93% of enterprise now using cloud services – survey

business cloud network worldThe vast majority of IT professionals are now using at least one cloud-based service, according to a survey recently published by IT portal Spiceworks.

While 93% of respondents confirmed that they are using at least one cloud based service within their operations, the survey also highlighted IT professionals are still hesitant when considering emerging technologies.

Opportunities such as email hosting and cloud storage are increasingly being viewed as the norm, though IaaS is still met with some scepticism with only 20% of respondents currently using it, and only 16% considering its use in the next 12 months. EMEA professionals demonstrated a higher appetite for IaaS, with use 11 percentage points higher in EMEA than in North America.

In terms of current cloud services, web and email hosting are by far and away the most utilized, with 76% and 56% usage respectively. Online back-up and recovery appears to be the biggest growth area, with 35% of respondents currently using the service and 23% planning to engage over the next 12 months.

When building the business case for cloud transition, cost still remains the top priority for the majority of IT professionals. 71% of respondents highlighted this would be considered the number one reason for the transition, though cloud enabled innovation was only a driver for 3%. While early adopters are moving away from CAPEX/OPEX reductions as the business case for cloud adoption, the rising cost of hardware implementation and maintenance still drives mainstream cloud implementation.

The survey also highlighted that Shadow IT remains a challenge for a large part of the industry, as services which remain un-sanctioned by the IT team are still demonstrating high usage from the rest of the business. 33% of respondents highlighted they have deployed Dropbox services officially, but 78% of companies have employees using the service without IT approval. Google Drive was also being used in 59% of companies surveyed without approval from the IT team.

Microsoft Azure emerged as the most commonly used IaaS provider, accounting for 16%, closely followed by rival AWS at 13%. However 21% of respondents are considering Azure over the next twelve months, compared to only 11% weighing up AWS. The Microsoft team can be encouraged by these statistics, though this is a category which currently does not seem to have a clear market leader. Other brands highlighted by the survey in this space include Rackspace, Google and VMWare.

Despite AWS’s dominant market position, industry insiders questioned by BCN perceive Azure as the more effective platform. With Microsoft bolstering its ranks through strategic company and talent acquisition over the last 18-24 months, Azure is viewed as the more productive offering, despite being more expensive.

The results show a number of positive trends within the cloud industry, though still a number of worrying factors. 20% of IT services are cloud based today, and 30% of the respondents expect that within three years, more than half of their IT services will be cloud based. Conversely the culture of trusting public cloud services with company data/content without approval from the IT function seems to be a trend which isn’t disappearing.