Takeaways from the Flexera 2020 State of the Cloud Report

Noam Kaiser
Cloud Computing
January 4, 2021

Every year, Flexera publishes the State of the Cloud Report, a comprehensive study spanning over 750 organizations, that encompasses the most interesting trends, challenges and developments in cloud services adoption.

Towards the upcoming re: Invent, I summarized (a bit late, granted) some key insights of the 2020 report.

I still recommend downloading the full report from the Flexera website.


Enterprises embrace multi-cloud, as a whopping 93 of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy; A dominant 87% stake have a hybrid cloud strategy – so on-prem isn’t going anywhere, it just has to become cloud friendly. Participants report using about 4.4 clouds on average: 2.2 public and 2.2 private.

Adoption/Migration pace

Public cloud adoption continues to accelerate, More than 50 percent of enterprise workloads and data are expected to be in a public cloud within 12 months and COVID19 isn’t slowing it down. In fact 59% expect cloud use to exceed plans due to the pandemic. 61% of organizations plan to focus on cloud migration.

The top three public cloud providers remain AWS, Azure and Google. AWS still has considerable lead, however Azure is narrowing the gap with AWS in both the percentage of enterprises using it and the number of virtual machines (VMs) enterprises are running in it.

Private cloud adoption is mixed. VMware vSphere continues to lead in private cloud adoption, with Azure Stack and AWS Outpost showing the most vigorous growth.

Where are the Challenges?

Very interesting takeaway: The top challenge in cloud migration or a move to Hybrid Architecture is understanding application dependencies

73% of organizations plan to optimize existing use of cloud (TCO), this is the 4th year in a row this comes up as top. 77% of organizations use cost efficiency and savings to measure cloud progress.

83% of enterprises indicate that security is a challenge, followed by 82% for managing cloud spend and 79%for governance.

For cloud beginners, lack of resources/expertise is the top challenge; for advanced cloud users, which mist surveyed organizations are, managing cloud spend (as mentioned) is the top challenge.

Budget is an issue

Organizations are over budget for cloud spend by an average of 23% and expect cloud spend to increase by 47% next year. Respondents estimate organizations waste 30% of cloud spend.

Opportunity lies in the fact organizations aren’t taking advantage of all cloud provider discounting options, but around half are beginning to leverage automated policies to shut down workloads after hours (51%) and rightsize instances (49%)

Which tools and solutions specifically are growing?

Containers are now mainstream as 65% of organizations are using Docker for containers, and 58% percent use Kubernetes.

AWS, Azure and Google container-as-a-service offerings are experiencing notable growth, but still, Lack of resources/expertise is cited by 41% of respondents as a top container challenge

Adoption of cloud configuration tools is shifting. Ansible (43%) and Terraform (42%) are now the configuration tools most widely adopted by respondents. More enterprise respondents use Ansible while more SMBs used Terraform.

At 63%, relational DBaaS has the highest adoption among enterprises.

IoT services experienced the fastest growth among enterprises at 21% followed by container-as-a-service and machine learning/ artificial intelligence (ML/AI), both of which came in at 17%.

For the full report



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