Despite a lack of visibility into their actual costs, a large number of enterprise applications are now running in production on public clouds. A survey of 346 IT professionals that attended the recent AWS re:Invent 2015 conference finds that nearly half (46%) are now running at least one enterprise-class application on AWS.
Conducted by the market research firm Dimensional Insight on behalf of Cloud Cruiser, a provider of financial management tools for IT organizations that have embraced the cloud, the survey also finds that 61 percent of respondents plan to increase their usage of reserved instances of AWS in the coming year.
But, a much smaller number of IT professionals say they have visibility into their costs. More than half (57 percent) report that they don’t share cost information with their business users, and 42 percent say it's difficult to properly allocate cloud usage and costs. All told, 85 percent of the respondents say there is some merit to sharing that information with business users, but only 39 percent say it’s a priority.
Benefits and side effects
The fact that so many enterprise-class workloads are moving to AWS suggests that usage of public clouds is becoming an article of faith. While many IT organizations may not have a firm handle on their costs, the ability to dynamically stand up IT infrastructure as needed clearly makes the IT department more responsive to the needs of the business. In fact, the agility that IT organizations gain by moving to the cloud probably trumps any actual or perceived cost savings.
Just as significantly, the survey suggests that once application workloads find their way into the AWS cloud interest in other forms of cloud computing starts to drop. Only 27 percent of those surveyed said they would also be making use of private cloud. Another 31 percent said they would also use Microsoft Azure, and 13 percent said they also have workloads running on the Google Cloud Compute platform. Remarkably, 43 percent said they would not be using of any other cloud platform.
For all the talk about cloud security, it’s also clear that many IT organizations have reached a level of confidence in public clouds that enables them to run enterprise applications outside their own data centers. Some of that confidence is derived from the fact that many IT organizations tacitly recognize that a public cloud is still going to be a more secure environment than anything they could stand up on their own. But it also reflects the work public cloud service providers have done making sure those environments are secure.
In either case, enterprise applications are moving into public clouds at a more rapid rate for a variety of technical and financial reasons. For IT services providers, that creates an opportunity to facilitate that process and help those organizations manage those applications on ongoing basis from here on out.