IBM study finds one vendor approach to cloud is dead

The study by IBM Institute for Business Value, in cooperation with Oxford Economics, shows that the cloud market has entered the hybrid, multi-cloud era

According to the results of the new study by IBM on cloud transformation, there has been a drastic shift in business needs as only 3% of respondents reported using a single private or public cloud in 2021.

This is down from 29% in 2019 and therefore establishes hybrid cloud as the dominant IT architecture. 

The study surveyed almost 7,200 C-suite executives across 28 industries and 47 countries. Indicating that the cloud market has entered the hybrid, multi-cloud era, the study also highlighted concerns around vendor lock-in, security, compliance and interoperability remain paramount.

Mark Cox, Public Cloud Director at IBM UK & Ireland, said: “Our research shows the message from decision-makers is clear: they want to be able to use a mix of different cloud solutions to meet different needs, and they want to do so securely, without being locked into a single provider. An open hybrid cloud model is the best design to address these needs and will be the foundational architecture driving the next wave of transformation and innovation across sectors.”

IBM’s key findings from its global study on cloud transformation

Firstly the study found cyber threats are at an all-time high:

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

Secondly, the study shows companies are denouncing vendor lock-in: 

  • 79% of respondents said workloads being completely portable with no vendor lock-in​ is important or extremely important to the success of their digital initiatives 
  • Nearly 69% of respondents said vendor lock-in​ is a significant obstacle to improving business performance in most or all parts of their cloud estate. 

Finally, the study highlight that public cloud adoption is evolving towards specialised clouds:

  • Almost 70% of respondents cited industry-related regulatory compliance as an obstacle to the business performance of their cloud estate 
  • Nearly 70% of respondents in the government and financial services sectors cited industry-related regulatory compliance as an obstacle to the business performance of their cloud estate. 

Adding to these key findings, the study also highlighted that enterprises need to assess how they use the cloud in terms of adoption, velocity, migration, speed, and cost-saving opportunities.


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