Open Source Helps Drive Cloud Adoption Says 2016 Future of Cloud Survey


Scalability, agility, cost, and innovation are the main factors driving cloud adoption, according to the 6th annual Future of Cloud Computing study released today by North Bridge Venture Partners and Wikibon analysts. And, this year, mobile and open source are twice as likely to be cited as a drivers for cloud computing as they were in 2015.

“Open source software is the cornerstone for cloud computing. Open, collaborative development has nurtured a vibrant ecosystem that is fueling new services that in turn spur commercial adoption,” said Jim Zemlin, Executive Director of The Linux Foundation.

“From container technologies to high-velocity projects such as Kubernetes and Cloud Foundry, open source and open development are further accelerating the move to the cloud for businesses of all sizes across all industries,” Zemlin said.

DevOps adoption is also accelerating. Last year’s survey indicated that DevOps was limited to “pioneers” and small teams with adoption at 37 percent. This year, 51 percent of respondents have begun implementing DevOps in small teams and 30 percent are using DevOps in large teams or company-wide. These DevOps adopters cite agility, reliability, and cost efficiency as key competitive differentiators.

Hybrid Growth

Overall, the survey shows continued growth of hybrid cloud technologies and deeper cloud integration within businesses. Nearly half of respondents indicated that they are now using or will use an industry cloud offering within the next two years.

“Cloud environments will remain predominantly hybrid in the coming years, enhancing the importance of a clearly defined cloud governance and orchestration strategy to optimize for security, self-service and agility, while minimizing costs,” said Holly Maloney McConnell of NorthBridge.

Specifically, the survey shows the following breakdown in cloud use:

  • 47 percent hybrid

  • 30 percent public

  • 23 percent private

All types of cloud technologies — including Infrastructure as as Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Database as a Service (DBaaS), and Software-Defined Networking (SDN) — are expected to increase during the next two years, with the exception of  Software as a Service (SaaS), which is expected to stay constant, according to the survey.      

“The Future of Cloud data shows that while adoption of SaaS, public and private cloud have rapid growth, most companies are working tactically rather than strategically. Innovation and agility require commitment from the business to embrace transformation by changing processes along with tools,” said Wikibon senior analyst, Stu Miniman.

Data and Business

In terms of data storage, only 28 percent of companies are storing more than half their data in a public cloud, but the survey estimates that number to increase by 18 percent in two years. Currently, 59 percent of companies are storing more than half of their data in a private cloud, with that number expected to fall 16 percent in two years.    

IT and business services are moving forward as well, with more than 70 percent of respondents saying the following areas are either already in the cloud or are moving there: disaster recovery, helpdesk, web content management, and communications. More than 75 percent said their sales/marketing, business analytics, and customer service functions were also in the cloud or on their way. Other services, such as accounting, back office, and manufacturing are moving more slowly, with 30 percent citing adoption in these areas.    

Security: Benefit or Barrier?

Respondents are evenly divided on the issue of cloud security. In fact, the survey reports that 50 percent see cloud security as a benefit of the cloud, while 50 percent see it as a barrier to cloud adoption. Other barriers mentioned include lock-in, privacy, complexity, and regulatory concerns.

Emerging areas of cloud investment cited by respondents include:

  • Analytics (58 percent)

  • Containers (52 percent)

  • AI/cognitive computing (32 percent)

  • Virtual reality (16 percent)

This year dozens of organizations, including The Linux Foundation, partnered in sponsoring the survey, which gathered responses from 1,351 respondents (40 percent vendors, 60 percent users) from organizations ranging from cloud-native startups to large enterprises, across all industry sectors.

Check out the complete Future of Cloud Computing survey for more insights about cloud trends and technologies.