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Discover over 55 cloud statistics, including stats around forecasts, cloud waste reports, cloud cost optimization efforts, and data on hybrid cloud adoption rates.
It happened and continues to happen — even faster now. Before 2020, cloud computing was already booming. But as remote work boomed in the following two years, it accelerated exponentially.
Some companies have since returned to the office. Others are adopting hybrid models, where staff alternate between working from home and in the office.
But there’s more to the rise and rise of cloud computing than remote working.
Cloud infrastructure also supports big data analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) models, Internet of Things (IoT), and Business Intelligence (BI). So, we compiled these astounding cloud computing statistics from reliable sources to share with you.
We also include tips, tricks, and tools to make cloud computing work for you — yes, that includes how to manage and optimize your cloud costs across AWS, Azure, GCP, Kubernetes, and Snowflake in a single place.
Table Of Contents
Let's dive right into it, shall we?
Most organizations, particularly enterprises, have at least some of their workloads in the cloud.
O'Reilly's latest Cloud Adoption report had some interesting numbers. Consider this:
About 39% of respondents are already running at least half of their workload on the cloud. Another 58% said they planned to run that much workload in the cloud in the next 12-18 months.
Credit: Fortinet’s survey of the percentage of workloads businesses run in the cloud in 2022
By 2023, 31% of organizations expect to run 75% of their workloads in the cloud. Some 27% of them plan to run at least 50% of their business processes in the cloud by then.
More than 94% of organizations with more than 1,000 employees have a lot of their workloads in the cloud, according to this survey of 800 organizations. The latest edition shows enterprise cloud computing continues to grow rapidly — and then some. For example:
About 44% of traditional small businesses use cloud infrastructure or hosting services. That's compared to 66% of small tech companies and 74% of enterprises.
There is one more thing. The public cloud will host 63% of SMB workloads and 62% of SMB data within the next year.
Combined, these two regions account for 82% of the world's cloud computing. This chart shows cloud adoption by country and region according to Gartner:
Credit: Gartner 2022
Organizations are moving to the cloud for a variety of compelling reasons. Cloud computing offers several powerful benefits, including:
In its global survey of 1,300 C-Suite executives, Wipro FullStride Cloud Services showed that a well-executed move to digital increased revenue and profitability.
While SaaS companies reported the highest margins, others also enjoyed notable gains. As an example, finance executives reported revenue increases of up to 15% and profitability increases of up to 4%.
Another survey by Deloitte showed small and medium businesses that used cloud computing made 21% more profit and grew 26% faster.
The survey also noted that migrating to the cloud helps unlock additional revenue streams that can boost profit growth by as much as 11.2% year-over-year.
Here’s the kicker. The survey concluded that your organization needs to have at least 60% of its workload in the cloud to realize noteworthy financial gains.
Some 65% of respondents who identified as “Optimizers” told IBM that cloud computing helped them reduce time to market. Check this out:
Credit: IBM’s Beyond Agility - How Cloud is Driving Enterprise Innovation Report
Cloud computing reduces upfront startup costs, including setup and maintenance costs.
Also, operating in the cloud converts your Capital Expenditure (CapEx) to Operating Expenditure (OpEx), freeing more resources to fund your operations and growth.
Security is the top benefit of cloud computing, according to 60% of C-Suite executives — ahead of cost savings, scalability, ease of maintenance, and speed.
Credit: Oracle’s Security in the Age of AI Report
It makes sense, considering they also cited human error as the most significant threat to security. The cloud supports automation, which reduces the risk of human errors that cause security breaches.
Cloud-based solutions support business resilience best practices such as remote working, pivoting to a new business model, and disaster recovery.
For example, Aberdeen found that cloud-based businesses could resolve disaster recovery issues in just 2.1 hours, as opposed to 8 hours for businesses that didn’t use cloud services.
Out of 137 IT executives surveyed, 115 said they planned to migrate more workloads to the cloud in the next 24 months.
According to Accenture, organizations with persistently high environmental, social, and governance (ESG) scores enjoyed 4.7x larger operating margins versus low ESG performers between 2013 and 2019.
