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    5 key takeaways from Flexera’s 2022 State of the Cloud Report

    June 27, 2022 | By Servaas Verbiest |

    Cloud adoption has been steadily rising for years, but organizations are now prioritizing it like never before. 

    According to Flexera’s State of the Cloud Report 2022, 63% of businesses are “heavy users,” currently running more than 25% of their workloads in the cloud. That’s up from 59% in 2021 and 53% in 2020. Additionally, the percentage of organizations classified as “light users” fell from 19% to 14% year over year. 

    These are just some of the many cloud trends outlined in the report that can collectively “help guide your organization’s digital business decision-making processes, vendor and technology selection, cost forecasting and investment strategies to support upcoming stages of your cloud journey.”

    Here are five highlights from the 2022 report, including what they mean for your business and how to address any challenges they present.

    1. Nearly all organizations have a multi-cloud strategy

    In the 2021 report, 92% of organizations reported taking a multi-cloud approach, utilizing multiple cloud services from two or more providers. That number dropped to 89% in 2022, but still remains the go-to strategy for businesses

    With this tactic, you have choices. You’re not dedicated to just one cloud or limited to capabilities of a single cloud provider. Multi-cloud can help reduce vendor lock-in, let you take advantage of the features and benefits associated with each cloud environment and make the right decisions for your organization. After all, the cloud isn’t one size fits all.

     The composition of your use case will drive what a successful multi-cloud deployment will look like. Compliance requirements, data composition, application delivery models, budget and users' roles are all key points of consideration. For example, medical or personal identifiable information (PII) needs a secure environment that can only be delivered and accessed in a region that aligns with the data being held and not in other countries. Ultimately, it boils down to determining which clouds are right for your use case. Take a hard look at your applications, servers, infrastructure and estate, and assess your needs for today and for the future.

    2. More organizations are embracing hybrid cloud

    Eighty percent of businesses are taking a hybrid cloud approach, utilizing some combination of public and private clouds. The strategies, however, vary from company to company.

    Per the report, 48% of organizations use multiple public and private clouds. Thirty-one percent use multiple public clouds and one private cloud, and 12% use one public cloud and multiple private clouds. The least number of companies – 9% – have just one public cloud and one private cloud. 

    The benefits of hybrid cloud are well-documented. It offers the greatest amount of customization and lets you take advantage of the cloud without ditching your existing infrastructure. But it can also be harder to manage and secure if you don’t have a capable team to support the different platforms.

    To optimize hybrid cloud management, start by establishing a strong foundation with a center of excellence. This group can make sure you’re leveraging the proper components. Next, commit to the fundamentals. Create clear objectives, define metrics to track success, install proper governance and a strong review process and maintain proper documentation of the tools and platforms you’re consuming. Lastly, consistently invest in your team. Beyond technology and tools, consider leveraging software and MSPs for tasks that don’t drive innovation. 

    Proper hybrid cloud management doesn’t happen overnight, and it isn’t a one-off. It requires consistent monitoring and adjusting as your business and needs develop.

    3. Public cloud usage is growing

    Eight percent of all businesses spend more than $60 million on public cloud each year, per the report. Thirty-seven percent of enterprises spend over $12 million per, while 53% of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) spend over $1.2 million annually – up from 38% the year before. 

    Additionally, organizations today run half of their workloads in the public cloud, a percentage that’s expected to rise 6% over the next year. Organizations currently keep 48% of their data in the public cloud and are projected to add 7% over the next 12 months. 

    The advantage of public cloud is that you can easily scale up and down based on demand because you only pay for what you’re using. Since you’re buying into a shared infrastructure that’s managed by a third party, you also don’t need to worry about upfront infrastructure costs. However, while public cloud solutions are easy to get off the ground, they are often difficult to leave.

    Before making a move to the public cloud – or choosing between public cloud providers – think about what you require to make all your applications and workloads work together succinctly while remaining available. You must also consider the roadmap that avoids limiting your organization’s future for cloud consumption options. Doing so can help you achieve the availability, performance and cost profile that meets the needs and expectations of your users, customers and the business overall.

    4. Wasted cloud spend is a major concern

    Among the top cloud challenges organizations face, managing cloud spend ranks number three overall at 83%. The same percentage of enterprises have this concern, while 77% of SMBs worry about managing cloud spend as well.

    Right now, organizations find their public cloud spend over budget by an average of 13%. At the same time, they expect their cloud spend to increase 29% over the next year. Organizations also self-estimate that they waste 32% of their overall cloud spend (up from 30% last year). In truth, the number is likely even higher. 

    The report emphasizes that as cloud consumption increases, it’s even more pressing that businesses “get a handle on forecasting and cost optimization.” Ultimately, the best way to optimize cloud spend is to create a strong foundation – with proper governance and controls – and establish clear goals from the get-go. Analyze the workloads you’re moving to the cloud and verify how each impacts the business outcome and processes. With this level of visibility, you should be able to determine the cloud infrastructure you need. Remaining true to best practices should, ultimately, help you better manage your cloud budget. 

    If you find that your organization has overspent already, don’t worry. All is not lost. It may require a full redesign and redeployment of your cloud infrastructure, but you should have a better sense after a complete analysis of your workloads deployed to the cloud. No matter your situation, it’s possible to take control of growing cloud costs.

    5. Security is the top cloud challenge

    For the 10th time in 11 years, security is the top cloud challenge facing organizations at 85%. And yet, more than 50% of respondents are open to moving some of their sensitive “consumer data” or “corporate finance data” to the cloud.

    While this is a strong indication of growing confidence in cloud providers’ security tools and processes, 83% of businesses are still worried about their own lack of resources and expertise when it comes to the cloud. Fortunately, there are steps you can take right now. 

    Enforce multi-factor authentication (MFA), segment your networks, invest in cybersecurity education and mitigate cybersecurity risks by putting CISA directives on cybersecurity into practice

    As cybersecurity concerns grow more sophisticated and workplaces continue to evolve, you need to take measures to not only safeguard your organization from risks, but also ensure you can recover following a successful cyberattack.

    Plan for a smart, more secure cloud journey

    Cloud adoption is up and will continue to grow in the years to come. This report identifies many of the latest cloud trends. 

    While some of this information can seem daunting, it also presents an opportunity to reevaluate your current cloud profile to ensure you’re taking the smartest and most secure approach. 

    Before you do anything, make sure you’re ready for your cloud journey. You’ll be thankful you prepared. 

    If you have any questions, we're ready to help.

    Get in touch with a Sungard AS sales specialist.

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