Report: SMBs are making serious investments in the cloud

Meanwhile, for the first time, Azure took a slight lead over AWS in public cloud adoption.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Cloud computing already accounts for a sizable chunk of IT spending, with major enterprises spending tens of millions annually to keep their cloud operations running. In the past year, however, cloud spending by small and midsized businesses shot up significantly, according to the annual Flexera State of the Cloud Report

As many as 53% of SMBs surveyed in the latest report are spending more than $1.2 million annually on the cloud. That's up from 38% last year. In this case, SMBs refer to companies with 1,000 or fewer employees. 

The eleventh annual Flexera report surveyed 753 tech and business professionals from around the world in late 2021. 


Cloud spending is up for organizations of all sizes, the report shows. As many as 8% of all respondents spend more than $60 million, and more than half spend over $2.4 million on public cloud each year. 

Public cloud spending is even more significant among larger organizations. Among enterprises, 37% said their annual budget exceeded $12 million, and 80% reported that cloud spending exceeds $1.2 million per year. 

Given the growing amount that organizations are spending on the cloud, it's not surprising that managing cloud spend was one of the biggest challenges cited by enterprises and SMBs, only marginally surpassed by security and lack of resources/expertise. 

Even so, organizations aren't willing to pass on the agility and overall value provided by cloud computing. All organizations are using at least one cloud, according to the survey. As many as 96% of respondents utilize at least one public cloud, while 84% have at least one private cloud. 


As in previous years, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform are the top three public cloud providers, the Flexera report shows. However, for the first time, Azure overtook AWS as the leader in terms of year-over-year public cloud adoption. 


Among SMBs, AWS continues to be the frontrunner, although the percentage of respondents running significant workloads in AWS decreased from 53% last year to 31% this year. Meanwhile, almost a third of SMBs are running workloads in Google Cloud Platform. SMB respondents who report running significant workloads in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure more than doubled from last year, from 6% to 15%.

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