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AI, IoT to Drive Enterprise Public Cloud Growth: Survey

The increase is expected as enterprise IT staffers say they can't keep up with AI, ML and IoT changes, but the public cloud will help them.

By 2020, enterprise IT will see a growing shift to public cloud infrastructure as IT staff seek help implementing their company's artificial intelligence, internet of things and machine learning strategies in the future.

That's one of the main conclusions of a new cloud market survey of some 200 enterprise IT executives at the AWS Re:Invent conference in November and another 88 online enterprise IT respondents who were discussing cloud issues with IT analysts, journalists and consultants. The report, "The Future of the Cloud," was sponsored by SaaS performance platform vendor, LogicMonitor. The survey also found that while Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the market leader in the public cloud marketplace, significant numbers of respondents said they see Microsoft and Google gaining their own market strength as well.

About 37 percent of the workloads being run today by the respondents are being run on-premises, which will likely drop to about 27 percent by 2020, according to the survey. In contrast, about 31 percent of their workloads today run on public clouds, which is expected to rise to about 41 percent by 2020, according to the respondents.

About 19 percent of their workloads are on private clouds today, which will increase to about 20 percent by 2020, while about 18 percent of their workloads are on hybrid clouds today, which is expected to increase to about 22 percent by 2020, according to the survey.

One of the comments heard most often from respondents about that shift is that coming advancements and uses of artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning (ML) are major reasons for those moves to public cloud in the next few years, Jeff Behl, the chief product officer at LogicMonitor, told ITPro.

"People really predict a rapid shift to public cloud to take advantage of AI, ML and IoT – that's one of the drivers for them going there," said Behl. "It's like they are saying they can't keep up with the technology, but that the cloud can provide that help for them."

Those numbers seem to reflect that IT departments don't have adequate numbers of trained staff to handle AI, ML and IoT today, he added. "Those are some of the hardest skill sets to find right now, in AI and ML."

The key drivers for enterprise public cloud use are also expected to be changing by 2020, according to the survey results from the respondents. Today, IoT drives about 45 percent of their public cloud use, but that is expected to grow to 58 percent by 2020, the survey reports. AI and ML drive about 50 percent of the public cloud use today, but that will grow to about 66 percent by 2020. 

When asked how many years it will be before 95 percent of their company workloads might be running in the cloud, six percent of the respondents said one year, nine percent said two years and 11 percent said three years. Another 27 percent said four years, while 11 percent said seven years. Twenty percent said 10 years, four percent said 15 years and 13 percent they never expected to see 95 percent of their company workloads running in the cloud.

Also noted in the survey results is that respondents expect AWS to have 52 percent of the cloud market by 2020, followed by 21 percent for Microsoft Azure and 18 percent for Google Cloud Platform. Figures from Gartner recently showed AWS with 44 percent share of the overall cloud IaaS market, followed by Microsoft at seven percent, Alibaba at three percent and Google at two percent.

"It will be interesting to see as Amazon, Azure and Google move more deeply into these things," said Behl. "And it will be interesting to see companies using multiple clouds at once. It's going to be an interesting new battleground."

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