AWS Summit Survey Shows Big Data Analytics Drives Public Cloud Growth

Cloud Cruiser has published results from a survey of Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) Global Summit attendees that points to strong public cloud computing growth fueled by Big Data and business analytics.

The company, which provides a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application that serves as a "smart-meter" revealing usage and spend data, surveyed 189 people who attended the Chicago summit in April.

"This report finds that nearly all companies are using the public cloud today, and that rapid growth will continue over the next year," the company says on its report site. "Participants indicate that public cloud momentum is now being fueled by Big Data and analytics. The top challenge with the continuously growing public cloud resource is the ability to manage allocation usage and costs. However, this report reveals that nearly a third of the companies today are doing nothing to track, manage and allocate costs and consumption.

"IT and Finance continue to have difficulty working together to ascertain and allocate public cloud usage, and IT continues to struggle with technologies that will gather and track public cloud usage information. IT needs a solution that can effectively manage and allocate public cloud use so they can have a fact-based conversation with the business that everyone can understand."

The company provided more information on the survey in a news release last week.

"Of those surveyed, 92 percent stated that they are currently using a public cloud and 95 percent indicated that public cloud usage will grow over the next 12 months," the company said. "Additionally, the survey found that momentum is being driven by a number of factors including Big Data and business analytics, with development and testing services coming in a close second."

Although the high percentage of public cloud users was unsurprising considering the audience, the report does contain some unexpected information, according to Cloud Cruiser's Andy Atkinson, who discussed the findings in a blog post.

"Perhaps a little more interesting is that only about half of the respondents were AWS only; most had some other form of cloud, as well -- whether Azure (27 percent), some form of private cloud (22 percent), or Google Cloud platform (12 percent)," Atkinson said.

"Also not shocking, at least to us, is that 95 percent of our respondents said that their use of public cloud will grow -- with 40 percent reporting that they expect growth rates of between 25 and 50 percent!" he continued. "Another 38 percent see growth between 10 and 25 percent (still pretty big!), with 17 percent looking at growth rates of under 10 percent. Maybe there's something to this cloud stuff, after all. Dev and Test are still the biggest categories of cloud use, with 59 percent of respondents in that bucket, but Big Data and analytics are coming up fast (31 percent)."

Other highlights of the survey listed by Cloud Cruiser include:

  • Cost allocation and reporting top actions needed for managing the public cloud.
  • Nearly one-third of companies do not proactively manage cloud usage or spend.
  • 82 percent indicate reconciling cloud services bills with finance as being difficult.

"Of course, all of this rapid change is not without growing pains," Atkinson said. "More than half of our respondents (58 percent) say that cost allocation and reporting capabilities are needed for effective cloud management, but 31 percent of respondents said they aren't doing any proactive management of cost and usage at all, with most of the rest relying on a hodge-podge of manual processes, custom-built tools, and the limited capabilities available from the provider platforms (none of which handle multi-cloud environments).

"Shockingly (not), this lack of technology support makes for a hard time reconciling cloud billings with the finance department, with only 18 percent reporting that that task is easy, while a full 42 percent describe the process as horrible. These results tell us that there is a crying need for cloud analytics, so people can consume with confidence and maximize the value and utility of their cloud investments."

Note that Cloud Cruiser provides such analytics with its products.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.