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Amazon still cloud king, but Microsoft Azure gains ground

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is still the cloud platform of choice for the majority of businesses, according to a new survey of 930 IT professionals.

The report by cloud management specialist RightScale found that 57 per cent of SMEs and larger enterprise firms use AWS, but that Microsoft’s Azure platform was becoming more popular.

Read more: Cloud computing is the “new normal” for enterprises, says AWS

In fact, Microsoft’s service experienced the most substantial growth in popularity compared to the previous year. Azure represents 12 per cent of all public cloud deployments when infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is looked at, while 15 per cent of businesses use its platform as a service (PaaS). This is compared to figures of six and 11 per cent for the previous 12 months.

The report's other key findings include that cloud computing generally is seen as a necessity by most businesses and that hybrid cloud solutions are often the preferred approach. 93 per cent of all respondents said that they used cloud technology and 82 per cent now have a hybrid cloud strategy.

However, while cloud adoption continues to increase, the report found that there was still plenty of opportunity to move more applications to the cloud.

68 per cent of enterprises run less than 20 per cent of their workloads in the cloud, although this is likely to change as many businesses have applications in place that are cloud-ready and built on cloud-friendly architectures.

According to RightScale’s vice president of marketing Kim Weins, the 2015 survey indicates that cloud computing is really beginning to take centre stage for many businesses.

Read more: Whitepaper: Deploy a dynamic, services-oriented cloud for your business

“Central IT teams are stepping in to offer cloud infrastructure services to their organizations while ensuring governance and control over costs,” she wrote. “This shift of cloud adoption from shadow IT to a strategic imperative is a critical step in the move to a cloud-centric future.”

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.