Cloud survey shows good news for Microsoft

A survey showing trends in cloud adoption found Microsoft customers showing some brand loyalty.

A new survey shows that, of the companies and organizations that started up in the last two years, 61% have begun their operations in the cloud. Another 59% of IT professionals say the cloud has changed the structure and responsibilities of their team in the past year.

In its 2016 State of Cloud IT report, cloud app services vendor BetterCloud surveyed 1,500 IT professionals and culled through a number of industry reports from Gartner, PwC, Google, and Microsoft.

The report also shows some interesting facts concerning the path companies have taken in moving to the cloud. Forty-nine percent of Google Apps customers came from Exchange, while 35% had no previous platform.

But of Office 365 users, 70% came from Exchange while just 13% came from Google Apps, which shows some pretty strong hooks and/or brand loyalty to Microsoft products. Microsoft customers have been in business for a median length of 30 years (compared to 20 years for Google customers), had an employee median count of 600 vs. 120 for the Google customers, and 15 IT people vs. 3 for Google customers.

So what the report shows is newer, younger companies are increasingly starting up with little to no on-premises infrastructure, while existing firms are also making the move but sticking with the vendor they know. That's good news for Microsoft. Oftentimes, when there is a major paradigm shift, the old vendor is left behind because it failed to adapt. It's how Microsoft ate IBM's lunch in the 1980s.

But Microsoft didn't just stick to what it knew. Steve Ballmer started the process of embracing the cloud, and Satya Nadella is accelerating it, keeping Microsoft from becoming another relic that failed to adapt.

The survey found partners are increasingly affecting and impacting the shift to the cloud, with 92% of SMBs expressing satisfaction working with a cloud partner vs. 89% saying they were satisfied working without a partner. With enterprises, there is a much wider gulf, with 82% saying they were satisfied working with a cloud partner while only 60% were satisfied working without one.

It also asked when enterprises would expect to run 100% of their IT services in the cloud with the aid of a partner. At present, the percentage is zero, but that will grow to 16% by 2020 and 48% by 2025. SMBs are moving faster, with 49% stating that they expect to have all of their systems in the cloud by 2020 and 69% expecting to be cloud-only by 2025.

For now, though, the hybrid approach is dominant, with 62% of Office 365 customers taking the hybrid approach vs 38% going pure cloud play. The report did not give similar stats for Google customers; rather, it said 67% deployed Google for Work all at once while 33% did it in phases. It did not offer similar deployment stats for Office 365 users.

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