More than 77% of respondents, according to a recent global study commissioned by IBM, have adopted a hybrid cloud strategy that can help drive digital transformation. However, the majority of responding organizations are having difficulty coordinating the complexity of all their cloud environments. Less than one-quarter of respondents worldwide manage their hybrid cloud infrastructures comprehensively, which can create blind spots and put data at risk. Organizations confront skills gaps, security issues, and regulatory barriers.
To assist enterprises in mapping their cloud transformation and provide them the tools to assess their own progress, IBM commissioned The Harris Poll to produce The IBM Transformation Index: State of Cloud. The Index conducted by The Harris Poll surveyed more than 3,000 business and technology decision-makers from 12 countries and 15 industries, including financial services, manufacturing, government, telecommunications, and healthcare.
The Index shows a significant link between the deployment of hybrid clouds and the advancement of digital transformation. In fact, according to 71% of those polled, without a sound hybrid cloud strategy makes it impossible to fully achieve the promise of a digital transformation. However, just 27% of those polled meet the criteria for being classified as ‘advanced’ in their change. What then is the disconnect? Some of the results are the following:
- Compliance – Businesses say it is now too difficult to ensure compliance in the cloud, especially as the global enforcement of regulatory and compliance obligations heats up
- Security – Businesses have adopted a number of security measures to protect workloads in the cloud, but security worries still exist
- Skills – Organizations are failing to adopt a comprehensive hybrid cloud strategy as they deal with the reality of a skills shortage, which can lead to gaps in security and compliance and increase risk across cloud environments
“The key value of cloud for businesses is rapid access to innovative technologies, data sources, and applications required to navigate current disruptions and transform businesses,” said Rick Villars, Group Vice President of Worldwide Research at IDC. “No individual cloud can address all of an enterprise’s requirements, so they must be able to use and effectively control hybrid cloud assets across many locations.”
Cloud Applications – Cyberthreats, Compliance
The 2022 IBM Transformation Index: State of Cloud further revealed:
- Lack of the right skills is inhibiting progress – 69% of respondents claim that their team lacks the necessary expertise to manage their cloud applications. More than a quarter of respondents indicated that a lack of personnel and skills was preventing their company from achieving its cloud ambitions, which is a significant barrier to innovation. The impacts don’t end there; because of these restrictions, organizations are also unable to take use of the potential of partnerships. More than one-third of respondents claim that their inability to integrate ecosystem partners into cloud settings is due to a lack of technical expertise. The difficulty is considerably larger in the US, where over 40% of people acknowledge having inadequate abilities, highlighting the need for talent.
- Exposure to cyberthreats continues to lurk despite embracing security techniques – Even though more than 90% of the financial services, telecommunications, and government organizations that responded have adopted security tools like confidential computing capabilities, multifactor authentication, and more, there are still gaps that are preventing organizations from fostering innovation. In fact, security is cited by 32% of respondents as the biggest obstacle to integrating workloads across environments, and more than a quarter of respondents believe that security issues make it difficult to accomplish their cloud business objectives.
Security issues may even prevent firms from realizing the full benefits of their cooperation. The biggest barriers to completely integrating their company ecosystem into the cloud, according to respondents, are data governance (49%) and cybersecurity (47%) since possible security breaches might result in third and fourth party threats to loom. Cyberthreats are even more of an issue for ecosystem innovation in Brazil, where 51% of organizations report that integrating ecosystem partners into cloud environments is difficult due to cybersecurity risks.
- Regulatory and compliance requirements remain center stage causing businesses to pause – Complying with rules is becoming more difficult as they increase. Nearly one-third of respondents identify regulatory compliance concerns as a major obstacle to integrating workloads across private and public IT systems, and 53% of respondents think it is presently too difficult to ensure compliance in the cloud. For instance, in financial services, more than a quarter of respondents concur that adhering to industry standards prevents them from completely fulfilling their cloud objectives. These problems would affect people all across the world, but they are particularly common in Singapore, China, India, and Japan.
“As we see regulatory requirements grow across the globe, compliance is top of mind for business leaders. This concern is even greater for those in highly regulated industries,” said Howard Boville, Head of IBM Cloud Platform. “Yet at the same time, they are facing a growing threat landscape – one that demands holistic management of their multicloud environments to avoid the risks of a Frankencloud – an environment that’s so disconnected, it’s difficult to navigate and can be nearly impossible to secure, particularly against third and fourth party risks. An integration strategy to bring together these different piece parts is what we believe separates the leaders from the rest of the pack – the alternative is to pay the price of the Frankencloud.”
The Harris Poll conducted this online poll on behalf of IBM from June 8 through July 17 in 12 nations (the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, India, Japan, China, Brazil, Spain, Singapore, Australia).
A total of 3,014 IT and business experts with in-depth knowledge of their company’s cloud strategy from businesses with annual sales above $500M participated in the study. The data from 25+ question batteries of various forms across 9 cloud-related parameters, together with feedback from industry experts, were combined to create the IBM Transformation Index: State of Cloud.