Little by Little: Cloud Adoption in 2015
Gigantic baby steps–that’s one way to describe enterprise adoption of cloud applications.
On one hand, cloud adoption is happening faster than ever. On the other, companies are keeping themselves tightly tethered to their on-premise solutions.
While 93% of businesses were using at least one cloud application as of this year, the trend that has really taken off is the implementation of hybrid cloud environments (using both cloud and on-premise application deployments in tandem). As of this year, 82% of enterprise companies are using hybrid cloud strategies—up from 74% in 2014. This demonstrates that while organizations are fully prepared to take advantage of the benefits reaped when adopting cloud applications, the complexity of their on-premise deployments cannot be easily transferred to the cloud. The cloud isn’t always as “plug n’ play” as it is advertised to be.
Taking a look at Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps for Work, adoption trends seems to corroborate the story pretty well. A survey by BetterCloud reports the following:
- Office 365 organizations are four times the size of Google Apps organizations.
- 68% of Google Apps organizations roll out Google Apps in one fell swoop, while 62% of Office 365 organizations deploy as a hybrid solution.
- Office 365 IT teams are five times the size of Google Apps IT teams (median size 15:3).
- As of right now, 0% of companies with 5,000 employees or more using either Google Apps or Office 365 run 100% of their IT in the cloud, but by 2026 those numbers are expected to increase to 74% and 57%, respectively.
Smaller organizations tend to choose Google Apps over Office 365, and because they don’t have the complexity of a larger organization built in, it’s easier to go full-cloud with their productivity suite in one go. Google Apps for Work also tends to be less expensive, and organizations that choose to use it experience a cost savings of 41% vs. 27% for Office 365 adoptions.
Larger, older organizations with more IT manpower, money and employees overall are more apt to take the Office 365 route to the cloud. These companies typically have a more experienced employee base that is more acclimated to Microsoft products, and are most likely using on-premise Exchange for email. The complexity of their existing deployments mean that single, giant leaps to the cloud for productivity apps aren’t feasible, and they rely heavily on on-premise software.
Among the reasons organizations cite as concerns for moving completely to the cloud, data protection routinely comes in near the top. The default data retention policies for both Google Apps and Office 365 are notoriously light when it comes to email (something we all use day in and day out). Companies can’t afford to lose email or shared drive data because of user error or a cloud outage, so what are they to do?
My advice: When choosing to adopt the cloud, make sure you’re also partnering with cloud vendors that will help empower your cloud productivity suite by keeping your data protected, usable and immediately available in the case of a disaster.
Take baby steps to get to the cloud if you must, but with the right vendors and apps at your side, you can take those baby steps confidently.
Trace Ronning is the content marketing manager at eFolder. Guest blogs such as this one are published monthly and are part of MSPmentor’s Cloud-based File Syncing and Sharing Infocenter.