What Did the 2016 “Future of Cloud Computing” Survey Reveal?

Rachel Round
Senior Manager, Marketing Communications


Remember last year, when North Bridge, Wikibon, CloudHealth Technologies and a host of participating organizations revealed the results of the Future of Cloud Computing Survey? Believe it or not, a full year has passed since then, and it is once again time for us to look at the survey findings and see what they tell us about the state of cloud adoption.


The Future of Cloud Computing: 6th Annual Survey

"This year, companies are still seeking to get the most from their cloud investments, and looking for even greater opportunities to fuel the entire cloud computing ecosystem."

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Key Takeaways

The 2015 survey revealed that businesses were looking to the cloud as the only way to truly maximize the value of their data (both for analyzing it and gleaning real-time insight). The challenge, then, was “how to interconnect disparate data sources.” This year, companies are still seeking to get the most from their cloud investments, and looking for even greater opportunities to fuel the entire cloud computing ecosystem. The growth of cloud adoption was predictable, albeit surprising in its rate of acceleration (Wikibon predicts public cloud spending will soon account for nearly half of all enterprise spend around hardware, software, and outsourcing services). Cloud environments are also still predominantly hybrid, with companies continuing to place a premium on data and deep analytics.

Other key takeaways included the following:

  • 90% of companies surveyed reporting having some form of a cloud strategy.
  • 42% of companies derive 50% or more of their business through cloud-based applications.
  • While SaaS is the most popular cloud technology in use by companies, infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) isn’t far behind with 58% of respondents deploying IaaS for compute and 53% for storage.
  • 28% of companies surveyed mentioned they store 50% or more of their data in a public cloud versus 59% of companies surveyed store 50% or more of their data in a private cloud.
  • The top inhibitors to cloud adoption changed, with surges in concern over lock-in, bandwidth and pricing. Though still the top inhibitor, security fell off significantly.
  • Mobile and open source are now twice as likely as last year to be cited as a driver for cloud computing.
  • Nearly half of respondents indicated they are using or will use an industry cloud offering.
  • Expectations in terms of immediate ROI continue to rise across both SaaS and PaaS/IaaS deployments.
  • 51% of all survey respondents have begun DevOps in small teams -- up 37.8% versus last year

What the Media is Saying

While the survey was, as ever, chock full of useful information on year-over-year trends, certain findings sparked particular interest on social media and elsewhere. Here are some of the top sound bites from press coverage of the survey:

Forbes, Cloud Is Now A Money Machine For Two Out Of Five Companies:

A surprise finding…is that 80% of companies are now drawing some of their revenues from the cloud, and 42% indicate that this is now the source of a majority of their revenues. 

SiliconANGLE, New survey reveals a surge in cloud-first adoption strategies:

Consistent with other research, the survey found that the hybrid cloud model is dominant, with 47 percent of respondents pursuing that strategy. Thirty percent primarily use public cloud and 23 percent opt for private cloud.

Linux.com, Open Source Helps Drive Cloud Adoption Says 2016 Future of Cloud Survey:

Last year’s survey indicated that DevOps was limited to “pioneers” and small teams with adoption at 37 percent. This year, 51 percent of respondents have begun implementing DevOps in small teams and 30 percent are using DevOps in large teams or company-wide.

Datamation, Rise of the Cloud-First Enterprise:

After coming to grips with cloud computing, businesses are venturing into beyond-the-basics applications and services. More than half identified data analytics (58 percent) as a new top priority, followed by containers (52 percent) and the internet of things (48 percent).

It’s not easy to distill responses from 1,351 organizations across 55 countries into a single presentation, but if you’re hungry for more data then I suggest checking out the 72-slide Future of Cloud Computing deck on slideshare.