A Techstrong Research study of 531 IT professionals found that teams worry about losing IP to hyperscale cloud providers.

Techstrong Research cloud survey results Q1 2022
A survey of 531 IT professionals found that smaller companies see an advantage in using alternative cloud service providers. Image: Techstrong Research

Tech teams worry about protecting intellectual property in addition to managing costs and ensuring reliability when selecting a cloud service provider (CSP), according to a new report. Techstrong Research conducted the survey for cloud provider Linode. The survey included 531 IT professionals across 20 industries.

DevOps and the Public Cloud: The Rise of the Alternative Cloud” report shared the survey results which found that the hyperscalers still dominate the market with 93% of respondents using AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Compute. “Alternative” providers as a group came in fourth:

  • AWS:                                32%
  • Azure:                               22%
  • Google Cloud:                 18%
  • Other cloud providers:  15%
  • Oracle Cloud:                    6%
  • IBM Cloud:                        4%

The “other” list includes DigitalOcean, Equinix Metal, Hetzner, linode, OVHcloud, Rackspace, UpCloud and Vultr. According to the survey, small- and medium-sized companies are the mostly likely to consider one of these providers. One reason is that these companies do not need global reach in cloud services, and another is that basic services are enough, according to the survey. Also, it’s not an either/or situation with 20% of companies that use a smaller cloud provider also use a hyperscaler.

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Although the hyperscalers hold most of the cloud provider market share, devops teams are worried about these companies stealing intellectual property or becoming a direct competitor. More than half of survey respondents “expresses deep ethical and moral concerns about their current cloud provider(s).” Half of respondents are afraid that a CSP will become a competitor:

  • Yes:                         23.5%
  • No:                            49%
  • They already are:  27.5%

IT professionals worry about hyperscalers becoming a competitor in retail, pharmacy, home automation, driverless cars and other sectors.

The top three tech priorities for selecting a CSP were high data security, better price/performance and technical know-how of the provider’s support team. The survey also asked about the top business criteria for selecting a CSP. Trust was at the top of the list. The percentages below are a combination of “very important” and “critical” responses:

  • A company I can trust:                                77%
  • Easy to do business with:                            69%
  • Meets the needs of technical customers: 64%
  • Established vendor:                                     61%
  • Meets the needs of large enterprises:       58%
  • A vendor that is developer centric:           55%

Techstrong Researchers suggest using these criteria to define what a company needs from a CSP:

  1. Is global cloud infrastructure a form of overprovisioning?
  2. How does your current provider measure up against price-performance and ease of doing business?
  3. Will adding another multicloud provider increase complexity for the DevOps team?
  4. How does your current provider meet the needs of a DevOps team?

Techstrong Research conducted the survey during February and March. About half of the survey respondents represent small companies with less than 500 employees and 25% from companies with less than 10,000 workers and 25% from larger companies. Sixty-five percent of respondents identified as a manager or senior leader.

Concerns about cloud service providers