Our Top 5 Takeaways From The 2016 State Of The Cloud Report
By: Date: Categories: Cloud

The 2016 RightScale Survey on the state of cloud adoption has just been released and it’s as insightful and controversial as ever.

The Report takes the pulse of around 1,000 respondents, covering a good mix of Enterprise and SMB cloud users. The report uses a Cloud Maturity Model to segment and analyzes organizations based on their level of cloud adoption. The four categories are Cloud Watchers, Cloud Beginners, Cloud Explorers and Cloud Focused.

Our Top 5 Takeaways From The 2016 State Of The Cloud Report

Keep reading for our thoughts on what the Report means for you or read it in full here.

1. Oh Wait, We Have To Pay For This Cloud Thing?

As the adoption and usage of the public cloud increases, it’s unsurprising that cloud cost management challenges increase. Optimization efforts however are currently significantly lagging.

  • 26% of respondents identified cloud cost management as a significant challenge in 2016, a steady increase each year from 18% in 2013.
What It Means For You

Cloud cost management practices are terrible. Cloud cost management provides a significant opportunity for savings since few companies are taking critical actions to optimize cloud costs. Even basic actions such as shutting down unused workloads or selecting lower-cost clouds or regions are reported as not being utilized by a significant proportion of respondents.

As for usage increases, generally complexity increases and given that Public Cloud is an operating cost (OPEX), capital cost monthly management reporting, optimization and the tools that facilitate this becomes increasingly important to manage usage and costs. Technical, financial and operations managers are eventually going to come looking for efficiencies and there are easy wins for internal managers or external service providers, consultants or solutions providers able to offer optimization without adding complexity.

2. Security Is Dead. Long Live Security.

After years of fear, uncertainty and denial from traditional technology vendors, security has finally been dethroned by the majority of respondents as the greatest cloud challenge.

  • Enterprise central IT teams, historically the Survey’s most security-conscious respondents, have reported a significant decline in security concerns, from 47% to 37%. This finally means that security is no longer seen as the No. 1 challenge.
  • Taking out the crown this year for most significant cloud challenge was “Lack of resources/expertise”, now the No. 1 cloud challenge cited as no. 1 by 32% of respondents, supplanting at 29%.
What It Means For You

Now is the time to reach out to your most security-conscious customers, be they enterprise central IT teams or security pros in other verticals. The survey response indicates that they no longer see security as the number 1 cloud challenge. The security-conscious will increasingly accept the new way of doing things and teeth-gritting traditionalists will be forced to adapt.

For these types of organizations, particularly the sophisticated enterprise, we expect a greater focus on compliance and governance issues. The emphasis will be on vendors and service providers to be able to show best practices in the management of cloud infrastructure.

A group of intrepid pre-2016 Cloud adopters attempt to convince an Enterprise Central IT team to move a greater proportion of resources to the Cloud

3. Suprise!

The surprise here is the inclusion of Oracle and Digital Ocean and perhaps more importantly the order of their inclusion.

  • DigitalOcean a startup itself, with a focus on developers and startups secured 5% with heavy, enterprise incumbent Oracle Cloud scoring 4%.
  • Oracle is currently ramping up a significant partner program. Whether it moves the needle on the adoption of the Oracle Cloud remains to be seen.
What It Means For You

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the undisputed public cloud leader. In a recent earnings call, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella even admitted it, but there is genuine competition for 3-4th and 5-6th place. Whether market dynamics continue to support the stragglers or bring about further consolidation will impact the choices made by the large ecosystems which underpin each of the public cloud vendors. In our observation, most resellers, partners, consultants, software vendors and others are currently taking a wait and see approach.

4. Dev-Ops = 🔥

DevOps grew like wildfire.

  • Adoption rose from 66% to 74% and enterprise adoption reached 81%.
  • Docker adoption more than doubled to 27% vs.13% in 2015, and another 35% of respondents have plans to use Docker.
What It Means For You

The DevOps trend is one that is here to stay. It is possible that these numbers look high as the sample group has a high number of new-age SMB’s (startups) and progressive enterprises but there is no question of the rise of DevOps.

5. AWS Is The Leader Of The Pack. Again.

It’s no surprise that AWS continues to lead in public cloud adoption, but also interesting that Azure has gained ground.

  • Overall, 57% of respondents identified as AWS users, flat from last year.
  • Enterprise adoption of AWS grew from 50% to 56%, while adoption by smaller businesses fell slightly, from 61% to 58%.
  • Azure IaaS grew strongly from 12% to 17% adoption, while Azure PaaS grew from 9% to 13%.
  • Combined, 20% of respondents use Azure (IaaS, PaaS or both) as compared to 57% for AWS.
What It Means For You

We expect to see the big two continue to lead. The numbers between them may become a little confusing with the mixture of IaaS and PaaS. We expect to see Azure leverage its hybrid capability and application focus more than AWS.


We can think of no better summary of this year’s results than put by prominent commentator Joe Panettiere,

“The bottom line for channel partners? Figure out your cloud management and monitoring strategy — to get workloads under control in a proactive, profitable manner.”


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