Microsoft finally appears to be catching up to Amazon Web Services in terms of public cloud adoption. A new survey of 235 IT professionals at organizations with 500 or more employees conducted by UBM Media, publisher of InformationWeek, on behalf of Sumo Logic, finds that 66 percent of respondents are using either infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) or platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings from Microsoft. That compares to 55 percent for AWS.
Those survey results come on the heels of a survey conducted by JP Morgan that found that a majority of CIOs view Microsoft as the more critical of the two cloud service providers.
Thanks to early support from independent software vendors (ISVs), the AWS cloud is still considerably larger than Microsoft Azure. But Microsoft has been focusing its efforts on more than recruiting many of the same ISVs. It has turned loose its internal and channel partner sales teams to drive up awareness of Azure.
Preparing for a multi-cloud approach
From the perspective of IT service providers, that ascendancy of Microsoft virtually assures they will be operating in a multi-cloud universe for the foreseeable future. AWS and Azure may be the two dominant cloud providers, but there are still a host of other options as well, starting with Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
Today most IT organizations engage those various cloud platforms independently of one another. But it’s only a matter of time before IT organizations ask their IT service providers to help them develop a common framework for managing multiple public clouds alongside any number of private cloud deployments. Given the significant headstart AWS has enjoyed, it’s less clear when or if Microsoft Azure might exceed AWS in terms of pure size .
Agility and security trends
In the meantime, IT service providers should take note of some other interesting trends exposed in the Sumo Logic survey. More than half (55 percent) are now rolling out application updates at least once a month. Besides costs, the other primary reason most organizations have embraced public cloud is to increase the agility of their IT organizations. With more than half reporting they are updating at least one application a month, many of those IT organizations are well on their way to achieving that goal. Just under half (46 percent) report they have also embraced at least some element of an integrated DevOps approach to rolling out those applications.
As far as security is concerned, just over half of the respondents (55 percent) said they now perceive public clouds to be more secure than they once did, but that there is still work that needs to be done. Another 29 percent said public clouds are either becoming less secure (12 percent) or are inherently less secure than an IT environment deployed on premise (17 percent).
It usually takes IT organizations a long time to change their processes to incorporate new technologies. But once they do, the rate at which those technologies get adopted tends to accelerate quickly. The Sumo Logic survey suggests that moment has finally arrived as far as public cloud computing adoption in the enterprise is concerned.