After Microsoft announced its plans to acquire cloud management company Cloudyn, I thought it would be a good time to take a pulse on the state of the cloud market overall.

Here at Apptio, we have deep insight into the way thousands of IT organizations are leveraging the public cloud to drive their business forward. With visibility into hundreds of millions of dollars of technology spending and data on cloud usage, we have the ability to see exactly how and where the cloud is being utilized across the enterprise.

For all of the incredible benefits of the cloud, IT leaders are facing challenges that we must be aware of as an industry. Sure, the public cloud is often a faster and more cost-effective way of driving new innovation, but that flexibility also brings complications.

Now, a majority of enterprise IT leaders are balancing hybrid IT workloads, where they manage both on-premise applications and infrastructure alongside public cloud infrastructure and SaaS applications. The complexity for an enterprise CIO has grown and they can no longer manage the business (cost, planning, and optimization) of their IT portfolio of services and infrastructure on spreadsheets.

In addition, it’s important to consider the broader market factors that inform the cloud’s role in the enterprise today. We all know that AWS is the market leader, but this fact alone hides a critical market trend: the rise of multicloud.

Based on data from our customers that manage public cloud infrastructure with Apptio, we know that 76% of those companies are using AWS and more than 52% are using Azure, but importantly: 29% of those organizations are taking a multicloud approach. Meaning, they are simultaneously investing in multiple public cloud vendors to meet the needs of individual workloads, projects and services.

Aside from the obvious benefits of multicloud (pricing leverage, elasticity, etc.), IT leaders must also be careful to consider the complexity and hidden costs associated with the public cloud. 

AWS and Azure bills contain millions of line items with cost and usage details buried in monthly statements spread across multiple business units and do not include related labor, software, network and security costs.

Without full transparency into true costs, IT leaders will struggle to rise out of the details to make big, bold, business-moving decisions.

And, we have learned from our customers that the most impactful decisions come not only from transparency into public cloud infrastructure spending but in understanding and managing all of their Hybrid IT infrastructure.  It is these needs that drive Apptio forward in building the business management system of record for hybrid IT.

Pairing Microsoft Azure with a cloud management tool like Cloudyn is a natural move to enhance how Azure customers manage and monitor Microsoft Azure. However to manage multi-cloud and Hybrid IT, customers need a solution that understands all of their infrastructure and applications – regardless of vendor or hosting strategy. 

We will continue to partner deeply with all cloud vendors to provide a comprehensive rich solution for managing Hybrid IT including platforms from leading public cloud infrastructure providers like Microsoft Azure.

For more on Apptio’s approach to cloud cost management, read how AOL’s CIO James LaPlaine makes the most of his hybrid IT environment

Download the Executive Brief, "Embracing a Hybrid IT Mindset"