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Substantial surge in hybrid and multi-cloud migration despite security concerns

By Ryan Morris-Reade, Thu 30 Sep 2021

Despite cybersecurity concerns, Equinix has discovered a significant year-on-year leap in companies planning to deploy hybrid and multi-clouds, and move business-critical applications to the cloud.

According to the report, remaining competitive and catering to increased user demands prompted Australian companies to deploy hybrid (47%) or multi-cloud (30%) in 2020-21, with those figures trending up significantly from the previous year. 

Many digital leaders focusing on the future are currently building robust digital infrastructures. The survey revealed that more than half (53%) plan to move business-critical applications to the cloud, despite ongoing concerns over cloud security. These findings come from Equinix's annual global study, Equinix 2020-21 Global Tech Trends Survey, which covers the views of 2,600 IT decision-makers across the Americas, Asia-Pacific and EMEA.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the risk of cyberattacks has been expanding at the digital edge. Cybercrime costs the world economy over $1 trillion, with the average cost to organisations estimated to be more than half a million dollars per incident. Equinix says the risk is compounded by many companies quickly shifting network capacity to cater to increasing remote worker data traffic. This has prompted a surge in cloud migration and broad implementation of cloud-based digital infrastructure as part of a hybrid infrastructure strategy.

"Shifts in population centres, the increasing occurrence of cyberattacks, rapidly expanding data volumes and compliance needs, the creation of business ecosystems, and the transformation to digital business, have been driving the need for a new approach to digital infrastructure," says IDC research director, Edge Strategies, Jennifer Cooke.

"These market forces are driving IT leaders to consider the best strategies and prioritise investments across the digital core, edge, and exchange of data."

The survey found 80% of Australian respondents believe migrating to the cloud is a top priority, with 82% focused on digitising their IT infrastructure. This move is not being made lightly by Australian organisations, with the threat of data leaks and cyberattacks perceived as the most significant threats.

Equinix says the concerns are not without merit. The Global Interconnection Index Volume 4, a market study published by Equinix, reveals a growth in the number of user devices and cloud resources, meaning organisations have to be aware of distributed security risks such as DDoS attacks, which have grown more than 270% year over year. 

"Digital transformation is essential for business survival," says Equinix chief information security officer, Michael Montoya.

"Every company is becoming a software company, and the pandemic has accelerated the need for digital transformation. Findings from the 2021 Gartner Board of Directors Survey show 69% of boards accelerated their digital business initiatives in the wake of COVID-19. 

"Moving to the cloud is at the heart of this transformation. However, as our survey shows, many digital leaders remain nervous about this migration, with IT decision-makers highlighting fears around increased data leaks and security breaches," he says.

Equinix Australia managing director, Guy Danskine, says it's clear from the research that accelerating demand for hybrid and multi-cloud deployments comes with increasing concern around cybersecurity.

"With eight in ten Australian digital leaders prioritising cloud migrations as foundational in driving their IT strategies, enhanced cybersecurity capability is paramount as organisations seek to protect their data in an increasingly interconnected world," he adds.

Other findings of note from the Global Tech Trends Survey include:

  • 88% of digital leaders say they're prioritising improving their organisation cybersecurity, a significant increase from the 63% who said this in the 2019-20 edition of the survey.
  • 82% of IT decision-makers say digitising their IT infrastructure is a top priority, with 81% working to improve user experience.
  • 68% of respondents say they believe the threat of data leaks and cyberattacks resulting from cloud migration to be one of the biggest threats.
     
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