IDG’s 2020 Cloud Computing Study Outlines Cloud Usage & Adoption Plans, Along with Key Business Drivers

Boston, Mass. – June 18, 2020 – IDG Communications, Inc. – the world’s leading tech media, data, and marketing services company – releases the 2020 IDG Cloud Computing research, highlighting cloud usage and adoption plans, investments, and business drivers behind the technology. This year’s survey found that cloud computing is embedded into business strategy, as 92% of organization’s say their IT environment (infrastructure, applications, data analytics, etc.) is in the cloud to some extent today, and this is expected to grow to 95% 18 months from now.

The Shift to Cloud Continues
Continuing to show the growth in cloud adoption, we are seeing a shift in IT environments being mostly on-premises to mostly cloud. When asked about their current IT environment, only 9% said their environment is all cloud, but this is expected to grow to 16% in 18 months. Looking at the mix of on premise and cloud-based environments, 54% said their total IT environment is mostly on-premises with some cloud (expected to decrease to 36% in 18 months) and 29% said mostly cloud with some on-premises (which is expected to grow to 43% in 18 months).

As businesses move more to the cloud, ITDMs state that 32% of their total IT budget will be allocated to cloud computing within the next year, which is up from 30% in 2018. From a dollar perspective, organizations will invest $73.8 million on average on cloud computing – this includes software, services, training and any other related costs that are attributed to cloud computing. Enterprise organizations (those with 1,000+ employees) plan to in invest $158M compared to $11.5M for SMBs (<1,000 employees).

Status of Cloud-Based Applications
Thinking about their organization’s plans for building, employing or migrating applications/workloads to the cloud, ITDMs rank websites/web applications and collaboration and communication solutions high in the “currently migrating/deployed in the cloud” category (53% and 52%). Looking at what is likely to be migrated to the cloud in the next three years, disaster recovery/high availability (34%) and storage/archive/backup/file server (32%) top the list. New this year, we asked ITDMs if their organization has plans to move any applications or workloads from the cloud back to on-premises. More than a quarter (27%) have already or plan to move apps/workloads back to on-prem in the next 12 months.

“Gone are the days where IT managers get pushback for opting to deploy workloads in the cloud versus their own private data center,” says Eric Knorr, Editor in Chief, IDG Communications, Inc. “With its agility and scalability, especially during a time where cloud-based collaboration tools are essential for a successful remote work environment, cloud computing is showing a strong adoption curve. However, companies are also learning that their migrated applications need to be appropriately managed and optimized in order to meet their full expectations; hence the need for multi-cloud management tools and cloud specific roles.”

Further emphasizing the strong cloud adoption curve, organizations are choosing to implement cloud-first applications (those purpose-built for the cloud). This year’s research shows that 54% of organizations’ cloud-based applications moved from an on-premises environment to the cloud while 46% were purpose-built for the cloud.

Use of Multiple Public Clouds
According to the survey results, more than half (55%) of organizations currently use multiple public clouds. Of this group, 34% say their organization uses two public clouds, 10% use three public clouds and 11% use more than three public clouds. With IT departments leading the use of multi-cloud (35%), their decisions are being driven by utilizing best of breed platform and service option (49%), cost savings/optimization (41%), and improving disaster recovery/business continuity (40%). Looking at how their organization has benefited from multi-cloud adoption, ITDMs state greater platform and service flexibility (43%), improving disaster recovery/business continuity (41%), and best of breed platform and service options (41%).

Despite these benefits, 79% of organizations have experienced some downside to using multiple public clouds. These include increased complexity, increased cost of training/hiring, and increased cost due to cloud management and security challenges. They also state challenges when it comes to the ability to take full advantage of their public cloud resources. On average, they identify four challenges, with the top being controlling cloud costs (40%), data privacy and security challenges (38%), securing/protecting cloud resources (31%), governance/compliance (30%), and lack of cloud security skills/expertise (30%).

To reap the full benefits of multiple public clouds, and ensure integrations and costs are actively monitored, organizations utilize cloud management tools. Close to two-thirds (64%) say they use the native management tools for each of their public cloud platform. When asked about the key deciding factors behind which multi-cloud management tool to implement, ITDMs rank cost management, reporting and optimization; performance monitoring and management; and security, governance and policy compliance at the top.

“The need to provide reliable, always-on business platforms has fueled the need for cloud computing due to its on-demand functionality,” says Sue Yanovitch, VP of Marketing, IDG Communications, Inc. “With significant cloud budgets available, cloud vendors must fully understand the benefits that IT decision-makers are looking for and the organizational challenges they currently experience if they want to become a valued tech partner.”

To learn more about this study click here for the study results, or to request a research briefing. To learn more about how IDG engages with decision-makers researching and investing in cloud solutions, contact us.

About the 2020 IDG Cloud Computing Study
The 2020 IDG Cloud study is in the 8th year of this research study. The research was conducted to measure cloud computing trends among technology decision-makers, including: usage and plans across multiple cloud services, investments, business drivers, and shifting services and applications to the cloud. The study was fielded March 9, 2020 through April 13, 2020. Read a full research write up on InfoWorld.

About IDG Communications, Inc.
IDG Communications connects the world of tech buyers with insights, intent and engagement. We are the world’s largest media, data and marketing services company that activates and engages the most influential technology buyers. Our premium brands, including CIO®, Computerworld®, CSO®, InfoWorld®, Macworld®, Network World®, and PCWorld® engage a quality audience of the most powerful audience of technology buyers providing essential guidance on the evolving technology landscape.

Our global data intelligence platform activates purchasing intent, powering our clients’ success. IDG Marketing Services creates custom content with marketing impact across video, mobile, social and digital. We execute complex campaigns that fulfill marketers’ global ambitions seamlessly with consistency that delivers quality results.

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Stacey Raap
Senior Marketing & Research Specialist
IDG Communications, Inc.