The need to remain competitive and cater to increased user demands has prompted an 11% jump to 37% of UK companies saying they plan to move business-critical applications to the cloud in 2020-21, compared to the previous year. As digital leaders build robust digital infrastructures to ensure future success, it is estimated that more than half (54%) of their IT infrastructure is now on the cloud, despite ongoing concerns over cloud security. These findings come from Equinix’s annual global study of the views of 2,600 IT decision-makers across the Americas, Asia-Pacific and EMEA—the Equinix 2020-21 Global Tech Trends Survey (GTTS).
Since the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the risk of cyberattacks has greatly expanded at the digital edge. Cybercrime costs the world economy more than $1 trillion with the average cost to organisations estimated to be more than half a million dollars per incident. Risk has been compounded by the large number of companies quickly shifting network capacity to cater to increasing volumes of remote worker data traffic. This has prompted a surge in cloud migration and broad implementation of cloud-based digital infrastructure as part of a hybrid infrastructure strategy.
Russell Poole, Managing Director, UK, Equinix, said: “The pandemic has led to sweeping changes across every industry in the UK, with organisations having to fast-track their digital transformation to adapt to the ‘new normal’. A critical component is the move to cloud as part of a digital-first infrastructure. The cloud has the power to deliver increased connectivity and flexibility, improve network optimisation and facilitate real-time connections to global digital ecosystems. Transforming legacy IT infrastructures in this way means businesses can leverage new and innovative technologies to generate increased flexibility and scalability.”
Balancing cybersecurity concerns with cloud adoption in a digital-first world
Jennifer Cooke, Research Director, Edge Strategies, IDC, states: “Shifts in population centres, the increasing occurrence of cyberattacks, rapidly expanding data volumes and compliance needs, the creation of business ecosystems, and the transformation to digital business, have been driving the need for a new approach to digital infrastructure. These market forces are driving IT leaders to consider the best strategies and prioritise investments across the digital core, edge, and exchange of data.”
The GTTS found 79% of UK respondents believe migrating to the cloud is a top priority, with 86% focused on digitising their IT infrastructure. This move is not being made lightly, with the threat of data leaks/cyberattacks as a result of increased cloud adoption being perceived as one of the biggest threats to organisations in the UK, with 47% of local respondents citing this.
These concerns are not without merit. The Global Interconnection Index (GXI) Volume 4, a market study published by Equinix, revealed a growth in the number of user devices and cloud resources, meaning organisations have to be aware of distributed security risks such as DDoS attacks, which have grown over 270% globally year-on-year.
Michael Montoya, Chief Information Security Officer, Equinix, said: “Digital transformation is essential for business survival. Every company is becoming a software company and the pandemic has accelerated the need for digital transformation. Indeed, findings from the 2021 Gartner® Board of Directors Survey* show 69% of boards accelerated their digital business initiatives in the wake of COVID-19.
“Moving to the cloud is at the heart of this transformation. However, as our GTTS shows, many digital leaders remain nervous about this migration, with IT decision-makers highlighting fears around increased data leaks and security breaches.
“Cyber hygiene remains vitally important in the cloud. Equinix offers a robust and interconnected platform which allows for the direct and secure exchange of data between businesses. Equinix Fabric enables connectivity to global digital business ecosystems and a myriad of cloud service providers. As a Chief Information Security Officer, I now have the assurance that my cloud deployments avoid the public internet and the associated cyber risks.”
Stacy Hayes, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President, Assured Data Protection, added: “Equinix and Equinix Fabric enabled us to deliver our Rubrik Cloud services over a fast, scalable and secure interconnection platform, with access to multiple hyperscaler clouds, that will not only protect our customers’ data today, but also give them much more value from their data in the future.”
Other findings of note from the Global Tech Trends Survey include:
• 86% of UK IT decision-makers said digitising their IT infrastructure is a top priority, with 79% working to improve user experience.
• Almost half (47%) of UK respondents said they believe the threat of data leaks and cyberattacks as a result of cloud migration to be one of the biggest threats globally.
• 80% of UK digital leaders said they are prioritising improving their organisation’s cybersecurity—a significant increase from the 66% who said this in the 2019-20 edition of the survey.