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Do developers actually trust third-party cloud providers?

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Like most relationships, trust isn’t an issue, until it is. Alternative hyperscale cloud computing provider Linode has released the results of a survey designed to assess whether developers trust third-party cloud providers, with surprising results.

ClearPath Strategies’ latest cloud survey revealed that while developers’ familiarity and comfort with Amazon, Microsoft, and Google positions the well-known providers as market frontrunners, developers often do not agree with their values.

ClearPath’s study gathered insights from more than 800 developers at small and mid-sized businesses (i.e., less than 500 full-time employees) in a wide variety of industries and geographies around the world.

The study found that although SMB developers voice trust in their provider of choice in general, a deeper examination of their values uncovers a trust issue when it comes to major cloud providers.

“Approximately 20% of developers believe that the ‘Big Three’ hyperscalers will engage in behaviours that include leveraging their brands to stifle competition, focusing on shareholders more than customer needs, hosting or working with customers that developers find morally objectionable, monetsing user data for their own use, and locking them in with proprietary tools,” said Stephanie Fairchild, senior analyst at ClearPath Strategies.

“Criteria such as security and performance clearly take priority over these trust issues for developers, but it’s interesting to note that a sizable portion of developers are thinking about how their values align with those of their service providers.”

Blair Lyon, vice president of cloud experience at Linode added, “It’s no secret that the extensive functionality and brand awareness of hyperscalers make them popular choices for developers, but their standing with SMBs weakens with respect to values.”

“An alternative cloud provider can be a more trustworthy partner for innovative upstarts –one that offers predictable pricing and doesn’t threaten or compete with their business.

“And when an alternative cloud provider meets a developer’s functional needs—which is nearly always the case – developers can have the best of both worlds: a provider they can trust to meet their needs and one that shares their values as well.”

The survey also revealed that trust plays an important role in developers’ choice of a cloud hosting provider but needs take precedence. When prioritising needs or values, developers report they prioritise needs over values 73% of the time.

Despite many of the big three not aligning with developer values, the top three reasons cited for developers’ preference of their chosen third-party cloud provider as as follows:

  1. Security
  2. Trust
  3. Quality of service.

Survey respondents indicated hyperscale and alternative cloud providers deliver equally effective performance and security, but luckily for consumers, security will always be top of the developer agenda.

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