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Cloud technologies, whether applications or data storage and processing, are becoming a fact of life for the majority of organizations. The scalability, agility, and cost savings are proving to be compelling reasons for organizations moving to the Cloud. But who is moving to the Cloud…and what type of use cases are they moving to this environment?

Late in 2017, we surveyed over 100 organizations, from a wide range of industries and geographies, in our Denodo Annual Cloud Survey. We asked them about what and how they are moving to the Cloud and the results of this survey make for very interesting reading. I’ll let you read the full survey to understand the details of how the surveyed organizations are using the Cloud, but the results can be summarized as follows:

  1. There are two distinct tracks for companies moving to the Cloud; those with a ‘Cloud-first’ or ‘Cloud-only’ strategy, who already run the majority of their applications and processing on the Cloud, and those companies who are taking a more cautious ‘try and see’ approach to the Cloud.
  2. Amazon is the preferred Cloud infrastructure provider, followed by Microsoft with its Azure platform. Other providers – Google, Oracle, etc. – are significantly behind these two front runners.
  3. The leading use cases for the Cloud are:
    1. Cloud analytics – with the analytical data and processing in the Cloud
    2. Cloud storage – storing files in S3 or the Azure Data Lake
    3. Cloud Data Warehouse – using Redshift, snowflake, or SQL Data Warehouse

These use cases are what I call ‘out-of-the-box’ capabilities which can easily be relocated to the Cloud without necessary requiring a wholesale infrastructure and integration with other applications, etc.

  1. Over half of the companies said that they are building hybrid architectures – Cloud and on-premises or multi-Cloud. This means that they are treating the Cloud as an extension of their current on-premises compute capabilities. The other companies are currently treating the Cloud as a separate entity for the time being.

All of this means that companies large and small are increasingly adopting the Cloud as a way of providing more agility and flexibility to their compute capabilities and that data storage and data processing is being spread across more and more data sources and locations. This, in turn, calls out for a flexible and dynamic data architecture that can adapt to the changing needs of the business – and data virtualization should play a key role within this architecture.

Paul Moxon