A new study by cloud management provider RightScale finds that small and medium-sized businesses are more reliant on cloud infrastructure than enterprises. In the second annual State of the Cloud survey, 41 percent of SMBs report heavy use of cloud compared to just 17 percent of enterprises who report the same.
RightScale says that while enterprises are moving beyond deciding whether cloud is appropriate for their business and progressing down the path to cloud adoption, their slower pace of adoption is in line with the typical behavior of large organizations. Since they are dealing with added organizational scale and complexity, it takes them longer to fully adopt new technologies.
RightScale divided its respondents into different categories based on a new Cloud Maturity Model. The categories include Cloud Watchers, Cloud Beginners, Cloud Explorers and Cloud Focused, which range from companies in the planning stages of cloud to those who report heavy use of cloud.
Hybrid and multi-cloud implementations are used by the majority of enterprises, and enterprises are leaning toward a “public first” approach to hybrid cloud adoption since private clouds require more time to build and set up, RightScale says. Among enterprises with a hybrid cloud strategy, 61 percent are running apps in public clouds, 38 percent in private clouds, and 29 percent in hybrid clouds.
More than three quarters of respondents have a multi-cloud strategy, and 47 percent are planning for hybrid clouds.
According to the survey, enterprises that are already using public clouds are even more likely to have multi-cloud and hybrid cloud strategies, with 88 percent choosing multi-cloud and 53 percent planning for hybrid. By diversifying the cloud vendors and implementations, enterprises could be looking at mitigating downtime. A recent RightScale survey found that average public cloud outage downtime averaged 8 hours last year.
While AWS is often thought of the market share leader in public cloud implementations, the respondents reported testing of AWS, Rackspace, Google Compute Engine and Windows Azure in almost equal measure, which indicates a much more competitive public cloud landscape. Recently, Windows Azure announced the general availability of its infrastructure services, as well as its commitment to pricematch with AWS on compute, bandwidth and storage.
“In our 2013 State of the Cloud survey, we were able to gather meaningful insights as to how an organization’s level of cloud maturity impacts both the benefits they are able to realize and the challenges they perceive,” Michael Crandell, CEO of RightScale said in a statement. “The results reveal a clear cloud value imperative: more cloud adoption unlocks more cloud value. The survey results align with our experience at RightScale helping companies to begin or expand their cloud initiatives. The data shows that investments in cloud adoption will continue to drive increased value for their business.”
The survey was conducted in the first quarter of 2013 and included 625 respondents from development, IT and business roles across a wide range of company sizes and industries. The full report can be downloaded on RightScale’s website.
Talk back: Have you noticed any major differences between how enterprises and SMBs adopt cloud? What kind of cloud implementations are common with your customers? Let us know in a comment.