economic uncertainty refocuses priorities and challenges on cloud costs, and AI experimentation is significant
Flexera, the company that helps organizations maximize business value from their technology investments, today announced the release of its Flexera 2023 State of the Cloud Report. The twelfth annual Flexera State of the Cloud Report explores the thinking of 750 respondents from a survey conducted in late 2022. It highlights year-over-year (YoY) changes to help identify trends. The respondents—cloud decision-makers and users from around the world—revealed their experiences and insights about the public, private and multi-cloud market.
The 2023 report is available at https://info.flexera.com/CM-REPORT-State-of-the-Cloud.
“This is a watershed year for cloud usage, as the report findings demonstrate,” said Brian Adler, Senior Director, Cloud Market Strategy at Flexera. “We saw FinOps continue to gain traction, cost management challenges pass security as the top cloud challenge for the first time, and artificial intelligence (AI) lead all plans and experimentation of public cloud services. As economic uncertainties wane in the months or years to come, companies will continue to lean into the cloud to transform their businesses, with the goal of finding competitive advantages.”
Among the highlights:
- Managing cloud spend overtakes security as the top cloud challenge: This year marks the first time in more than a decade that managing cloud spend has overtaken security as the top challenge facing organizations. As in previous years, a lack of resources/expertise also continues to be a significant challenge.
- Optimizing existing use of cloud is the top initiative: This is the seventh year in a row that optimizing existing use of the cloud (cost savings) is the top initiative (reported by 62 percent of all respondents).
- Organizations are embracing multi-cloud: Respondents indicated a slight drift toward single public cloud usage, with multi-cloud decreasing from 89 percent last year to 87 percent this year. Single public cloud usage has increased to 11 percent, up from nine percent last year.
- Use of multi-cloud tools by large enterprises is higher for FinOps than for security: Across the board for all organizations, multi-cloud security tools continue to lead, followed closely by tools for multi-cloud cost optimization (FinOps). However, large enterprises reverse the order, with 68 percent using multi-cloud FinOps tools and 63 percent using multi-cloud security tools.
- Siloed apps and disaster recovery (DR)/failover are the top multi-cloud implementations. Apps siloed on different clouds and DR/failover between clouds have remained the top two multi-cloud implementations. Intelligent workload placement is increasing the fastest (up 20 percent year over year).
- AWS and Azure still lead overall: Last year was the first year Azure surpassed AWS in adoption rates, but as shown in the 2023 report respondents indicated AWS is back on top, with 47 percent using the provider in significant workloads and 41 percent using Azure. Oracle, IBM and Alibaba cloud services remained relatively unchanged.
- AWS leads SMB public cloud adoption: SMBs (businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees) continue to favor AWS over other cloud providers, with 71 percent using AWS and 51 percent using Azure. Usage of Google Cloud Platform among SMBs has significantly decreased, from 43 percent to 28 percent year over year.
- There are big plans for AI: Similar to last year, data warehouse is the most commonly used PaaS offering, followed by DBaaS (relational). Machine learning/artificial intelligence is being experimented with more than any other service; not surprisingly, it’s also the leading PaaS offering that is being planned for use.
- Economic uncertainty is growing cloud usage: 45 percent of respondents said economic uncertainty would have very little impact on cloud usage and spend; nine percent said they would lower cloud spending somewhat, and one percent said they would lower cloud spending significantly.
The survey tapped 750 IT professionals and executive leaders worldwide representing a broad cross-section of industries and context areas in the winter of 2022.
Flexera sources participants from an independent panel that is rigorously maintained and is comprised of vetted respondents with detailed profiles.
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