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A Summary of the Flexera™ 2021 State of the Cloud Report


Flexera recently released its latest State of the Cloud Report. In this blog, we discuss some of its findings and how the YellowDog Platform can help.

The Flexera™ 2021 State of the Cloud Report

The Flexera™ 2021 State of the Cloud Report interviews 750 decision makers, from organisations of all sizes around the world, to compile an overall picture of the latest cloud computing trends. It looks at the biggest challenges companies face when using the cloud, the different strategies organisations implement, and the reliance of enterprises on central cloud teams.

The report shows the general direction businesses are heading when it comes to using the cloud, and echoes what we hear from our customers and other cloud operators. It also gives an insight into the similarities and differences between organisations based on size.

In this blog, we will consider the impact of a few of the findings highlighted in the report:

  1. How organisations are using multiple clouds.
  2. The amount of cloud spend that is wasted.
  3. The top challenges organisations face.

Optimising Multi-Cloud Architectures

According to the report, 92% of enterprises are using a multi-cloud strategy, with 82% using a hybrid approach (a combination of public and private clouds). This is an increase of 8% since 2019, showing how multi-cloud is becoming the default implementation.

However, despite nearly all businesses using multiple clouds, the ability to spread workloads across the cloud is not ubiquitous.

The most popular multi-cloud architecture is to silo different applications on different clouds. This reflects an inherent limitation in how companies are using multiple clouds, as their solutions are less agile and less resilient to outages. By relying on a single provider to deliver a single application, companies put themselves at risk of disruptions caused by unforeseen events.

We offer organisations the ability to spread workloads across the cloud, as and when required. In the event of a cloud outage, the YellowDog Platform delivers intelligent portability strategies, simply moving the workload from one provider to another. With a single control pane, users can manage both public and private clouds, to deliver their workloads across multiple regions, cloud types, and providers.

Given the complexity of multi-cloud solutions, the ability to mix and match multiple source types in an easily configurable way is very advantageous. As 76% of respondents reported an annual spend on public cloud of $1.2 million or more, any improvements that can be made are significant. By maximising the efficiency of the resources used, businesses can ensure budgets and performance indicators are met.

Optimising Cloud Spend and Avoiding Waste

More businesses are realising the potential savings associated with migrating workloads to the cloud. They are recognising that they no longer need to invest time and resources in maintaining and operating expensive on-premise data centres. However, although the cloud can offer organisations significant reductions in expenditure, respondents reported that they struggled to forecast their public cloud costs and self-estimated that they waste 30% of their cloud spend.

Pricing structures can be complicated to understand and for some compute-intensive workloads, usage can be easily underestimated. In addition to this, according to the report, most of the policies companies use to optimise cloud costs are manually implemented, requiring a level of expertise that some might not possess.

The YellowDog Platform overcomes these challenges, allowing users to set an automated budget strategy. The Platform enables users to:

  1. Set usage allowances on compute, to prevent budgets being exceeded.
  2. Automatically shut down resources when work has been completed, to minimise the length of time instances are left idle and maximise cost efficiency.
  3. Use intelligent provisioning strategies to automate the selection of the Best Source of Compute for every workload, whether that is the cloud(s) with the lowest cost, lowest environmental impact, or compliance with specific policies.

The Top Challenges When Using the Cloud

According to the report, the top five cloud challenges are:

  1. Security
  2. Managing cloud spend
  3. Governance
  4. Lack of resources/expertise
  5. Compliance


Despite more than half of the respondents reporting that they’d consider moving some of their sensitive data to the cloud, security remains a top concern.

Interestingly, security is listed as the 4th greatest challenge for beginners to cloud, whereas it is the 2nd biggest challenge for intermediate and advanced users. The logic given for this is that security presents a “moving target” based on the increasing sophistication of hackers.

At YellowDog, security is constantly considered. The company is ISO 27001: 2013 registered and compliant. We use military grade AES 256 encryption to secure cloud credentials, and keyring mechanisms to ensure the correct users and/or applications have access to cloud accounts. The Platform is also accredited by the ISE.

We make the security of your data our top priority, so you don’t have to.

Cloud Spend

As mentioned above, there are many tools within the YellowDog Platform that enable an organisation to manage their cloud spend.

Ultimately, the YellowDog Platform offers users proactive control over their expenditure and complete visibility of their workloads. Organisations can evaluate the resources selected before the workload has been run, so there are no surprises.


For certain industries, such as Life Sciences and Financial Services, governance is very important.

With regulations constantly emerging, organisations need a solution that can quickly adapt to any changes. With the Best Source of Compute algorithms, the YellowDog Platform enables users to set their governance constraints, so workloads are always executed in the right place.

Lack of Resources/Expertise

Although the cloud is becoming more commonplace, it can still be complex to understand and manage, particularly for beginners and intermediate users. This paired with the fact that nearly 100% of enterprises are using multi-cloud strategies, places an increasing pressure on companies to manage this internally.

The advantage of a multi-cloud management tool, such as the YellowDog Platform, is that the managerial burden is reduced through the abstraction of complexity. By presenting a single view of the cloud landscape there is no need to consider how workloads run on different cloud providers. This not only reduces the time needed to configure a cloud solution, but it also helps reduce costs through cutting-edge optimisation.


For some industries there are certain rules and regulations that must be met in order to operate. For example, as dictated by the FCA, a financial services firm must demonstrate that it can operate across multiple providers in the event of a cloud outage or disruption. This is to ensure that the business can continue delivering services, despite a significant interruption.

We offer organisations a solution that has an elegant failover. So, if a disruption occurs, a workload can simply default to the next available resource, based on the preferences set by the user. This way business continuity can be proven, and delivery schedules can be met.


This comprehensive report by Flexera is a great tool for understanding how organisations are using the cloud. It also highlights some of the important challenges that are encountered by both small and large businesses.

The YellowDog Platform helps organisations – of all sizes – overcome these issues today. Wherever you are in your cloud journey, there are tools you can use to proactively optimise your use of cloud and maximise your return on investment.

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