A recent survey has pointed to several critical drivers for successful public cloud infrastructure adoption in the larger organizations.

As organizations continue to embrace the public cloud, they will want to improve and automate their cloud operations to help control costs, improve security, optimize resources, and provide superior services across cloud environments.

In an March 2023 survey of 310 US-based IT decision makers in operations or applications roles overseeing public cloud infrastructure investments at firms with 500 or more employees, cost management and security were key areas of focus.

Also, the responses suggest that cloud cost management is inextricably linked with resource management, compliance, and security —  requiring a holistic approach that 33% of respondents cited they were “very confident” of possessing in order to operate in a public cloud environment. In a similar survey last year, 21% of respondents indicated similar confidence levels.

The survey data also showed that 64% of IT decision makers continued to see security and compliance as the top cloud operations challenges, followed by cost management (60%).

Other findings

The biggest areas of focus for improving cloud operations were cost management and security, according to 66% of technology executives in the survey. Also:

    • 82% of respondents cited their belief that cloud automation was critical for optimizing cloud operations and returns on investment.
    • 95% of respondents cited having already incorporated some automation in their cloud operations; and 88% cited plans to increase cloud operations automation this year.
    • 96% of tech executives in the survey agreed to prompts that FinOps was important to their cloud strategy, with 9% indicating they had a mature FinOps practice. These numbers are “fairly consistent” with findings from a similar survey held in 2022.
    • The biggest FinOps challenges include reducing cloud costs (50%) and forecasting cloud spend (47%). Also, 19% of respondents indicated they had been able to make the most of discounted cloud purchase options.

Said Haiyan Song, Executive Vice President and General Manager (CloudOps), NetApp, which sponsored the survey: “Cloud operations is critical to realizing the benefits of cloud for infrastructure and applications. Although (respondents) faced challenges in their cloud operations, they also recognize the importance of investments in areas including automation and FinOps to overcome those challenges.”

Note: In general, CloudOps refers to the implementation, optimization, performance management of workloads and IT services spanning across including multiple and hybrid cloud platforms; in the data center and at the edge.