By moving to Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), eco-friendly brands can reduce carbon emissions by up to 84% and energy consumption by up to 64%.
Accenture made this chart to compare carbon emissions between cloud vs on-premises operations:
All sizes of organizations are making significant investments in cloud computing to take advantage of its benefits. You can see what that looks like here:
SMEs spent 47% of their technology budgets on cloud services in 2022, a 67% increase from 2021 to 2022. In 2023, their cloud investment will surpass 50% of their tech budget.
In 2023, Gartner estimates global end-user spending on public clouds will reach over $599 billion, up from $421 billion in 2021 and nearly $500 billion in 2022.
Credit: Gartner’s Worldwide end-user cloud spend forecast 2021 -2023
The forecast also shows IaaS, DaaS, and PaaS, respectively, will see the highest growth in spend during the period.
Most enterprises have a lot of workloads running in the cloud — and they are investing to host it there. This survey shows enterprise plan to increase their cloud budgets to support this drive into the future.
RightScales’s findings also show a noteworthy increase in SMBs that spend more that $1.2 million annually compared to 38% two years ago.
Also, IDC predicts SMBs will increase their cloud spend by 31% to support further adoption.
As companies invest more in the cloud, only 4 in 10 organizations have their cloud costs around where they expect.
Some 490 out of 1,000 respondents said their cloud costs were a little higher that where they should be while 110 reported cloud costs were way too high.
Credit: CloudZero’s 2022 State of Cloud Cost Intelligence Report
Some 58% of all respondents in the survey of 501 IT executives worldwide expect a slight increase in cloud spending. Some 13% of them expect a significant increase. Compare that to just 2% who expect a significant decrease and 10% who expect a slight decrease in their cloud spend.
Credit: 2022 Tech Spend Pulse
According to Gartner, traditional IT spending still dominates cloud spending. However, its 2019-2025 forecast predicts cloud-based spending will continue to grow while traditional IUT spending will continue to shrink, eventually falling behind cloud spend from 2025.
Credit: Gartner forecast on cloud spending growth vs traditional IT spending until 2025
But is all this spending really worth it? What kind of returns are companies getting from their cloud investments?
Cloud waste is shockingly prevalent today:
Cloud waste averaged 30% of companies’ cloud budgets in 2021, according to Flexera. In 2022, that figure jumped to 32%. Considering Gartner’s estimation that cloud spend reached nearly $500 billion in 2022, that 2% increase might represent a massive amount of money in wasted cloud spend.
Credit: Wasted cloud spend, State of the Cloud Report by Flexera
Most companies reported that as their cloud spend increased, so did their cloud waste. The StormForge survey of 131 IT professionals shows cloud waste could be as high as 47% of a cloud budget.
These challenges make controlling cloud costs even more difficult.
Some 42% of CIOs and CTOs struggle to manage resource usage.
Often, waste occurs from overprovisioning and inability to scale rapidly. This led to a 67% annual increase in amounts allocated to cloud services, increasing to 47% in 2022 from 29% in 2021.
Also, 58% of respondents said the most challenging aspect of managing cloud costs was finding the right cloud offering for their workload.
About 53% of enterprises were yet to see “substantial value” from their investment in the cloud.
Credit: How much value do companies see from cloud investments? - PwC research
This is true for many organizations — and it can be aggravating for companies that moved to the cloud for cost savings.
Firms like McKinsey show companies might not see cloud benefits immediately. Instead, they can expect to gain significant benefits within 1-3 years of implementing cloud computing best practices.
With cloud spend wastage on the rise, many companies are seeking to reduce and optimize cloud costs to maximize their returns. The following revelations are mind-blowing:
The 2022 State Of Cloud Cost Intelligence Report shows that only 30% of surveyed organizations knew where their cloud budget was going exactly — a truly grim picture of cost attribution in the cloud.
This means most companies struggle to allocate cloud costs accurately because they are not sure what, why, and who drives their cloud costs.
Also, the larger the company, the bigger the cost visibility problem was:
Compared to smaller organizations, larger organizations often have less understanding of how much exactly they spend on various business aspects.
