In fact, at the conference, AWS Senior Vice President Andy Jassy highlighted the opposite point: The public cloud, he says, is ideal for businesses because there are no upfront costs and businesses only pay for what they use.
Pricing structure isn't the only concern, though. There are perceived risks around security, certifications and privacy, which is why so many of the AWS use cases start as small test and development projects with non-sensitive data. "Shadow IT," when employees or business units within an organization use IT resources such as AWS cloud services without informing their IT department, is an entry point for many organizations that lead to more formalized uses of AWS resources. "As soon as those cloud projects start producing revenue, or start impacting the bottom line, that's when IT gets involved," says Peder Ulander of Citrix, whose cloud management platform integrates with AWS services.
AWS says despite many enterprises not being willing to jump fully into the public cloud, adoption has "accelerated rapidly" in the enterprise market, says Adam Selipsky, VP of marketing, sales and support for AWS.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of AWS's partner company Amazon.com, said when asked that what surprised him most about AWS has been the adoption by enterprises, government and education institutions despite the service being only six and a half years old.
"For enterprises it's a process," to move to the cloud, Selipsky says, adding that even Amazon.com, one of AWS's biggest users, has taken a multi-year migrations strategy to using cloud resources. "We think a significant majority of workloads will move to the cloud," he says.
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Gartner analyst Lydia Leong says many enterprise deployments of AWS services are still driven by specific use cases. There are notable exceptions, such as Netflix, one of AWS's poster customers, which runs almost its entire business on Amazon's cloud. But a more common enterprise use case is for public cloud to run IT workloads beyond the scope of their internal resources. Perhaps no company better exemplifies that than Cycle Computing.