The State of the Cloud: 5 Cloud Adoption Trends and Takeaways

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For the past several years, RightScale has been surveying hundreds of organizations across industries and sizes, to find out more about their adoption of cloud computing. This year, a key theme of RightScale’s State of the Cloud Report was how organizations are shifting focus to governing costs as adoption of public and private cloud grows. Optimizing cloud costs also surfaced as the top initiative for all cloud users. Let’s take a look at key takeaways from the report and what they will mean for your organization:

1.       Cost Optimization is a Top Initiative

According to the report 26 percent of enterprises spend more than $6 million a year on public cloud, while 52 percent spend more than $1.2 million annually. While public clouds provide agility and easy access to powerful solutions, it’s a double-edged sword. As effortless as it is to spin up new instances, it’s just as easy to lose track of unused resources – trading server sprawl for cloud sprawl. With an explosion of new services and intricate billing models, IT teams face climbing, unpredictable costs and vendor lock-in.

Takeaway: Reviewing cloud bills is often complicated, akin to reviewing an intricate telephone bill. It can be difficult to determine which application, department, or resource is the source of a cost overrun. As cloud usage grows, the amount of detail can be too great to simply review in Excel or for one person to sort through manually. Leveraging Cloud Cost Optimization software is recommended to proactively review cloud spend, pinpoint waste, and provide what-if analysis for optimization planning.

2.       Enterprise Focus on Governance

Compared to 2017, in 2018 enterprise central IT is taking a stronger cloud governance role in advising on which applications to move to the cloud. Enterprise central IT teams are shifting their focus to governance and brokering cloud - 57 percent of enterprises already have a central cloud team with another 24 percent planning one. Even among SMBs, 31 percent have a central cloud team, with 24 percent planning one.

To effectively plan for multi-cloud, even if your team is starting with one cloud, we recommend developing an overall governance model with defined policies and a suite of tools for how you will support new cloud account creation.

Takeaway: Most organizations with a cloud-first strategy are also developing a multi-cloud strategy. To effectively plan for multi-cloud, even if your team is starting with one cloud, we recommend developing an overall governance model with defined policies and a suite of tools for how you will support new cloud account creation. The governance model should include a standardized framework across multiple clouds, security, data access governance, and architectural standards.

3.       Security Remains a Top Challenge

Along with managing cloud spend, security concerns were also cited as the top cloud challenge for 2018. Specifically, security is the largest issue among cloud beginners, while cost becomes a bigger challenge for intermediate and advanced users. Company size does play a part – among enterprise central IT teams, which typically have the most responsibility over security, there was a significant decline in security concerns over the past three years.

Takeaway: Moving fast, having de-centralized environments and new technologies all create increased opportunities for security risks to be introduced. In the cloud, the root account has access to everything which is a big change from your on-premises world with silos of access to different parts of the infrastructure.

Identity management, access control, and data security are of utmost importance in the cloud, so developers should be equipped with robust security training. If you have moved to continuous integration and deployment, consider automating code and integrating vulnerability review into the deployment process. Automated policy checking is also critical to ensure that identity management groups are set up correctly, SSH keys are secured, and storage buckets have appropriate access. Many cloud providers are building these policy-checking capabilities natively into their platforms.

4.       Serverless is on the Rise

Serverless is the top-growing extended cloud service. A significant number of public cloud users are now leveraging services beyond just the basic compute, storage, and network services, according to the RightScale report. In fact, year-over-year, serverless was the top-growing extended cloud service with a 75 percent increase over 2017 (12 to 21 percent adoption).

Takeaway: Serverless provides developers with direct access to distinct managed services, allowing them to build applications and workloads that execute dynamically, efficiently using, and hence paying for, only the resources required to complete the job. Just as with cloud infrastructure services, it is Enterprise IT’s role to ensure that a standardized model, covering security, governance, and cost optimization, is wrapped around all serverless and other PaaS services provided to users.

5.       Cloud Container Services are Growing

As the adoption of DevOps practices grows within enterprises, so does the prevalence container and configuration tools. Docker grew strongly again this year, and Kubernetes showed even stronger growth as a container orchestration solution. Many users are also adopting container-as-a-service offerings from AWS, Azure, and Google.

Takeaway: With the vast array of DevOps tooling, running the gamut from automated infrastructure provisioning and configuration, to testing and compliance, and software and infrastructure release management, many enterprises are finding that shadow IT isn’t just limited to multiple cloud providers but also lacks standardization of the tooling that’s used to manage this new world of public cloud, Infrastructure as Code, and DevOps. Traditionally thought of as a space exclusive for application developers, Enterprise IT is now able to leverage the same methodologies and technologies for managing cloud infrastructure, reaping the benefits of automation, standardization, and version control.

One area in particular where the two worlds of development and IT operations come together is Containers and Container Services, including those available from cloud providers.

One area in particular where the two worlds of development and IT operations come together is Containers and Container Services, including those available from cloud providers. Containers provide enterprises with greater control, reliability, and scalability of their applications, through the use of development and deployment pipelines, which automate compliance, testing and deployment, and ensure consistency between environments.

With Burwood’s Cloud Orchestration Platform we ensure that enterprises are set up to swiftly reap the benefits of the vast array of cloud and DevOps tooling and services, without the long lead time and steep learning curve, all with a core focus on compliance, governance, and cost optimization.

From increased agility to enhanced security capabilities, the benefits of a cloud-first strategy are becoming increasingly clear. But what may be less obvious is how to tap into those cloud advantages in the best way possible. After all, while cloud use has grown rapidly in recent years, optimizing use of the cloud is still a new frontier of sorts for many organizations. For questions or further guidance on cloud strategy from Burwood Group, contact us.


 

May 8, 2018