Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Friday, February 26, 2021
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Steady Shift in Enterprise Workloads to Cloud 

An estimated 41 percent of enterprise workloads are currently running in public and private clouds, a total that is expected to rise to 60 percent over the next two years as enterprise embrace hybrid cloud infrastructure for emerging applications such as analytics and distributed business applications.

In a survey of cloud deployment models released Thursday (Sept. 1) by 451 Research, most enterprises are expected to adopt on-premise private clouds along with software-as-a-service models, with each accounting for 14 percent of all enterprise applications. At the same time, private cloud adoption is expected to remain flat while software services are expected to rise sharply through mid-2018, accounting for 23 percent of all enterprise workloads, the researcher reported.

The market watcher is less bullish about infrastructure-as-a-service offerings, noting that only 6 percent of IT buyers responding to its survey said their enterprise workloads run on outside infrastructure services. That total represents the smallest number of applications running on public or private clouds.

Still, the analyst sees the number of workloads running on infrastructure services doubling over the next two years. The uptake will be driven by application development and "web/media" tasks, 451 Research predicted.

Other key drivers of cloud-based enterprise workloads include big data, analytics and business applications. Both data and distributed application workloads are predicted to double during the forecast period.

Consequently, more enterprises are adopting a "cloud first" approach that prioritizes on-premise or public clouds for all workloads deployments. The survey found that 38 percent of survey respondents said they have embraced the approach. Among the drivers of cloud usage are hardware and software upgrades, datacenter expansion along with mergers and acquisitions.

Despite the dominance of public cloud vendors such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Google Cloud Platform , the survey's authors predicted the "the battle for cloud domination is by no means over and the high usage growth predicted points to opportunities for vendors of many kinds, including mega-scalers, hosting, hardware and software providers, integrators and consultants to expand presence as the market expands."

AWS (NASDAQ: AMZN) continues to dominate the public cloud sector as Microsoft hustles to gain cloud market share. Meanwhile, Google announced last month it was acquiring a cloud enterprise services startup and its platform for buying and selling enterprise software in the cloud. Orbitera's platform helps independent software vendors and systems integrators distribute services on the cloud.

“Because cloud delivers increasing agility and flexibility to better fit ever-changing business needs, IaaS and SaaS allow organizations to focus their efforts on their business, rather than on maintaining costly and complex datacenters and infrastructure," Andrew Reichman, research director at 451 Research and lead author of the cloud workload survey, noted in a statement.

The cloud survey was based on interviews with more than 1,200 global IT managers between May and June 2016.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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