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Cloud migration top priority for businesses, despite growing security concerns

By Catherine Knowles, Wed 29 Sep 2021

Cloud migration plans are surging despite security concerns, with 7 in 10 IT leaders believing cloud migration has to be a priority when future proofing digital infrastructure.

This is according to Equinix's annual global study of the views of 2,600 IT decision-makers for the Equinix 2020-21 Global Tech Trends Survey (GTTS).

Equinix finds there has been a significant year-on-year leap in companies planning to move business critical applications to the cloud, despite cybersecurity concerns.

The need to remain competitive and cater to increased user demands has prompted a 15% jump to 37% of companies saying they plan to move business critical applications to the cloud in 2020-21, compared to the previous year.

As digital leaders build robust digital infrastructures to ensure future success, it is estimated that almost half (47%) of their IT infrastructure globally is now on the cloud, despite ongoing concerns over cloud security.

Since the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the risk of cyber attacks has greatly expanded at the digital edge, Equinix finds.

Cybercrime costs the world economy more than $1 trillion, with the average cost to organisations estimated to be more than half a million dollars per incident.

Risk has been compounded by the large number of companies quickly shifting network capacity to cater to increasing volumes of 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.

IDC research director edge strategies Jennifer Cooke says, "Shifts in population centres, the increasing occurrence of cyber attacks, 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.

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

Equinix's GTTS found 70% of respondents believe migrating to the cloud is a top priority, with 80% focused on digitising their IT infrastructure.

This move is not being made lightly, with the threat of data leaks and cyber attacks as a result of increased cloud adoption being perceived as one of the biggest threats to organisations.

These concerns are not without merit. The Global Interconnection Index (GXI) Volume 4, a market study published by Equinix, revealed 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 over 270% year-over-year.

Equinix chief information security officer Michael Montoya says, "Digital transformation is essential for business survival. Every company is becoming a software company and the pandemic has accelerated the need for digital transformation.

"Indeed, 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 GTTS shows, many digital leaders remain nervous about this migration, with IT decision-makers highlighting fears around increased data leaks and security breaches. Cyber hygiene remains vitally important in the cloud."

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

  • 80% of IT decision-makers said digitising their IT infrastructure is a top priority, with 76% working to improve user experience.
  • Almost half (48%) of respondents said they believe the threat of data leaks and cyberattacks as a result of cloud migration to be one of the biggest threats globally.
  • 81% of digital leaders said they are prioritising improving their organisation's cybersecurity - a significant increase from the 70% who said this in the 2019-20 edition of the survey.
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