Cybersecurity risk tops the list of cloud concerns

Equinix 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.

According to Gartner: “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, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc.… 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.”

John Abel, VP, Cloud and Innovation for UK, Ireland and Israel at Oracle comented “The findings of this survey validate that direct interconnection to cloud service providers is one of the most secure ways to deploy integrated cloud-based applications and services. Our customers take security very seriously , which is why we work with organisations such as Equinix to help ensure we provide them with the most robust and secure cloud services available today.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine