One vendor approach to cloud is dead, says IBM

A new global study on cloud transformation released by IBM today (Thursday 28 November) highlights a shift in UK businesses’ cloud approach.

Just one per cent of UK respondents reported using a single private or public cloud in the UK in 2021, down from 40 per cent in 2019, establishing hybrid cloud as the dominant IT architecture.

Conducted by IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) in cooperation with Oxford Economics, the study surveyed almost 7,200 C-suite executives across 28 industries and 47 countries including more than 200 in the UK. 

The report indicates that the cloud market has entered the hybrid multi-cloud era and concerns around vendor lock-in, security, compliance and interoperability ‘remain paramount’, IBM said in a statement announcing the release.

Findings showed that infrastructure complexity is creating ‘cracked doors’ for cybercriminals to exploit, but 35 per cent of respondents in the UK did not indicate improving cybersecurity and reducing risks among their biggest business and IT investments.

Simultaneously, 75 per cent of UK respondents said data security being embedded throughout cloud architecture was important or extremely important, in most cases, to successful digital initiatives.

IBM said that the ‘one vendor approach’ to cloud is dead, with only 12 per cent of UK respondents reporting their cloud environments to be using either one private cloud or one public cloud — or one of each public and private — in 2021.

In the UK, 74 per cent of respondents said workloads being completely portable with no vendor lock-in is important or extremely important to the success of their digital initiatives. 

Meanwhile, 29 per cent of UK respondents described vendor lock-in as a ‘significant obstacle’ to improving business performance across their cloud estate. Industry-related regulatory compliance was cited as an obstacle by 63 per cent of UK respondents.

“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,” said Mark Cox, public cloud director at IBM UK & Ireland.

“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.”

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Melissa Bradshaw

Melissa joined the Comms Business editorial team in January 2021. Following her role as editorial assistant within the Mark Allen Group division MA Music, Leisure & Travel since 2019, Melissa moved over to MA Business in October 2020 and now works as a reporter for two of Mark Allen’s business titles, Comms Business and The Engineer. She is working alongside our editor Charlotte Hathway, writing features and news for the magazine. To get in touch about potential features, contact her at melissa.bradshaw@markallengroup.com.

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