The challenge highlights the need to adopt a robust cloud cost optimization solution like CloudZero. CloudZero’s cloud cost intelligence approach breaks down complex cloud bills into unit costs you actually care about and can make sense of. It then presents that data to you as:
The result: CloudZero empowers you to not only tell what, why, and who is driving your cloud costs, but to also connect your cloud costs to your business goals. That means CloudZero helps you pinpoint where to reduce usage or increase investment to cut costs or increase ROI, respectively.
Schedule a demo here to see CloudZero in action.
Only 22% of respondents said were unable to detect cloud cost anomalies instantly or within minutes. Some 8% of respondents said they noticed cost anomalies after a week or more, 14% after days, and 56% in hours.
In terms of how much cloud cost variance organizations are seeing, CloudZero found:
Check this out:
Cloud cost variance among respondents
In addition, 48% of CFOs lack confidence in their ability to measure cloud ROI.
We see this as yet another cloud cost visibility issue because once you understand who, what, why, and how you spend your cloud budget, it is much easier to determine whether your investment is paying off.
For example, you can identify which processes, teams, or products consume the most cloud resources, analyze each one’s return on investment, and cut their spending in favor of the best performers.
Some 126 out of 524 technology leaders at Fortune 1000 companies told PwC that faster innovation and faster service/product delivery was the top way they measured the value of the cloud — followed by improved operational resiliency.
Credit: PwC Cloud Business Survey
This makes it tough to collect, analyze, and understand cloud resource usage with accuracy, let alone optimize utilization. Add to that adopting complex cloud-native technologies such as containers, Kubernetes, and microservices, and tracking costs becomes even more complicated.
The leaders are prioritizing cloud cost optimization to maximize their Cloud ROI. Since at least three years ago, most organizations with workloads in the cloud have made this a top priority, along with cloud security.
The cloud computing market continues to attract more players and shift market share among them.
AWS still holds over a third of the cloud services market:
Credit: Cloud services market share in Q2, 2022
Flexera also found 53% of enterprise users on Azure spend over $1.2 million each year vs. 52% on AWS.
The research firm had some interesting findings:
The research also found that younger individuals were more likely to use cloud storage for personal use rather than for work purposes.
Led by SaaS, cloud services growth is booming in all areas, including relatively new ones, like Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) and Business Process-as-a-Service (BPaaS). In fact, Synergy Research Group reported the cloud market grew by 34% in Q1, 2022 and 29% in Q2, 2022.
It is also true that some cloud delivery models are growing more rapidly than others.
The cloud application services market generated over $152 billion in end-user spending in 2021, by far the leader compared to IaaS ($91 billion), and PaaS ($86 billion). Gartner forecasts SaaS will generate more than $208 billion in end-user spending in 2023.
Credit: Cloud services growth forecast in 2023 - Gartner
The cloud applications infrastructure market will experience the fastest end-user growth from 2022, followed by DaaS (26.6%) and PaaS (26.1%), according to the Gartner forecast.
While AWS dominated IaaS with a 38.9% market share in 2020/2021, GCP’s IaaS offering grew 63.7% followed by Huawei Cloud (56.3%), Azure (51.3%), and Alibaba Cloud (41.9%). AWS grew 35.6% between 2020 and 2021.
Credit: IaaS market share growth 2020/2021
Organizations are using two or more clouds at the same time for a variety of reasons, as you'll see here.
Going hybrid or multicloud is not just about preventing vendor lock-in. Most organizations deploy a hybrid cloud (39% vs 36% last year) or a multicloud strategy (33%) to leverage multiple services, achieve scalability, or support business continuity.
As a result, respondents told Virtana they had difficulty visualizing and controlling costs across multiple public and private clouds:
Credit: Virtana State of Hybrid Cloud
Experts also expect cloud strategies to evolve from 'private' or 'public', to 'dedicated' or 'shared'.
CIOs, CTOs, and other tech leaders said they don't want to depend on one vendor's security protocols and believe their data is safer with multiple cloud providers.
