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Costs, not security, worry enterprise leaders most as cloud estates multiply

Written on Mar 19, 2024

Enterprise cloud customers remain committed to a hybrid cloud strategy, leaning heavily on the three largest public cloud providers, according to Flexera’s 13th annual State of the Cloud Report. The software company surveyed 753 IT professionals and executive leaders. 

Organizations were intentional about where to run various workloads, Flexera found. Nearly 3 in 5 respondents reported using multiple clouds, a three percentage point increase year over year. And data integration between clouds became a more common practice, growing to 45% of respondents, a seven-percentage point increase over last year’s survey. 

The trend reflects a hybrid-cloud “steady state” in enterprise ecosystems, with nearly all respondents deployed in public cloud, roughly three-quarters using private cloud and the majority leveraging both. 

In cloud, a migration boom coupled with economic uncertainty drove organizations to clear a path to optimization through a tangle of thorny billing practices and overgrown systems. 

“This is a complex year for cloud adoption,” Brian Adler, senior director of cloud market strategy at Flexera, said in the report. “Organizations are navigating economic uncertainties by investing in generative AI, security and sustainability while prioritizing cost management.” 

In a repeat of last year’s survey, controlling spend surpassed cybersecurity as the most pressing cloud challenge, cited by 84% of respondents. The shift to prioritize cost over security, which 81% of respondents nonetheless cited as a major concern, reflects the ongoing maturation of cloud strategy. 

More than 1 in 4 organizations spent $12 million annually on cloud and nearly one-quarter spent that much on cloud-based SaaS, according to the report, which tracked a 21% year-over-year increase in organizations spending $1 million or more per month on the technology. 

SaaS and platform services saw across-the-board usage gains, with cloud data warehouse experiencing the sharpest spike. Nearly two-thirds of respondents said their organization stored data in cloud, up nine percentage points year over year. 

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