Cloud usage is commonplace in 2022 across enterprises, and a new report from Forrester Research shows just how ubiquitous the cloud has become.
According to the report, 94% of surveyed U.S. organizations are now using at least one cloud provider. Hybrid cloud computing is also common for 84% of respondents, while 75% noted they use multiple providers for multi-cloud deployments.
One of the many drivers of the increased use of the cloud in the U.S. is the COVID-19 pandemic. Forrester reported that 41% of purchase influencers at U.S. enterprises who are prioritizing cloud adoption at their organizations noted an increased importance of cloud due to the pandemic.
The Rise of Industry Clouds
While multi-cloud and hybrid cloud usage have been growing in recent years, another trend has emerged: the use of industry clouds. Industry clouds are vertically focused stacks for a particular sector, such as healthcare, financial services, and government.
"Industry-specific offerings have been around for a few years but haven't had product-specific announcements until this year," Tracy Woo, senior analyst at Forrester Research, told ITPro Today. "We've seen the public cloud market evolve from being the cloud for everything to the cloud for specific use cases."
Even Amazon Web Services (AWS), which has been generally resistant to vertical-specific focus areas, is now active in the space, Woo said.
What Are the Challenges with Cloud Deployment?
While cloud usage is common, Forrester's analysis identified a few challenges.
"The biggest area is not focusing on cloud spend," Woo said. "Many people who use the cloud think that cloud will save them money, but then get caught by surprise when costs come way above their budget allocation."
Another challenge cited by Woo is setting up a proper security posture and governance framework. It's easy to start using cloud with just a credit card, but when you start to use cloud at scale, it's necessary to ensure you are able to stay secure and improve efficiency while expanding cloud usage, she said.
There are several ways an organization can measure the effectiveness of how cloud resources are consumed.
"The easiest way to do this is by measuring cloud spend versus business targets that you achieve," Woo said. "If you're able to use cloud resources and achieve your growth and revenue targets, that's an effective way of seeing that cloud is an effective tool."
About the authorSean Michael Kerner is an IT consultant, technology enthusiast and tinkerer. He consults to industry and media organizations on technology issues.