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Cloud Services Use on the Rise But Security Concerns Remain

A recently published industry report suggested that use of public cloud services by organizations may nearly double in the next two years.

About 27 percent of business workloads currently use public cloud services, but that number is expected to reach 48 percent in a year or two, according to survey findings published by Spiceworks, an Austin, Texas-based marketing services company. The report, "Public Cloud Trends in 2019 and Beyond," surveyed 452 IT decision makers back in April. Respondents were from the United States (74 percent) and Europe (26 percent), representing small, medium and enterprise (1,000-plus employees) organizations. Spiceworks also offers software for IT pros and community discussion forums.

Cloud use expectations ran somewhat higher for small businesses (organizations with one to 99 employees). The report stated (p. 3) that "small businesses expected to run 53% of their workloads in public clouds, compared to 46% for mid-size business workloads, and 41% for enterprise workloads" by 2021.

The survey respondents told Spiceworks that the workloads they were most likely to run in the cloud included Web sites (55 percent) and e-mail (54 percent). The workloads expected to be kept on-premises included database servers (59 percent) and identity management solutions (57 percent).  

The new technologies that elicited interest in the cloud included edge computing (used by 15 percent), serverless computing (used by 15 percent) and containers (used by 18 percent), according to Spiceworks, citing its earlier "Spiceworks 2019 State of IT Budgets" study.

Cloud service providers Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Microsoft Azure all got close rankings from the respondents. However, they favored AWS for uptime, security and value. Azure was favored for compatibility. GCP was deemed simplest to manage and most innovative, according to the report.

The most important factor in ranking cloud service providers was service uptime, according to 72 percent of the respondents, followed by security (53 percent) and service compatibility (46 percent).

Security associated with public cloud use still appeared to be a stumbling block for some organizations. Only 35 percent of the respondents felt that cloud service providers offered better security than what IT pros currently provide for their own servers. Nearly a third (30 percent) of the respondents indicated they had experienced a cloud-based security challenge. A higher figure (nearly 50 percent) was reported by the enterprise respondents.

Moving away from cloud services was deemed problematic by the respondents. According to the report (p. 9), "more than half (54%) of IT decision makers believe it would be difficult to shift some of their organization's workloads to a different public cloud provider."

The respondents would be most compelled to move away from a cloud service provider if they experienced unreliable service (87 percent), substantial price increases (81 percent), a security issue (79 percent) or ongoing latency issues (73 percent), according to the survey.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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