Xebia: Cloud adoption in the Netherlands continues its growth

15 October 2020 Consultancy.eu 6 min. read
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Well over 90% of all organisations in the Netherlands have now adopted cloud technology, according to a new study by digital transformation services firm Xebia. The usual suspects – Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform – are respectively at the top of the cloud platform list. 

Xebia collaborated with colleagues from subsidiary Binx to compile a comprehensive report on the state of cloud technology in the Netherlands. Respondents were mostly leaders tech developers at mid to large size firms, largely operating in the IT space.

What the report found was that cloud technology – already rampant across Europe and the world – has powered forward through 2020, registering 9% growth in the past year. All in all, 93% of all respondents are using cloud services now, while the use of cloud technology in itself has reached the 100% mark.

Cloud adoption rates in the Netherlands

Organisations have honed in on the concrete benefits that cloud has to offer. The biggest motivation is the sheer flexibility that comes with moving to the cloud, which is the top reason for nearly 80% of all organisations. Also at the top of the priority list is the potential for cloud to fuel digital-driven innovation in a business, which was part of the appeal for well over half of all organisations.

Indeed, experts place cloud technology as a gateway to digital transformation – critical to competitiveness in today’s business landscape. Flexibility aside, moving to the cloud offers simplicity, cost-effectiveness, increased capacity and security, all of which are top of mind for business leaders.

For instance, more than half of all respondents invested in cloud to cut down on their development time, reducing their time-to-market. ‘Ease-of-use’ was a key motivation for more than 40%, as was the potential to save costs. Nearly a third chose cloud for its capacity to handle the large amount of data that modern day organisations grapple with on a daily basis, while a fifth were chasing improved security.

Expectations from cloud technology

Return on investment

As mentioned, these motivations combined have been enough to draw investments from more than 90% of businesses, and few have been disappointed with the returns. In fact, only a handful of respondents reported that their cloud migrations didn’t work out, or at least didn’t go to plan.

For the majority, cloud technology has thrown up tangible benefits, although there is a long way to go to extract the full potential of cloud – or being ‘cloud native’. Digital transformation is a slow process, and organisations contend almost daily with how to put technology to use for their specific business needs. Most report that they are satisfied with the results so far, and are working on pushing forward.

Promisingly, a significant share of respondents to the Xebia report said that they are exactly where they want to be when it comes to cloud adoption. No doubt, expectations from cloud differ based on individual business contexts, but the scale and acceptance of cloud technology certainly bodes well for the market.

Most popular cloud suppliers

Major tech players have made sure to establish a stronghold on this promising segment. When choosing a cloud supplier, the researchers point out that the top priorities for businesses are innovation, speed, GDPR-compliance, data center locations, reliability, and integration with their existing IT environments.

For nearly a third of businesses, Microsoft Azure satisfies these conditions. “Azure gets positive feedback for the available services for developing new applications. and the autonomy it brings to manage SaaS and PaaS resources on demand,” explained the report. In second place is Amazon Web Services – a popular choice among half of all respondents – due to its “maturity and security, easy set up, minimal initial cost, and ability to scale up quickly.”

In third is the Google Cloud Platform as the supplier of choice for less than a quarter of all respondents. “Participants mention that they experience Google Cloud Platforms as more open and less complex to work with than the other public clouds,” reads the report. Outside of these big three, the rest of the market share is divided up among other tech giants – IBM, Oracle, SAP, and Alibaba, among others.

Working with multiple cloud suppliers

Hybrid solutions

For many, the benefits of one particular platform simply aren’t enough. Nearly a quarter of businesses seek “the best solution from the best supplier,” which entails using multiple cloud platforms at once. Many have set themselves up to be flexible and move among providers, but the use of multiple platforms at once remains a novel concept. On the other hand, some just naturally adopted multiple cloud platforms for logical reasons, indicating potential for such a setup in the future.

In fact, the future of the cloud landscape could throw up a whole spectrum of trends. Asked by Xebia to pinpoint trends in the cloud scene, containerisation was most cited, with more than two-thirds of organisations reporting this as a central theme. In a nutshell, containerisation is the process by which cloud applications can be abstracted from their native environment, which makes it easy to deploy them at speed and scale. The Google Cloud Platform, for instance, currently creates several billion containers each week.

Biggest trends in cloud technology today

Next up is cloud’s role in machine learning and artificial intelligence, which is a key trend for nearly 60% of all businesses. Also in the same range are big data and infrastructure-as-code – the process by which data centres can be managed virtually rather than through manual hardware configuration.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Cloud trends are widespread and versatile. Other notable trends are cloud native software development, serverless application development, Internet of Things, workload migration and hybrid cloud environments – all of which indicate the central role that cloud has to play in the business landscape of the future.