How crazy is this? We’ve found that large organizations on average use 172 compute, 157 marketing and sales and 62 finance services from the cloud. Some organizations use nearly double these amounts!

Simply put, as businesses groups control more IT spend and purchase more cloud services, cloud sprawl is skyrocketing. A large organization now uses on average 730 individual cloud services (including SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS).

So what are the top cloud services categories?


The Top Cloud Services Categories Are…

With our Cloud Consumption Service engagements we have found that large customers on average use:

  • 174 Compute services including hosting, compute, virtualization, and IaaS
  • 157 Sales & Marketing services
  • 62 Finance & Accounting services such as banking and tax cloud applications and hosted insurance
  • 60 Services Management services like cloud management, IT service management, security management, IT monitoring
  • 53 Human Capital Management services including HR staffing & recruiting apps, payroll, employee training & engagement, benefit management
  • 44 Collaboration services like video & web conferencing, on-line training & education, desktop sharing. This doesn’t include social media.
  • 39 Cloud Drive/Storage services to store unstructured data—not including backup & recovery.

As cloud use grows, more and more sensitive intellectual property, employee, and customer data finds its way beyond a company’s firewall. Then add this to the mix: not all cloud providers are stable financially or able to comply with industry regulations or data sovereignty laws – which can present significant business risk to you! Significant redundant services also cause hidden costs to surge.

If you’re an IT organization, start with this top list of most used services when considering where to consolidate and rationalize your cloud portfolio. By optimizing your cloud services, you can dramatically reduce costs by negotiating bulk contracts, and reduce risks by standardizing on select providers who best meet your security and compliance policies.

Here is an example: one of our recent customers found that they were using 41 different collaboration services, half of which were redundant. This insight prompted dialogue between IT and the business, which led to standardization upon fewer collaboration services and helped them to significantly reduce their costs.

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But that leads to the BIG Question:

How Do You Discover What Cloud Services Are Being Used?

Cisco Cloud Consumption Services can help you discover all the services including SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS and identify immediate opportunities to reduce redundant services. With deep insight into what types of services are used, IT can partner more closely with internal clients and identify the right mix of services to meet their business needs.

How many cloud services do you believe you are using? Let’s continue the conversation with me on Twitter, LinkedIn or with Cisco’s cloud experts @CiscoCloud.


Robert Dimicco

Senior Director

Advanced Services