What’s the State of the Cloud? Hybrid Cloud, Multicloud on the Rise

Jim Poole


RightScale’s latest annual State of the Cloud survey shows private cloud is now playing a smaller role in both the hybrid and multicloud story as enterprises look to expand their public cloud use.

The RightScale research showed that private cloud adoption fell to 72%, down from the 77% reported in the company’s 2016 survey.

p1That pulled down hybrid cloud adoption, year-over-year, but the dip looks to be temporary as respondents say they plan to step up their deployments of hybrid and multicloud (which includes multiple clouds – private, public or hybrid.) The percentage of enterprises with a strategy to use multiple clouds grew to 85% this year, compared to 82% last year. Meanwhile, 58% are planning on hybrid cloud, versus 55% in 2016.

In addition, 20% of enterprises are planning for multiple public clouds, up from 16% last year.

This increase in public cloud use indicates growing confidence in its ability to handle tasks enterprises once reserved for private cloud, such as securing or managing sensitive data.


This year’s RightScale report surveyed 1,002 technical professionals across a broad cross-section of organizations and industries about their adoption of cloud infrastructure. The respondents were surveyed in January 2017 and ranged from technical executives to managers and practitioners. Here are a few additional RightScale findings that we found notable:

Security concerns drop, cloud waste worries increase

Cloud security was still the top challenge, as it was named by 25% of the RightScale survey respondents. But it was down from 29% the year before, and it shared the top challenge spot with “lack of resources/expertise” and “managing cloud spend.”

Even among enterprise central IT teams, who typically are most responsible for security, the percentage of those naming it as a challenge fell to 35%, compared to 41% in 2015.

p2At the same time, there was a significant jump in the percentage of respondents RightScale classifies at “mature cloud users” who named cost as a significant challenge, from 18% last year to 24% in 2017. RightScale also found that even with increased awareness of cost management problems, companies underestimate the amount of wasted cloud spend. They project 30% wasted spend, when it’s typically closer to 45%, according to measurements by RightScale.

The increased concern around costs is reflected in the fact that 53% of respondents cited optimizing cloud costs as one of their cloud initiatives for 2017, the highest percentage of any initiative.

Cloud benefits realized, and not

p3The top benefit reported by RightScale respondents was “faster access to infrastructure,” and it was named by 62% of respondents, the same as last year. But the next most-cited benefit, “greater scalability,” saw an increase, as it was cited by 61% of respondents, compared to 58% in 2016.

Meanwhile, some of the least-cited benefits also saw drops in the percentage reporting them. Only 34% of respondents reported that cloud improved “IT staff efficiency,” compared to 38% the year before. The next least-cited benefit, “cost savings,” was named by 35% of respondents in 2017, down from 37% in 2016.

A better way to maximize cloud benefits

At Equinix, we know the power of the cloud, and we believe a cloud-first future requires superior interconnection, especially if companies are going to achieve benefits like the cost savings the RightScale survey indicates some are struggling to achieve.

The key is an interconnection-first approach, such as an Interconnection Oriented Architecture™ (IOA™) strategy. This framework prescribes deploying IT close to people, location, clouds and data at the digital edge, where commerce, population centers and digital ecosystems meet. Proximity to your cloud providers is critical for the high-performance, secure connectivity necessary to optimize your cloud performance. The Equinix Cloud Exchange can be a key component of an IOA strategy deployed on Platform Equinix, as it offers direct, secure virtualized connectivity to multiple cloud providers from a single port.

Read our Interconnection Strategy Guide for greater insights into how an IOA approach can help companies excel in a cloud-first world.