Cloud

Despite security and lock-in fears, public cloud adoption thrives among Fortune 500

The bigger the enterprise, the more it recognizes time to market value from public cloud, a new survey reveals.

Image: iStockphoto/peshkov

Enterprises are still wary of vendor lock-in and perceived security issues, and it's throttling their ambitions to run more workloads in the cloud. Or it would, if public cloud weren't so darn convenient and necessary for driving innovation.

This is one strong conclusion that emerges from a new MongoDB survey of over 2,500 people. Given MongoDB's new school NoSQL approach to data, it's not surprising that so many of its enterprise users would be increasingly comfortable running in the cloud. What is more surprising is that these same organizations keep talking about lock-in and security, even as they run ever larger percentages of their applications in the cloud.

I can't quit you baby

MongoDB appeals to forward-thinking enterprises. As such, it's not surprising that a MongoDB survey of its customers and users would reveal a huge pick-up of cloud computing. Indeed, a whopping 82% of MongoDB users are either using or evaluating cloud technologies.

Though smaller companies are more likely to have fully embraced the cloud amongst survey respondents, adoption is broad and deep, whatever the company size. Nor is it confined to skittish companies toe-dipping their way to cloud via private cloud deployments. Eighty-six percent of those surveyed identified one public cloud or more that they're running.

SEE Public cloud crushing private cloud in growth and revenue (TechRepublic)

Despite this adoption, these same users cite two dominant fears holding them back from expanding their use of cloud technologies: Concerns about security and privacy of their data (29%), and concerns about vendor lock-in (26%).

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Image: MongoDB

This seemingly presents conflicting data. On one hand, MongoDB users are happily using or evaluating cloud technologies—primarily public clouds. On the other hand, they're skittish about deploying further. This conflict may be resolved by assuming that these enterprises keep their most sensitive data in their private data centers, while freely experimenting in the public cloud with less-critical workloads.

More and faster

Such concerns, however, are likely more of a speed bump than a roadblock. After all, as concerned by lock-in and security these companies declare themselves to be, they're even more concerned about falling behind their competitors. The dominant reason for embracing the cloud among those surveyed was a desire to reduce application and infrastructure provisioning and accelerate app delivery.

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Image: MongoDB

This interest in faster time to market jumps to 46% when isolating larger companies (5,001+ employees) in the survey sample, though it remains the top reason for companies of all sizes. Interestingly, the more experience a company has with running applications in the cloud, the more likely they are to cite faster app delivery as their motivation.

SEE Data science demands elastic infrastructure (TechRepublic)

Among the C-suite, the report concludes, "Lack of innovation is more of a risk than security." This isn't a blase lack of concern for security, but rather a realistic assessment of the pressures of the market. Developers are the new kingmakers within enterprises increasingly composed of software. In such an environment, anything that helps them be more productive is sacrosanct. Cloud—particularly public cloud—does that.

We should expect this to continue. As MongoDB's survey suggests, the more familiar companies become with cloud, the more they recognize its ability to accelerate innovation. This shift toward public cloud computing is only just beginning.

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About Matt Asay

Matt Asay is a veteran technology columnist who has written for CNET, ReadWrite, and other tech media. Asay has also held a variety of executive roles with leading mobile and big data software companies.

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