Thursday, 01 October 2020 10:58

Hybrid cloud adoption poses security concerns for businesses

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Australian businesses have a heightened concern for security with the adoption of hybrid cloud, with 84% citing it as a barrier to moving apps to public cloud, according to a new research report.

Concerns over security come as many Australian businesses struggle to adopt hybrid cloud as the ideal IT model, with 70% of organisations believing that their transformation is taking longer than expected, according to the research commissioned by enterprise cloud provider Nutanix.  

“According to the findings, Australian businesses have a heightened concern for security, with 84 per cent of local organisations citing it as a barrier to moving applications to public cloud,” said Lee Thompson, ANZ Managing Director of Nutanix.

“Despite these trepidations, the findings make it very clear Australian businesses want hybrid cloud and are headed in that direction. Positively, the research shows Australian organisations were the most confident in having the IT skills needed to get there, with only 32% of businesses saying skills shortages held them back.

“While this is still a significant number, it’s considerably ahead of the global average of 50%. As we adapt to a new economy, it’s important we continue to invest in those skills and overcome security challenges as businesses get used to a new, digital-focused working environment.”

According to Nutanix, as businesses everywhere struggle to adapt to a new reality, “one thing is becoming even clearer: flexibility is crucial to business success.”

“Whether enterprises need to leverage public cloud to deliver remote desktops quickly, consolidate disaster recovery sites, move workloads to a private cloud to stave off public cloud capacity concerns, or take advantage of on-demand capacity bursting, the current global situation has emphasised the need for an adaptable IT infrastructure for many businesses.”

The report, commissioned by Nutanix and created by market research firm Vanson Bourne, analysed key challenges businesses are currently facing when managing both public and private cloud infrastructures.

The company surveyed 650 IT decision-makers from multiple industries, business sizes and geographies in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa (EMEA); and Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) regions.

Additional findings include:

  • Public Cloud Alone is Not Always the Answer: Public cloud revolutionised the IT industry, offering more agility and operational efficiency. And while it’s ideal for some applications and workloads, it’s not for others, leading businesses to embrace a hybrid infrastructure. According to the research, the majority of respondents have concerns about running business-critical applications, those most vital to their business, on public cloud, specifically around reliability (75%), portability (73%), and cost (72%). Additionally, some are simply unable to move their business-critical applications, due to complexity or cost. For example, the need to re-architect or re-platform applications (75%) and the complexity of the migration (71%) are top concerns preventing respondents from porting applications.
  • Hybrid Widens the IT Skills Gap: Although many businesses struggle to find enough qualified IT talent, the issue grows when looking for professionals who can manage both a public and a private cloud infrastructure, as currently the two environments require different skill sets. Most organisations (88%) are facing challenges in ensuring their IT staff has the necessary skills to manage a hybrid IT infrastructure, and over half (53%) see this as a top concern.
  • Skill Gaps Create Silos and Inefficiencies: Given the different skills required to manage public and private cloud infrastructures, businesses often need to rely on different teams creating silos, something that nearly all (95%) respondents encountered. Most importantly, they often impact the bottom line, something even more concerning at a time when many businesses are focused on optimising resources. Nearly half of respondents identified resource sprawl (49%), an increase in costs (45%), and/or a waste of resources (43%) as concerns.
  • Portability is a Must and Not Just For Applications: For most businesses (88%) software licensing is a key aspect of a hybrid IT infrastructure, as many have run into difficulties surrounding licensing (58%) or vendor lock-in (58%) when moving to public cloud. Additionally, nearly two thirds (65%) are willing to consider subscription licensing for their IT infrastructure.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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