70% of Businesses Moving More to the Cloud

Equinix, the interconnection and data centre company, has announced the findings of an independent survey of over 1,200 senior IT professionals from across Europe, Middle East and Africa. Results show that more than seven in 10 (71%) organisations are likely to move more of their business functions to the cloud in the coming years.

60% of EMEA IT leaders cite proximity to cloud service providers (CSPs) as an integral factor when choosing a data centre in their local market.

Despite more business moving to the cloud, 70% of these same respondents still perceive there to be cybersecurity risks around cloud adoption. Large public data breaches have caused uncertainty among companies, leading to 45% of respondents focusing on improving their organisation’s cybersecurity as their biggest IT priority.

Cloud and cybersecurity considerations together are top of mind for IT executives across the region. For nearly half (48%) of those surveyed, the adoption of cloud-based services represented one of the top two factors that will impact their business in the future — second only to cybersecurity risks and breaches (53%). The results also showed that companies across EMEA are twice as likely to connect with CSPs than any other product or service provider.

Comparatively in the UK, over two thirds of businesses (67%) believe that cybersecurity risks and breaches will be the top factor impacting their business in the future, a higher rate than for organisations across EMEA. More respondents (75%) also believe their organisation will move more to the cloud. Nearly one third (31%) of IT professionals surveyed think cloud service providers are the type of business their organisation is most likely to connect with in the future. This figure is significantly greater than the next businesses organisations are most likely to connect with – network providers (9%) and financial institutions (9%). Despite Brexit, 64% of senior IT decision-makers in the UK also believe that due to the UK’s flourishing data centre industry, the UK is the best place in Europe to interconnect with partners, customers, supply chain and cloud service providers.

The study also finds that only 17% of organisations across EMEA are currently using multi-cloud architecture. This compares to 56% who currently use private cloud and 42% who use public cloud. Organisations should be looking to multiple cloud service providers when building out their digital infrastructure strategy to remain competitive and secure. Equinix last year launched Equinix Cloud Exchange™ Fabric (ECX Fabric) to support businesses that need access to multiple CSPs. The service offers customers private connections to global cloud service providers no matter their location. Earlier this year the company also launched the Equinix SmartKey™ service, a global key management and encryption Software as a Service (SaaS) offering that simplifies data protection across any cloud or destination.

Highlights / Key Facts

The independent survey of 1,206 senior IT decision-makers across EMEA was commissioned by Equinix and conducted online between 20 August and 13 September 2018.

The survey was conducted to further explore areas highlighted in the second volume of Equinix’s annual market study, the Global Interconnection Index (GXI), which analyses traffic exchange globally, Interconnection, or direct and private traffic exchange between key business partners, is becoming the defacto method for companies to operate in today’s digital world.

GXI analysed key macroeconomic, technology and regulatory trends that have driven Interconnection growth in the past year and will impact its future growth. The GXI found that cybersecurity risk was one of the key trends, as it expands Interconnection consumption as firms increasingly shift to private data traffic exchange to bypass the public internet and mitigate against digital threats as data is distributed across a growing number of vulnerability points. Large-scale cybersecurity breaches are one of the most serious risks facing the world today, and the scale of the threat is expanding drastically. By 2021, the global cost of cybersecurity breaches is projected to reach US$6 trillion.

The need to deploy hybrid cloud architecture by connecting to public cloud service providers is becoming increasingly important for global enterprises as digital transformation fuels the need for virtualised, on-demand and elastic access to public and private cloud-based services. ECX Fabric directly, securely and dynamically connects distributed infrastructure and digital ecosystems on Platform Equinix® via global, software-defined interconnection. Through a single port, customers can connect to anyone at Equinix, taking advantage of scalability, agility and connectivity.

Analyst firm Gartner says, “IT spending in EMEA is projected to total $973 billion in 2019, an increase of 2 percent from the estimated spending of $954 billion in 2018. In 2019, Gartner expects cloud, security and the move to digital business to bolster growth in EMEA. End-user spending on public cloud services in EMEA will grow 15 percent in 2019 to total $38.5 billion.”

Eric Schwartz, President EMEA at Equinix, says, “The results of this survey reveal the huge shift towards cloud as businesses across EMEA prepare to compete in the digital economy. Cybersecurity risks and breaches are of course a matter for close attention but must not prevent businesses from undergoing digital transformation. Hybrid and multi-cloud models are essential for today’s era of globalised coopetition. That’s why organisations come to Equinix – we can connect them directly to cloud service providers, allowing them to transmit data over dedicated, private networks instead of over the public Internet. This private exchange of data, or interconnection, reduces the risk of workloads being intercepted, monitored and modified, allaying security concerns. This is perhaps why over three quarters (77%) of the IT professionals across EMEA believe interconnection will help their business gain a competitive advantage in the market place of the future.”

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With over 40 years in the communications & IT sector in sales, marketing and editorial roles, Ian brings his channel experience from key UK players fully to bear in our editorial content and events.

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