Are Enterprises Unprepared for the Hybrid Cloud?

Data breaches are an organization’s worst nightmare, and often the CISO bears the brunt of the challenge. With the cost of data breaches increasing every year, it continues to strain an organization’s operating budget. According to a recent report, the cost of data breaches will have risen by 13% by 2020, although more than the financial impact, declining brand trust is causing untold suffering.

The latest report on the IBM Transformation Index: State of the Cloud (download here) raises further questions. More than three-quarters of the 3,000 business and technology leaders surveyed agreed that organizations need a holistic strategy to manage their hybrid cloud environments. That means only a quarter of them actually had one running.

Where is the separation and how is it growing?

A large percentage of respondents believe that a mismatch between the right talent and cloud management skills is a major impediment to secure cloud implementation. In fact, 69% of respondents said so. And why is this such a big problem, even though the hybrid cloud concept has found many takers?

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Nearly a third of respondents (32%) said poor security is the biggest barrier to advancing and reaping the benefits of hybrid cloud, with more than 50% stating that the public cloud is not secure for much of their organization’s data enough is needed. Mind you, the respondents were predominantly CEOs, CTOs, CIOs and CISOs from 12 countries.

The timing of this realization could not have been worse, given that hybrid clouds are mission-critical to the success of digital transformation efforts, especially if organizations are to realize the full potential of such activities. The Harris Poll survey found that 77% managed an on-premises hybrid cloud with resources in private and public clouds.

The need of the hour is to control hybrid cloud assets across locations, as the key value businesses receive is rapid access to innovative technologies, data sources and applications that help manage business disruptions that no single cloud can handle. In fact, CISOs were more optimistic about cloud security than the rest of the respondents.

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Why aren’t the others completely convinced?

Most executives continue to have doubts about cloud security, and not without reason. About 60% of respondents said they use multiple cloud security features, including multi-factor authentication, VPNs, etc., but still see security as a primary concern when migrating their data to the cloud.

While security is a concern, they also try to solve challenges related to compliance and regulatory requirements where it is a requirement. More than half of the respondents felt that the public cloud makes compliance more difficult. This could be even more the case in industries like telecoms, healthcare, and financial services.

Skills come first

And this is where the mismatch of talent and ability comes to the fore. Resources are not equipped to design and operate a hybrid cloud environment as the talent pool is typically too sparse to manage different cloud instances. This is where companies should use the center of excellence approach to incubate and nurture talent that can then support multiple requests from across the organization.

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In fact, the partner-centric approach is one that companies swear by. Nearly 65% ​​of respondents supported integrating ecosystem partners into their clouds, as any failure would expose them to third parties and fourth-party providers. In fact, most respondents agreed that there is no business value in just being in the cloud. It’s about connecting the environments, the people and the process to the business purpose.

Conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of IBM, the poll was distributed across Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. It received responses from 3014 IT and business professionals in the automotive, chemical, consumer electronics, energy, financial services, government, healthcare, life sciences, manufacturing, media and entertainment, telecom and travel industries.