Global Business Leaders Say Hybrid Cloud is Critical to Modernization, Yet Security, Skills and Compliance Concerns Impede Success

– New IBM Transformation Index: State of Cloud helps business leaders assess gaps in their transformation journey

– More than half of respondents are currently concerned about security, while 53% believe that ensuring compliance in the cloud is currently too difficult

– Nearly 70% of respondents say their team lacks the skills needed to adequately manage cloud environments

September 28, 2022

ARMONK, New York, September 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — New Global Market Research from IBM (NYSE: IBM) found that while more than 77% of respondents have adopted a hybrid cloud approach that can help drive digital transformation, the majority of responding organizations struggle with the complexity of making all their cloud environments work together. As organizations face skills gaps, security challenges, and compliance roadblocks, fewer than a quarter of respondents globally manage their hybrid cloud environments holistically — which can create blind spots and put data at risk.

IBM Corporation logo.  (PRNews photo/IBM)

Commissioned by IBM and conducted by independent research firm The Harris Poll, the IBM Transformation Index: State of Cloud was created to help organizations map their cloud transformation and enable them to self-rank their progress. Built on a foundation leveraging insights from seasoned cloud professionals, organizations can use the index to obtain measurable metrics that help quantify their progress and uncover areas of opportunity and growth. The index consisted of more than 3,000 business and technology decision makers from 12 countries and 15 industries, including financial services, manufacturing, government, telecom and healthcare, to understand where companies are advancing or emerging on their transformation journey.

The index indicates a strong correlation between hybrid cloud adoption and digital transformation advances. In fact, 71% of respondents find it difficult to realize the full potential of digital transformation without a solid hybrid cloud strategy in place. At the same time, only 27% of respondents possess the necessary qualities to be considered “advanced” in their transformation. So why the separation? A sample of the results includes:

  • Attention: Enterprises believe that it is currently too difficult to ensure compliance in the cloud – especially as we see the enforcement of regulation and compliance requirements increasing globally.
  • Security: Although organizations have adopted a variety of security techniques to secure workloads in the cloud, security concerns remain.
  • Capabilities: As organizations face the reality of a talent shortage, they fail to implement a holistic hybrid cloud strategy – which can lead to security and compliance gaps and create risk in cloud environments.

“As we see regulatory requirements increasing around the world, compliance is top of mind for executives. This concern is even greater for those in highly regulated industries. At the same time, they face a growing threat landscape – one that requires holistic management of their multicloud environments to avoid the risks of a Frankencloud – an environment so disjointed it’s difficult to navigate and almost impossible to secure, particularly against third-party and fourth-party risks,” the company said Howard Boville, Head of IBM Cloud Platform. “An integration strategy to bring these disparate pieces together is what we believe separates the market leaders from the rest of the pack – the alternative is paying the Frankencloud price.”

“The key value of cloud for business is rapid access to the innovative technologies, data sources and applications needed to navigate current disruptions and transform businesses. No single cloud can meet all the needs of an organization, so they must be able to leverage and effectively control hybrid cloud assets across many locations. IBM, with its focus on delivering a holistic hybrid cloud strategy, is well positioned to help organizations address the security, data management and compliance complexities that can prevent them from realizing the full benefits of cloud innovation “, he says Rick VillarsGroup Vice President of Worldwide Research at IDC.

The IBM Transformation Index 2022: State of Cloud revealed:

Lack of the right skills hampers progress
When it comes to managing their cloud applications, 69% of respondents say their team lacks the skills needed to be competent. This is a major impediment to innovation, with more than a quarter of respondents saying skills and talent shortages are hampering their organization’s cloud goals. The impact doesn’t stop there – these limitations also prevent companies from harnessing the power of partnerships. More than a third of respondents say a lack of technical skills is preventing them from onboarding ecosystem partners into cloud environments. This challenge is even greater in the US, where almost 40% admit this lack of skills – indicating a need for talent.

The threat of cyber threats continues to lurk despite the introduction of security techniques
While more than 90% of responding financial, telecom, and government organizations have implemented security tools such as confidential computing capabilities, multi-factor authentication, and more, gaps remain that prevent organizations from innovating. In fact, 32% of respondents overall cite security as the top barrier for integrated workloads across all environments, and more than a quarter of respondents agree that security concerns are a barrier to achieving their cloud business goals.

Security concerns can even prevent companies from realizing the full potential of partnerships. With potential security gaps leading to third-party and fourth-party risks, respondents say data governance (49%) and cybersecurity (47%) are the top challenges in fully integrating their business ecosystem with the cloud. In Brazil, cyber threats are an even bigger problem for ecosystem innovations – 51% say cybersecurity risks are a major challenge for companies looking to integrate business ecosystem partners into cloud environments.

Regulatory and compliance requirements remain the focus, causing companies to pause
As regulations increase, so do compliance challenges. 53% of respondents believe that ensuring compliance in the cloud is currently too difficult, and nearly a third cite regulatory compliance issues as the top barrier to integrating workloads across private and public IT environments. In financial services, for example, more than a quarter of respondents agree that meeting industry requirements is preventing them from fully achieving their cloud goals. These challenges span the world and are particularly prevalent in countries such as Singapore, China, India and Japan.

Based on the Index, IBM will launch an interactive tool that will serve as a continuous source of feedback for organizations to measure their transformation progress. With the ability to help organizations assess how they’re performing compared to others, the tool will enable them to identify areas where transformation has stalled and where it could excel – thereby unlocking the capability will diagnose and act efficiently even against the real complexities of cloud transformation.

IBM will be making the IBM Transformation Index: State of Cloud tool publicly available in the coming months to provide business leaders with valuable benchmarking insights that can support their hybrid cloud strategies. The IBM Institute for Business Value also released a new report, “A Comparative Look at Enterprise Cloud Strategy,” with a guide to how business leaders can use the Index to drive their organizations’ digital transformation.

This survey was conducted online in 12 countries (USA, CanadaGreat Britain, Germany, France, India, Japan, China, Brazil, Spain, Singapore, Australia) by The Harris Poll on behalf of IBM 8th Juneth2022 to 17th Julyth2022. The survey was conducted among 3,014 IT and business professionals in companies with annual sales of over 500 million dollars who have in-depth knowledge of their organization’s cloud strategy. The IBM Transformation Index: State of Cloud was developed by combining the data from more than 25 question banks of different formats in 9 cloud-related dimensions informed by input from industry experts.

About IBM
IBM is a leading global provider of hybrid cloud and AI services and consulting services, helping clients in more than 175 countries unleash insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain a competitive advantage in their industries. Nearly 3,800 government and enterprise entities in critical infrastructure sectors like financial services, telecom, and healthcare rely on the hybrid cloud platform from IBM and Red Hat OpenShift to perform their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and enterprise services offer our customers open and flexible options. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, accountability, inclusivity and service. For more information visit


Kaveri Camire
IBM communication
[email protected]

Suzanne Kreuz
IBM communication
[email protected]


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