Why protecting your most valuable data is a priority for IBM Cloud

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Protecting valuable data cloudAt IBM, cloud native is the destination, and hybrid cloud is the path to get there.

Earlier this year, Forbes rounded up many forecasts and estimated that worldwide spending on cloud computing will grow at six times the rate of IT spending from 2015 through 2020. In the EU alone, the European Commission estimated the value of the data economy was more than €285 billion in 2015, and could increase to €739 billion by 2020.

I’d like to share with you some of the insights from a cloud research survey IBM recently completed in partnership with Vanson Bourne, which surveyed 300 IT and business decision makers in the UK, France and Germany who are currently using or planning to implement cloud solutions in their organizations. These insights helped shape our view of cloud adoption and the challenges enterprises see in data security and protection. I hope these insights will help you wherever you are on the journey to cloud.

It’s clear that enterprises want a cloud that offers more than just cost savings and provides a platform for innovation that is secure and transparent. That’s why we’ve designed IBM Cloud to be secure to the core, designed for data and AI ready.

Last month, IBM Cloud announced new capabilities that give clients additional control of their data in the IBM Cloud in Europe, underscoring our commitment to data responsibility and security. Today, I’m excited to announce that these capabilities are live.

Cloud adoption

In engagements with clients, we see an evolution of cloud adoption. Motivations for adopting cloud usually start from a tactical vantage point and evolve to more strategic visions over time. Initially, the focus is on IT cost and efficiency, deploying infrastructure as a service through public cloud providers. But many companies are driving well beyond that, rapidly modernizing their applications to improve customer experiences and differentiate through innovation.

The survey results reinforce this viewpoint. Nearly all (99 percent) surveyed IT and business decision makers believe that cloud solutions can offer their organizations benefits, but what are the most important of those to European businesses in the UK, France and Germany? Six in ten ranked increased flexibility and agility in their top three benefits, while approaching half (46 percent) said the same about cost reductions within their organizations.

Given the perceived benefits of cloud, it’s not surprising that cloud adoption is well underway, with just over three quarters of those surveyed reporting that their organizations are currently using cloud solutions.

Security in the cloud

Respondents still face challenges when it comes to cloud adoption, with 57 percent reporting security in the cloud to be the most common obstacle. Security is understandably front of mind given the recent spate of ransomware attacks and high-profile data breaches in Europe and beyond.

The majority across all three countries (87 percent) said they are worried that their organizations will be the target of an attack. Interestingly, when asked about adopting secure cloud services, the 73 percent of respondents said it would increase or not impact the security of their organization, with only 9 percent believing adoption would reduce their security.

For these reasons, it is no longer the IT department alone which is making cloud computing buying decisions. When asked to what extent key roles where involved in the cloud buying decisions, 60 percent of respondents agreed that the CSOs are involved in the process and have influence over the final decision. Security is a key concern at boardroom tables in many enterprises, and the CSO is front and center.

Data must be protected

The top two business workloads respondents are considering putting on the cloud are data archiving and backup (49 percent) and disaster recovery (45 percent). Data is the lifeblood of an organization. It is therefore crucial that cloud service providers are transparent about know how that data is protected and where it is stored.  Most respondents (87 percent) report “Who has access to my data and why?” to be among their organisation’s top three critical data management questions with storing data in the cloud. Similarly, questions about where the data is stored and backed up (79 percent) and whether the data can be encrypted/who owns the keys (61 percent) are also among the top concerns of respondents’ organizations.

Customers want to be reassured and have the peace of mind that their data is sufficiently stored and protected. This is now a prerequisite for consumers and organizations alike and should be integral to a business’ digital transformation strategy, not an afterthought.

Learn more about the unique IBM Cloud approach to protecting client data.

Get started with secure cloud services at IBM Cloud.

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