So, which cloud provider dominates the private cloud market?
Microsoft Azure Stack usage grew to 37% in 2022 to dislodge VMware vSphere (31%) from the top spot, according to the State of the Cloud Report.
Cloud usage statistics show evidence of SaaS sprawl, for example. Here are the findings:
The average company has 254 SaaS apps, while enterprises have 364, according to a Productiv study of over 30,000 apps.
Notably, tools purchased outside of IT scored higher at 54% engagement. This may suggest employees find more value in the tools they choose on their own.
So, which companies experience the most sprawl?
The reason for this may be because they are growing faster, with faster-evolving SaaS portfolios. The findings were as follows:
Overall cloud services usage is likely to increase as cloud spend increases vs. on-premises spend as you can see in the next section.
Even though on-premises spending still dominates IT spending, the gap is narrowing. Fast.
In 2024, most enterprises plan to spend $8 out of every $10 on cloud-based IT hosting. A separate Morgan Stanley survey found that cloud computing will see the highest growth in IT spending in 2022.
By 2022, only about 32% of all enterprise applications was expected to run on traditional servers, down from 50% in 2019, when companies preferred to own and operate onsite data centers. That shrinkage is likely to increase further in the next three years.
The public cloud will replace traditional solutions for apps, infrastructure, business process services, and system infrastructure by 2025, compared to 41% in 2022.
That said, which sectors of the economy are driving cloud services growth?
While cloud adoption statistics show all industries are embracing cloud services, a closer look shows some sectors invested much more than others.
O’Reilly’s Cloud Adoption survey found the most proactive cloud usage by industry came from Retail & Ecommerce, Finance & Banking, and Technology (software). Government (16%) and electronics & hardware (25%) used cloud services the least in 2022.
Cloud computing security remains one of the most concerning aspects of operation — and a key barrier to cloud migration for some. Here are some things you need to know.
Fortinet reported that almost everyone is moderately or extremely concerned about security in the cloud.
The concern is justified, considering that:
Thales Europe found that 43% of the data is classified as 'sensitive'. In spite of a quarter of companies admitting to breaches in the last year, only 54% of this sensitive data is encrypted.
Organizations ranked the following threats as the most significant security threats to their public clouds:
Meanwhile, most apps have fewer than three security certifications, while IT-owned apps are more likely to use SSO. Similarly, many organizations had not prioritized cybersecurity and compliance:
But, more organizations are implementing zero trust policies to improve their cloud security, according to Fortinet:
What organizations hope implementing zero trust policies will achieve.
Apart from cloud security concerns, organizations pointed the following as the biggest unforeseen factors to slowing or stopping cloud adoption, according to the 2022 Cybersecurity Insiders - Fortinet:
A major obstacle to controlling cloud costs is not getting “true visibility” into costs:
Other surveys reported a lack of integration with existing systems and insufficient talent and expertise as other challenges:
In response to those challenges, many organizations have or are implementing initiatives to counter them, including cost optimization solutions:
Some companies are leveraging cloud computing to meet their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. Check this out:
Ultimately, we’ll continue to see more workloads move to the cloud as the benefits of adopting cloud computing outweigh the challenges for many players.
We get it, though. It can be frustrating not knowing where your cloud spend is going — especially when you don’t know whether you are investing more or simply overspending.
We know this because we’ve helped:
CloudZero will help you transform your cloud bill from this:
Simple, granular, and actionable cloud cost insights at your fingertips, including cost per customer, team, software feature, product, engineering project, computing environment, and more.
CloudZero’s unique code-driven cost optimization approach helps you achieve all this without endless cost allocation tags.
But don't take our word for it. to discover how CloudZero can help you manage and optimize your costs across AWS, GCP, Azure, Snowflake, and Kubernetes, all in one place.
This blog post was written and reviewed by the CloudZero team. Combined, our team has more than a quarter century of experience in the cloud cost space. Every blog post is extensively researched and reviewed by several members of our team for accuracy and readability.
CloudZero is the only solution that enables you to allocate 100% of your spend in hours — so you can align everyone around cost dimensions that matter to your business.