By just about any measure cloud adoption has become a major trend in the tech space.
Here's one: according to a report by Forbes Insights and Microsoft, government agencies are approaching a tipping point for cloud adoption.
Here's another: according to a report by Computer Economics, IT operational spending plans are rising in 2015 at the fastest rate since the Great Recession. But IT capital spending remains on hold and hiring is muted. And the reason for this shift -- a broad-based shift to cloud computing, Computer Economics concludes.
Despite these growth indicators there is really nothing that to indicate that companies are opting for a full, 100 percent adoption of cloud technologies, except for the usual outliers and early adopters.
But that scenario is not that long off, according to the findings of BetterCloud, which surveyed about 1,500 IT professionals in companies located in about 53 countries to ask about their plans for office cloud adoption.
The company had been expecting to hear that companies would steadily increase their use of cloud-based applications and platforms – but keep some toehold in the legacy applications, Taylor Gould, VP of marketing for BetterCloud, told CMSWire.
It was a bit taken aback, then, as it realized that there were a lot of companies gunning for total cloud adoption by 2020. A lot.
This is an especially eyebrow-raising statistic given that only a few years ago running 100 percent of IT in the cloud was unthinkable.
"We really didn’t know what to expect, no one’s published this type of information before, Gould said. "Clearly IT professionals are eager to move their organizations to this type of environment."
Size Is a Factor …
Cloud adoption -- full cloud adoption especially -- is not really dependent on the type of company or sector it is in. A tech company, for example, is not necessarily a shoo-in for cloud adoption. Rather, much has to do with the age of the firm.
Companies that are smaller, younger and Google-based will be among those putting in place full-fledged cloud operations first, BetterCloud found.
Larger, older and Microsoft-based companies will take a more gradual approach to the full cloud. "Larger organizations that have been in business for 20+ years just have so much invested in their systems and processes," Gould said.
By 2020, more than 50 percent of all the small and medium-sized organizations surveyed expect to run 100 percent of their IT in the cloud, while enterprises are a full five years behind.
It won't be until 2025 when 50 percent of enterprise organizations run 100 percent of their IT in the cloud.
… In More Ways Than One
But enterprises are outpacing SMBs in one interesting aspect: the number of cloud applications used in large enterprises is expected to grow almost two times faster than the same growth in SMB and mid-market organizations over the next two years.
By 2017, surveyed enterprise organizations expect to run, on average, 52 cloud applications — or a more than 185 percent increase in cloud application usage.
The acceleration is impressive and somewhat surprising, Gould said.
"It makes sense that this number is growing across the board at a very high rate -- think about how your phone system used to be 100 percent Cisco or Avaya, and now it can be a mix of four or five cloud solutions like Twilio, RingCentral and InsideSales.com.
But how to explain that it is growing more quickly in very large enterprises?
Gould said he thinks it speaks to the aspect of SaaS that allows multiple applications to run alongside each other thanks to the native integrations as well as integration services like Zapier.
"You don’t need a big comprehensive system anymore, instead you can pick best of breed for each individual part of the job, and piece your own stack together."
The survey also found that IT professionals with more experience work for organizations that run more cloud applications today.
When asked how many cloud applications these IT admins expect to run in the next two years, the data becomes a bit more muddled, BetterCloud admits. "However, it is clear that admins with the most experience (16+ years) expect to be running more than double the number of cloud applications in two years than they are today," the report said.
What the report also indicated is that a respondent's years of experience in IT did not have more of an effect on their view for when their organization will run 100 percent of their IT in the cloud, Gould said — and this was surprising too.
"IT professionals who have the spent the bulk of a 15 plus year career deploying and managing Microsoft Exchange, earning multiple certifications for that kind of environment, would understandably have a vested interest in keeping some of that technology in their organization," he said.
"But in fact, it seems like IT professionals across the board acknowledge that running 100 percent of their IT in the cloud is inevitable, it's just a matter of time and respondents with 16 years or more of experience think it will take their organizations only about two more years on average compared to respondents with less than five years of experience."