Cloud represents a third of the IT spend, as the majority of organizations use cloud services for over half of their invrastructure and applications. This is what the survey of over 500 IT professionals reveals, read more results from this survey here. 

By Eric Knorr

Not long ago, if you were a business stakeholder or IT manager, you had to work hard to explain exactly why you would opt for applications or infrastructure in the public cloud. Today, in many organizations, you’re more likely to get pushback when you try to justify deploying a workload in your own data center, where resources are precious.

IDG’s 2020 Cloud Computing Survey puts some fresh data behind this paradigm shift. In our poll of 551 tech buyers, all of whom are involved in the purchase process for cloud computing, one number rises to the top: 59 percent said they planned to be “mostly” (43 percent) or “all” (16 percent) in the cloud in 18 months, up from 38 percent who say they are mostly or all in the cloud today.

That’s one heck of an adoption curve. What’s driving it? Not necessarily cost savings, because that assumes you can make meaningful comparisons between the cost to run workloads in the cloud versus on prem – a maddeningly complex, apples-to-oranges endeavor.

The real benefits of cloud computing are in agility, scalability, and future potential.

Need an application in a hurry? You can spin up your application in the cloud in a fraction of the time it would take on prem, where traditional procurement and provisioning processes get in the way. Need to throw more compute at a workload? Do it with a few clicks – or configure an application so it can scale automatically as needed. Want access to the latest, most exciting new tech advances? Most often they appear in the cloud first, fully provisioned for you to exploit on a whim.

Those advantages and more account for the accelerating cloud momentum clearly evident in the 2020 Cloud Computing Survey. Let’s dig into the results.

Crossing the cloud chasm

Another key stat that jumps out in the 2020 Cloud Computing Survey is 92 percent – the share of organizations that are at least “somewhat” in the cloud.

Even more impressive is the cloud budget increase. When respondents were asked how much they planned to spend on cloud computing over the next 12 months, the average investment came in at $73.8 million – up a whopping 59 percent from 2018.

Our survey was completed before the economic downturn took hold, so very likely that dollar amount has dropped. But it’s an open question whether the average cloud portion of the IT spend planned for next 12 months – 32 percent – will persist or perhaps even increase in the face of the downturn, because cloud projects do not require a capital investment up front.

The cloud is all about applications. Either you use an IaaS platform such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, or Microsoft Azure to deploy an application you’ve built yourself, or you open an account with a SaaS provider – of which there are thousands, from Adobe to Anaplan to Atlassian to Google to Microsoft to Okta to Oracle to Salesforce to SAP to Slack.

Here again, the 2020 Cloud Computing Survey offers bullish results. In the next 18 months, respondents said their organizations’ share of SaaS (versus on-prem) applications would rise to 36 percent, up from 24 percent currently. By the same token, the share of cloud (versus on-prem) infrastructure as a platform for application development will reach an estimated 48 percent, compared to 42 percent today. Considering the sunk cost in most organizations’ on-prem solutions, these are impressive stats.

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