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State of Cloud 2023: Cloud computing trends across tech

June 06, 2023

Cloud is table stakes for organizations, but how do you use it to gain advantage over your competitors? We blind surveyed more than 1,000 leaders and technologists at every organizational level and across the globe to find out. 

What follows is the data from that report broken down to answer five questions:

  1. How are organizations thinking about their cloud investments?

  2. How are organizations responding to a possible recession?

  3. What are the most pressing cloud computing skills?

  4. How can I develop cloud talent in-house?

  5. How can I use the cloud to gain a competitive advantage?

Haven't downloaded the 2023 State of Cloud report yet? Download now!

How are organizations thinking about their cloud investments?

94% of organizations have at least some of their IT infrastructure in the cloud. More than 65% of leaders say they operate in a multicloud environment for reasons like enabling flexibility, improving resiliency, or leveraging cloud-native services. 

The most common platforms organizations use are what you would assume: Google Cloud Platform (64%), Amazon Web Services (63%), and Microsoft Azure (61%). Oracle is an up-and-coming platform with 42% of respondents saying they also use it.

But those percentages are always in flux. 91% of organizations are migrating their data to an existing cloud platform, new cloud platform, or on-premises solution.

And then there’s the rapid adoption of new cloud services. 44% of organizations adopt the latest cloud products as soon as they’re released, with another 42% waiting until best practices are established to adopt them in their organizations. 

When it comes to the services that are most in demand now and in three years, AI/ML, security, DevOps, and data analytics top the list.

How are organizations responding to a possible recession?

We saw industry-wide layoffs plague corporations at the end of 2022 and beginning of 2023. When asked about layoffs, 43% of organizations said they had experienced a workforce reduction during that time period. Most cloud roles were relatively secure from those organizational restructures, with 66% of leaders reporting less than half of their cloud roles were affected. 

The threat hasn’t subsided much, though. 42% say their organizations are planning at least one more round of layoffs, with 47% of leaders reporting that more than half their cloud roles will be affected.

Despite working with smaller cloud teams, 71% of leaders expect their cloud budget to increase, and 26% expect it to stay the same. Similarly, 74% of leaders expect their cloud skill development budget to increase, while 23% reported it would stay the same.

What are the most pressing cloud computing skills?

Only 20% of technologists say they’re beginners when it comes to cloud computing. 22% have worked with cloud tools before and are looking to level up their skills. But 49% of technologists have significant cloud-related experience, with an additional 9% saying they have significant experience with more than one cloud provider. 

Shockingly, these technologists have the most cloud-related experience with Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), followed closely by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Oracle. Other platforms include Rackspace and IBM.

When it comes to specific skills that leaders and technologists feel they lack, both groups are fairly aligned in their top five. Yet, despite these skill gaps, more than 80% of leaders and technologists are confident they have the skills to master their roles now and in the future.

How can I develop cloud talent in-house?

49% of leaders say they have a documented cloud skill development strategy with goals and incentives, and 55% of organizations include learning as part of their role responsibilities. And yet, only 45% offer the resources for that learning and 41% provide the time.  

When it comes to leaders who provide resources to their teams, they prefer vendor training—probably because the top qualities they look for when choosing resources to invest in are whether it's technically accurate, reliable, and credible. Cost is the next qualifier, followed closely by if it’s customized to real-world scenarios and problems.

Leaders and technologists also overwhelmingly prefer hands-on or practical exercises like labs and sandboxes to the point that 28% of leaders say that limited access to cloud sandbox environments is an obstacle to their cloud maturity journey. More than 85% of respondents also said it was important for those labs and sandboxes to be customized to their specific tech stack or cloud environment.

For leaders, the top motivations for investing in a cloud skill development program are: having security vulnerabilities identified and resolved, increasing cloud literacy across the business, and driving innovation.

For technologists, though, the top motivators for engaging with the cloud skill development programs are: staying up-to-date in their role, gaining enough knowledge to change roles or industries, and achieving the skills needed to complete a project.

Download our 2023 State of Upskilling report for more upskilling trends

How can I use the cloud to gain a competitive advantage?

Leaders report security is the number one challenge they face in their cloud maturity journey, followed by their inability to translate cloud computing skills into business-specific outcomes and a lack of clear and accurate measurements. 

This is due, at least in part, to the fact that 39% of organizations have a defined cloud strategy with at least their IT teams cloud certified. 44% of leaders say they have only project-based cloud strategies. 54% of organizations haven’t completed a legacy systems inventory, so they don’t even have the information they need to craft an overall cloud strategy.

When it comes to security, 79% of leaders say they have at least one cloud security policy, but only 20% have defined cloud policies, a cloud disaster recovery plan, cloud SLA policies, and cloud governance. 

While 69% of organizations are utilizing infrastructure as code (IaC) to incorporate new services, and 67% have implemented autoscaling, only 27% of them report their cloud initiatives allow them to drive more customer value. And only 39% can respond to customer needs with new code deployments faster than once per month.

And despite leaders claiming they lack clear and accurate measurements, 76% of leaders say cloud solutions are monitored with the ability to at least report on, if not forecast, cloud costs.

Dive head first into cloud.

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