One in four enterprises will be all-cloud companies within a year

Cloud surges, and with it, interest in microservices and Site Reliability Engineering. However, serverless computing remains an open question.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

Twenty-five percent of IT managers participating in a recent survey predict that their companies plan to move all of their applications to cloud in the next year. And this is from a survey conducted right before the COVID crisis sunk its teeth into the economy.

Photo: Joe McKendrick

The survey of 1,283 IT managers, conducted by O'Reilly Media in January and February, also finds that the move to all-cloud environments isn't just something for smaller companies that lack large IT departments, either. Seventeen percent of respondents from large organizations (over 10,000 employees) that have already moved 100 percent of their applications to the cloud.  

More than nine in ten organizations expect to increase their usage of cloud-based infrastructure, the survey also shows. While 25 percent indicate everything will be moved to the cloud, it's significant that more than two-thirds (67%) plan to at least move the majority of their (>50%) to cloud. This is a huge shift underway. 

In terms of vendors, a majority, 54 percent, use multiple cloud providers. Amazon Web Services (AWS) leads the way, used by more than two-thirds (67%). Another 48 percent use Microsoft Azure, and close to one-third (32%) use Google Cloud Platform (GCP).  

Evolving to a mostly cloud enterprises requires a special set of skills. The survey also explored adoption of microservices, site reliability engineering and serverless computing. More than half (52%) of respondent organizations say they use microservices concepts, tools, or methods for software development. This is still a relatively new approach on the scene, with seven in ten reporting they have been using microservices for less than three years. 

The O'Reilly study's authors, Roger Magoulas and Steve Swoyer, caution that microservices still may not be enterprise-ready: "just because a development team uses the tools, concepts, and methods of microservices architecture doesn't mean it has adopted microservices architecture. It may be that microservices patterns, as distinct to conventional software development, are well suited for the particular use case." Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) may help smooth this path, with 35% of respondent organizations having implemented an SRE function, and close to half (47%) expecting to implement an SRE function at some point in the future. 

The study's authors speculate the serverless trend -- defined for purposes of the survey as "Function-as-a-Service" -- may have stalled for now, awaiting further development of microservices and SRE capabilities. More than one-third of respondents, (34%),indicate they're using serverless computing. A majority of organizations not using serveless, however, have no plans to do so at any time in the future. With the exception of cloud itself, these new technology approaches -- microservices, SRE and serverless -- track closely together, Magoulas and Swoyer state. "Is it possible that the complexity of microservice architecture, serverless computing, service mesh architecture, and other next-generation patterns is contributing to, if not driving, interest in SRE?" they ask. It's going to take some time to see how things unfold. 

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