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According to a recent survey from O’Reilly, cloud adoption is steadily rising across industries, with 90% of organizations using cloud computing. This is an increase from last year’s survey, which reported that 88% of respondents used the cloud, proving that cloud adoption is proceeding rapidly. Even during a global pandemic, cloud adoption did not slow, as cloud computing was an obvious solution when it became difficult or impossible to staff on-premises infrastructure.

This year’s survey found that in every industry, at least 75% of the respondents worked for organizations using the cloud, with the most proactive industries being retail and ecommerce, finance and banking, and software.

Not only is cloud adoption growing, but respondents are approaching cloud migration aggressively. The survey found that almost half (48%) of respondents plan to migrate 50% or more of their applications to the cloud in the coming year, while 20% plan to migrate all of their applications.

Graphic showing the across-the-board increase in cloud adoption usage by industry. The findings are also discussed in the text itself.


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When asked about their organization’s cloud strategy, almost half of the respondents (47%) answered “cloud first,” meaning that wherever possible, new initiatives consider the cloud as the first option. Among respondents who are using the cloud, the most important cloud initiative is managing cost (30%). Compliance is a relatively minor concern (10%), and it isn’t the most significant concern, even in heavily regulated sectors such as finance & banking (15%), government (19%), and health care (19%).

The survey also asked why organizations are not using cloud computing. Among respondents who are not currently using cloud computing, 21% said that regulatory requirements require them to keep data on-premises, 19% said that cost is the most important factor, and 19% were concerned with the risk of migration.

O’Reilly’s 2021 Cloud Adoption Survey explores the latest trends in cloud, microservices, distributed application development, and other critical infrastructure and operations technologies. The survey was sent to recipients of O’Reilly’s Programming and Infrastructure & Ops newsletters, which together have 436,000 subscribers; 2,834 respondents completed the survey, representing 128 different countries.

The full 2021 Cloud Adoption Survey from O’Reilly can be read here.

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