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Is 30% of your cloud spending wasted? Survey says yes.

One of the things I look forward to each year at this time is the release of the annual State of the Cloud report from cloud services provider RightScale. That may say more about the quality of my social life than anything else; nevertheless, the study always contains great insight into the psyche of cloud computing technology professionals. Let’s dive into some key findings. The survey is being published today (2/15/2017) and is based on research undertaken in January 2017. A compendium of fresher opinions you’ll not find.

Hybrid up, private down: A multi-cloud strategy exists in 85% of surveyed enterprises, up from 82% in Jan. 2016. But, look at the other side: Private cloud adoption fell to 72% from 77%. What that means is momentum is swinging to the public cloud.

The cloud is just as wasteful as traditional IT: Here’s a real shocker: Survey respondents estimate that 30% of cloud spending is wasted. RightScale’s own research pegs waste even higher, between 30% and 45%. How in the world — or in the cloud — did this happen, and happen so quickly? According to RightScale, despite growing scrutiny on cloud cost management, few companies are actively spinning down unused resources or selecting lower-cost clouds or regions.

Survey respondents estimate that 30% of cloud spending is wasted. How in the world — or in the cloud — did this happen, and happen so quickly?

IT is taking control: So-called citizen IT and shadow IT aren’t going away, nor are no-code / low-code technologies that empower line-of-business departments to build solutions. Despite this, it is IT that selects public cloud providers (cited by 65% of respondents) and it is IT that decides which apps to migrate into the cloud (63%).

The majority of enterprise workloads are now in the cloud. The study revealed that 41% of workloads run in public clouds and 38% in private clouds. Among larger enterprises the numbers differ slightly, with 32% of workloads in public cloud and 43% in private clouds.

It’s a multi-cloud world, after all: According to the study, public cloud users are already running apps in 1.8 public clouds while private cloud users are leveraging 2.3 private clouds. Those numbers strike me as being surprisingly low.

It’s a DevOps world, too: Whether you believe in DevOps or not, it’s here to stay, now embraced by 84% of large enterprises. The expansion of DevOps into BizDevOps that brings the business side into the mix is also on the rise, now used in 30% of enterprises, compared with 21% just a year ago.

It’s getting better every day: Even though the talent shortage remains the top challenge facing IT, it’s less of a concern than a year ago, falling to 25% from 32%. Security concerns also abated slightly, dropping to 25% from 29%. Mature cloud cite managing costs as a key concern while newbies worry more about security.

Docker is moving like a tremendous machine: Docker adoption is surging, leaving Chef and Puppet in the dust. Kubernetes use doubled. Interestingly, 35% of survey respondents indicated they’ve gone with the container-as-a-service approach from AWS ECS (35%), Azure Container Service (11%), and Google Container Engine (8%).

Azure cuts into AWS’s lead: Azure adoption soared to 34% from 20% a year ago as AWS stayed flat, but in the lead at 57%.

This annual study isn’t the only one out there, but it does provide a good snapshot of how the cloud changes from year to year. Now it’s time for you to respond. Where are you seeing wasteful cloud spending? Is your organization thoroughly immersed in DevOps and BizDevOps? Are your app development efforts all containers all the time? Finally, what cloud platforms are you using, to what extent, and how has that changed over time. Share your experiences with your counterparts; we’d like to hear from you.