Friday, November 8, 2013

The State of Cloud Adoption in 2013

The BitNami app store drives more than 1 MM new installations a month of popular server software, both locally and in the cloud. This gives us a privileged position to understand how developers and end-users adopt new technology in general and, in particular, the cloud. We recently conducted a survey of our registered users, both to collect feedback on how they are using BitNami to understand the importance that the cloud will play in how they run business and server applications moving forward.

As of this writing, more than 4,000 people have completed the survey. Because of the large number of responses and because BitNami is agnostic to deployment environments (we support all major server/desktop operating systems, VMware virtual environments and leading cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services and Windows Azure), we believe that the results are representative of how organizations are beginning to deploy applications in public and private cloud environments. As such, we wanted to share the results with our community.

To give the results some context, we will first share a little about the people who responded to the survey and how they use BitNami. Then, we will dive right into their use of the cloud.

What best describes you?
(more than one answer allowed)

Commentary: While the majority of BitNami users identify themselves as being in a technical role, there were considerable replies from students, who often utilize BitNami to learn new applications, programming languages or deployment environments; and from business users, who often utilize BitNami to run business-critical applications such as Alfresco, JasperSoft, SugarCRM and others, often without the benefit of internal IT support, either because it doesn’t yet exist or due to a lack of IT bandwidth to support their immediate application needs.

How do you use BitNami?
(more than one answer allowed)

Commentary: As you can see, there are three common scenarios for using BitNami: 1) to quickly deploy an application or development stack in order to learn a new application or programming language, or experiment with a new deployment environment; 2) to quickly launch a development environment to build applications; and 3) to run business-critical applications in the deployment environment that makes the most sense for a given situation.

Where do you host your applications?

Commentary: While local deployments (e.g. on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux) are still the most popular for development environments, it’s clear that BitNami users develop, test, deploy and run applications in a wide range of environments. It’s also clear that most organizations utilize multiple environments.

How would you describe your organization’s adoption of cloud applications during the past 12 months?

Commentary: These results are for the full set of respondents. Based on the results, it appears that more than 71% of organizations have run applications in the cloud during the past 12 months, with more than 41% increasing the number of cloud applications. Less than 29% of respondents claim that their organizations do not currently deploy applications to the cloud.

Among Business Users (SMB and Enterprise)

Commentary: Among respondents that identify themselves as business users (both in SMBs and Enterprises), there has been an even higher rate of cloud application adoption during the past twelve months.

Among Technical Users

Commentary: Among respondents that identify themselves as technical in nature (open source project developers, developers, systems administrators and IT consultants), the rate of cloud application adoption for the past twelve months is slightly less but still above the average. This is likely due to the fact that students, the other major category of users, select local downloads at a higher rate than the norm.

Among Organizations >1,000 Employees

Commentary: Larger organizations (with 1,000 employees or more) have adopted cloud applications at a slightly slower rate compared to the norm.

How would you describe your organization’s cloud adoption strategy for the next 12 months?

Commentary: The results show growing momentum for the adoption of cloud applications, as more than 55% of respondents stated that their companies intend to use more applications in the cloud over the next twelve months. Similarly, the percentage of companies that do not use (or do not plan to use) applications in the cloud declined from 28% during the last twelve months to less than 19% for the next twelve months.

Among Business Users

Commentary: Among respondents that identify themselves as business users, the rate of adoption is increasing ever higher than normal as more than 61% of business user respondents expect their companies to increase the use of cloud applications during the next twelve months (as compared to 55% for the norm).

Among Technical Users

Commentary: The rate of increase is less among technical users although the numbers continue to show high rates of adoption of cloud applications.

Among Organizations >1,000 Employees

Commentary: Company size is less of a variable when looking into the future as more than 50% of respondents from virtually every company size expect their companies to increase their use of cloud applications over the next twelve months.

Over the next 12 months, where do you expect your cloud applications will be deployed?

Commentary: Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to be the most popular cloud environment for BitNami users, with nearly 39% of all respondents stating that they expect their companies to deploy applications there over the next twelve months. Private clouds are the second most common deployment option followed by Google Compute Engine, Microsoft Azure, VMware Cloud and Rackspace.

It is important to note that BitNami Cloud Hosting is not actually a distinct cloud hosting platform but rather a set of tools and services for rapidly deploying, managing and monitoring BitNami applications in public cloud environments such as AWS and Microsoft Azure.

Among Business Users

Commentary: Among business users, there is a slightly higher adoption of AWS, private clouds and Rackspace for deploying cloud applications.

Among Technical Users

Commentary: Among technical users, there is very little difference in the cloud platforms of choice compared to the new.

Among Organizations >1,000 Employees

Commentary: Among larger organizations, there are significantly more that are adopting private clouds (39% vs. 27% for all company sizes). There is also a higher adoption rate of Microsoft Azure and VMware Cloud. Conversely, there is less overall adoption of AWS and Google Compute Engine.

What are the primary reasons why your organization is, or is not, moving more applications to the cloud?

There were a wide range of responses to this open-ended question. Among the most popular reasons why organizations are planning to move more applications to the cloud were:

      Cost savings
      Accessibility (including Mobility)
      Time savings

Among the most common reasons given why organizations are NOT planning to move more applications to the cloud were:

      Privacy and data sensitivity
      Loss of IT control

We would like to thank the over 3,800 registered BitNami users who took the time to answer our survey questions. Without your cooperation, this analysis of cloud application adoption wouldn’t be possible.

It is our intention to conduct similar surveys in the future and we will share the results with our community so that you have a better understanding of what your peers are doing and what technologies (applications and their supporting platforms) are leading the adoption curve.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

To learn more about BitNami Cloud Hosting, please visit