Photo Howard Boville, Head of IBM Cloud Platform
“Security, governance and compliance tools must run across multiple clouds and be embedded throughout hybrid cloud architectures from the onset for digital transformations to be successful,” said Howard Boville, Head of IBM Cloud Platform.

According to IBM’s recent worldwide survey on cloud transformation, company demands have shifted dramatically. Just 3% of respondents were reporting the adoption of a single private or public cloud in 2021, down from 29% in 2019. It would establish hybrid cloud as the dominant IT architecture.

Nearly 7,200 C-suite executives from 28 sectors and 47 countries were polled for the worldwide study, which was undertaken by IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) in collaboration with Oxford Economics.

The findings would show that the cloud industry has transitioned to a hybrid, multicloud age, with worries about vendor lock-in, security, compliance, and interoperability still looming large.

The IBM study conducted in collaboration with Oxford Economics found:

Cyber threats are at an all-time high

  • Infrastructure complexity is creating cracked doors that cybercriminals are exploiting
  • Yet, surprisingly more than a third of respondents did not indicate improving cybersecurity and reducing security risks are among their largest business and IT investments
  • At the same time, 80 percent said data security being embedded throughout the cloud architecture is important or extremely important, in most cases, to successful digital initiatives

Companies are denouncing vendor lock-in

  • Almost 79 percent of respondents believe that having entirely transferable workloads with no vendor lock-in is critical to the success of their digital endeavors
  • Vendor lock-in is a significant barrier to increasing company performance in most or all aspects of the cloud estate, according to over 69 percent of respondents

Public cloud adoption is evolving towards industry clouds

  • Industry-related regulatory compliance was highlighted by over 70% of respondents in the government and financial services industries as a barrier to their cloud estate’s commercial success

“In the beginning of their cloud journey, many companies dabbled with several different clouds that created complexity and disconnected piece parts, potentially opening them up to major security threats,” said Howard Boville, Head of IBM Cloud Platform. “Today’s finding reiterate that security, governance and compliance tools must run across multiple clouds and be embedded throughout hybrid cloud architectures from the onset for digital transformations to be successful.”

Cloud Recommendations

The IBM survey further revealed that enterprises need to evaluate how they use the cloud in terms of adoption, velocity, migration, speed, and cost reduction opportunities. Other recommendations include:

  • Focus on security and privacy – Determine the location of your important workloads and who and what has access to them. Test on a regular basis to ensure that security controls and privacy regulations are followed, as well as that incorrectly configured assets and software vulnerabilities are remedied quickly.
  • Ask which workloads should move to the cloud – Take inventory of IT systems to decide which workloads and apps will provide the greatest value in the cloud and which should be kept on-premises.
  • Make data work for you – To identify where and how to deploy workloads in the appropriate location for the right purpose, use AI-driven technologies and best practices to assess workloads.
  • Set a tactical approach – Identify technology trade-offs, such as the optimal method to modernizing certain applications and managing critical challenges like as security, governance, and disaster recovery.
  • Determine the right team – Assemble a multidisciplinary team to reimagine how your company generates value for its customers.

Additional findings from IBM’s 2021 report include:

  • By industry – The ability of governance and compliance tools to function across various clouds was highlighted by respondents in regulated industries, such as government (85%) and financial services (80%), as critical to the success of a digital endeavor.
  • By industry – In 2021, just 1% of respondents in the electronics, insurance, manufacturing, telecommunications, transportation, and tourism industries said they were employing a single private or public cloud.