Cloud Storage Adoption: The Story Behind the Trends

LogicMonitor predicts that 83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020, with 41% of enterprise workloads being run on public cloud storage platforms, 20%  on private cloud-based platforms, and 22% on hybrid cloud platforms.

Datometry reports that cost savings is the number one reason enterprises move to the cloud. Sixty-one percent of companies cite cost-cutting as their top initiative, with 57% indicating that a desire for new features and capabilities drives their decision.  

According to Flexera’s annual State of the Cloud Report for 2019 (PDF), 91% of businesses use public cloud and 72% use a private one. Most enterprises actually utilize both options – with 69% of them opting for a hybrid cloud solution.

Looking at stats like these, it is clear that enterprises are “all in” when it comes to cloud adoption. But these trends don’t necessarily reflect the whole picture. Let’s take a behind-the-scenes look at cloud adoption and talk about what’s really happening in the industry—and what’s next.

What’s Really Being Put in the Cloud

Certainly, enterprise cloud adoption is growing with no signs of slowing down. But what enterprises are moving to the cloud may surprise you. At Kaminario, we tend to see one of two things occurring:

Enterprises are moving apps that are NOT in the critical path: By far, much of what we’ve seen at Kaminario is that companies are willing to dip their toes in the cloud by migrating apps that aren’t mission critical. While typical workloads such as batch, transactional (OLTP), and analytics (OLAP/HPC) are all being run successfully in the cloud, the use cases of these loads are typically dev/test, UAT, or QA instead of production. This allows the business to begin taking advantage of cloud benefits without feeling like they’re exposing themselves to unnecessary risks by running their mission-critical or line-of-business production applications in an environment that does not fully match the feature/functionality, resilience, or performance of their on-prem production environments.

What does this mean for apps that are the core of an enterprise business? For now, enterprises seem leery of moving their “crown jewels” out of their private infrastructure and into the ether. While businesses are adopting the cloud, most are doing so by only moving auxiliary applications. If an app is something that would effectively stop the business if it goes down, we find that enterprises are much less likely to move it to the cloud.

Enterprises are building cloud-native apps: A second cloud adoption trend we’re seeing is that organizations are building native apps within the cloud. Most commonly seen with customer-facing apps like those used in development, testing, and QA, these “tier 2” apps tend to be things that if one element goes down, business life can carry on. While this is much less common than shifting legacy systems to the cloud, it is something we’re seeing a bit more of.

Fearing the Move to the Cloud

Clearly, companies are migrating to cloud storage—and that’s not surprising, given all of its advantages. From ease-of-use and maintenance to its ability to seamlessly scale as a business evolves, there are many reasons that shifting applications to a cloud environment makes sense. But the fears that keep many organizations from moving to the cloud are still very real, and very valid. Enterprises have a number of concerns, including:

  • Lack of budget
  • Security concerns
  • Resiliency concerns
  • Performance concerns
  • Lack of time
  • Lack of expertise
  • Uncertainty if refactored applications will work
  • Vendor lock-in

In essence, for many organizations, the current leap from traditional storage to the cloud simply seems too difficult and risky. And until migrating to the cloud becomes easy and foolproof, things are likely to remain the same.

What’s Next for Cloud Storage Adoption

If migrating to the cloud were easy, everyone would have done it by now. But the reality is that moving to the cloud is not without its challenges. And until it becomes easier to make the move without huge additional cost, stress, or risk, we anticipate that the trends we discussed will continue—and that enterprises will wait for an easier, less perilous way to adopt cloud technology.

So what’s next? In future blog posts, we’ll take a deeper dive into the challenges that enterprises face when moving to the cloud and will share a potential solution to overcoming those challenges.

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