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Azure pulls in front of AWS in public cloud adoption

It's close as Microsoft finds favor with surveyed enterprise IT pros

Microsoft Azure has nosed ahead of AWS in the public cloud adoption stakes, according to a report from IT Management outfit Flexera.

The 2022 State of the Cloud Report survey will have brought smiles to the teams at Redmond and Amazon, and less cheer to Oracle's cloud crew, which continued to languish in fourth place behind Google.

The key takeaway on the Azure front is its leadership with enterprise users, with 80 percent of respondents adopting Microsoft's public cloud, up from 76 percent the previous year. This was just ahead of AWS, which claimed a 77 percent adoption rate, down from 79 percent a year earlier. Some way behind was Google, with 48 percent, followed by Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, which tumbled to 27 percent from 32 percent a year ago.

The report indicates Azure is ahead of AWS for breadth of adoption, although Google has the highest percentage for experimentation (at 23 percent). There was some cause for optimism at Oracle with the highest percentage (12 percent) planning to use its cloud, meaning there is every chance its showing in the survey could improve in the coming years.

That Microsoft should be starting to overhaul Amazon in the enterprise cloud adoption stakes is not entirely surprising, considering the popularity of Microsoft 365, but perhaps more surprising is that it has taken this long.

AWS is still leading the SMB public cloud pack, although it still experienced a slight drop in adoption rate, from 72 percent to 69 percent while Azure jumped from 48 percent to 59 percent. Oracle also saw strong growth, nearly doubling its adoption rate from 15 percent to 28 percent year on year.

The report noted that "as organizations mature, they tend to gravitate toward market leaders" and that Azure was outperforming AWS with light and moderate users and was closing in on the Amazon cloud for heavy usage.

The report also noted an increase in wasted cloud spend; respondents estimated their organizations wasted 32 percent of the cloud spend this time around, up from 30 percent the previous year. The actual figure might be higher "as many organizations tend to underestimate their amount of waste," according to the report.

Expertise, security and management were the big challenges reported by respondents, and for those taking a more private than public cloud approach, Microsoft's Azure Stack was top, with 37 percent adoption for currently running workloads over all organizations, followed by VMware vSphere. Interestingly, for enterprises, OpenStack tumbled from 31 percent of respondents who "currently use" it last year to just 16 percent this time around.

With hybrid and now multicloud approaches finding favour, private clouds will continue to play an important role in many organisations. Particularly those where security or sovereignty is an issue and execs want to keep data and processes close.

The report itself was generated from a survey of 753 professionals from around the world with the majority coming from the United States. ®

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