Top Cloud Initiative: Optimizing Existing Use of Cloud
May 31, 2023
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Optimizing existing use of cloud is the top initiative — for the seventh year in a row, reported by 62% of respondents in the Flexera 2023 State of the Cloud Report.

"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."

Additional highlights of the report:

Managing cloud spend overtakes security as 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.

Organizations embracing multi-cloud

Respondents indicated a slight drift toward single public cloud usage, with multi-cloud decreasing from 89% last year to 87% this year. Single public cloud usage has increased to 11%, up from 9% 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% using multi-cloud FinOps tools and 63% 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% 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% using the provider in significant workloads and 41% 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% using AWS and 51% using Azure. Usage of Google Cloud Platform among SMBs has significantly decreased, from 43% to 28% year over year.

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% of respondents said economic uncertainty would have very little impact on cloud usage and spend; 9% said they would lower cloud spending somewhat, and 1% said they would lower cloud spending significantly.

Methodology: 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.

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