Businesses have become less skeptical of cloud computing, more confident in its security, and more inclined to invest money in it, according to new findings. Nearly 70% of U.S. businesses surveyed by B2B ratings and reviews firm Clutch say that they plan to increase spending on cloud computing in 2017. One in five of those businesses report that their cloud computing spending this year will likely increase by more than 30%.
The increased spending on cloud computing is likely due to a shift in perspective, according to experts. The cloud is no longer seen by many businesses as simply an alternative option, but as the next logical step for data storage and management.
"Cloud is the new normal," said Jeremy Przygode, CEO of Stratalux, Inc., a California-based Managed Service Provider (MSP). "When businesses need to evaluate new solutions, or need to do a hardware refresh on existing solutions… Cloud is the go-to solution to figure out how to do that."
Businesses also report having greater confidence in cloud security, possibly influencing more migration to the cloud. In the survey, the largest percentage of businesses identify security as a benefit of using the cloud.
This attitude is a shift from past years, when cloud security was often treated with skepticism and distrust.
When it comes to which type of cloud to use, most businesses are using a private cloud, where services and infrastructure are maintained on a private network. However, over 80% indicate that they are considering implementing or planning to implement a hybrid cloud option in the future. A hybrid cloud has services and infrastructure spread between a private network and off-site cloud provider.
A hybrid cloud offers flexibility and customizable features.
"Customizing your cloud experience allows the customer to leverage different toolsets that's truly drilled down to their department, their individuals, and how they do business," said Kevin Rubin, President and COO of Stratosphere Networks, a Chicago-based IT MSP.
Experts emphasize, however, that a business should select an option that best fits their particular needs.
Once the decision is made to adopt cloud computing, many businesses seek outside help for the subsequent installation. Over half of businesses surveyed (57%) say they hire an external consulting firm to help them implement their cloud strategy.
This is a wise decision, especially if a business does not have internal expertise, says Haresh Kumbhani, founder and CEO of Zymr, Inc., a San Francisco-based cloud consulting and agile software development agency. He believes that no business will have all the expertise required.
"The idea of bringing experts in different dimensions, from strategy to implementation, delivery and security, surveillance and so on, is essential for making purchase and implementation decisions," he said.
The Clutch survey included 283 IT professionals at businesses across the United States that use a cloud computing service. Of those businesses, 58% had 11-1,000 employees, while 42% had 1,001+ employees.
Read the full report here: https://clutch.co/cloud/resources/annual-cloud-computing-survey-2017