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Apptio CEO Sunny Gupta speaks at the GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit. (GeekWire photos / Kevin Lisota)

Apptio sits at a unique position in today’s rapidly-changing enterprise technology world, as the Bellevue, Wash.-based publicly-traded company helps CIOs understand spending within IT departments and has an inside look at how companies shift their back-end infrastructure from on-premise to the public cloud.

That’s why it was interesting to hear Apptio co-founder and CEO Sunny Gupta share internal data about the public company’s customers — which range from those that spend $5 million on technology annually to $20 billion — in regard to cloud adoption trends during a presentation at GeekWire’s inaugural Cloud Tech Summit in Bellevue.

Gupta noted that 76 percent of its customers are using Amazon Web Services, while 52 percent are using Microsoft’s Azure platform — “we’ve seen quite a rise in Azure usage,” he noted.

That’s somewhat in line with recent numbers from Synergy Research Group, which show AWS maintaining more than 40 percent market share amid a big jump in the overall size of the market, while Microsoft is seeing strong growth with Azure.

But what amazed Gupta is that 29 percent of customers are managing multiple cloud environments together. Many companies like the flexibility of being able to use different cloud services, which also makes the competitive comparison more difficult.

Gupta noted that smaller companies tend to stick with one public cloud provider, but medium and larger-sized organizations are increasingly using multiple services at once.

“Customers are fundamentally concerned about vendor lock-in,” he noted.

Apptio, which went public this past September, has also noticed that when companies are deciding between cloud vendors, sales and service support is paramount.

Gupta added that the digital transformation is affecting all industries, whether it’s Uber with taxis or Airbnb with hotels. The increasing adoption of cloud computing platforms creates even more complexity, he said, and makes the CIO and CTO role even more important to the overall health of a business.

“They have one of the hardest jobs in the market today because they are the technical stewards in their organization,” he said. “They have to drive digital innovation and they have to move with speed and agility.”

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