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IBM Study: Malaysian C-Suite Executives Declare One Vendor Approach to Cloud is Dead

The findings indicate that the cloud market has entered the hybrid, multicloud era and concerns around vendor lock-in, security, compliance and interoperability remain paramount.

by Gopalakrishnan Nair
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2021 IBM IBV Study

According to the results of IBM’s new global study on cloud transformation there has been a drastic shift in business needs as only 15% respondent in Malaysia reported using a single private or public cloud in 2021, down from 60 percent in 2019 – establishing hybrid cloud as the dominant IT architecture in Malaysia.

The global study, conducted by IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) in cooperation with Oxford Economics, surveyed almost 7,200 C-suite executives across 28 industries and 47 countries including Malaysia. The findings indicate that the cloud market has entered the hybrid, multicloud era and concerns around vendor lock-in, security, compliance and interoperability remain paramount.

The study found:

Cyber threats are at an all-time high

  • Infrastructure complexity is creating cracked doors that cybercriminals are exploiting.
  • With escalating cyber-attacks, 65 percent respondents don’t have security as a major investment.
  • At the same time, 83 percent respondents in Malaysia said data security being embedded throughout the cloud architecture​ is important or extremely important, in most cases, to successful digital initiatives.

Companies are denouncing vendor lockin

  • Nearly 66 percent of respondents in Malaysia said workloads being completely portable with no vendor lock-in​ is important or extremely important to the success of their digital initiatives.
  • Nearly 84 percent of respondents in Malaysia said vendor lock-in​ is a significant obstacle to improving business performance in most or all parts of their cloud estate.

Public cloud adoption is evolving towards industry clouds

  • Nearly 70 percent of global respondents in the government and financial services sectors cited industry-related regulatory compliance as an obstacle to the business performance of their cloud estate.

“In the beginning of their cloud journey, many companies dabbled with several different clouds that created complexity and disconnected piece parts, potentially opening them up to major security threats,” said Howard Boville, Head of IBM Cloud Platform. “Today’s finding reiterate that security, governance and compliance tools must run across multiple clouds and be embedded throughout hybrid cloud architectures from the onset for digital transformations to be successful.”

“Hybrid cloud isn’t just a strategy. It’s a reality in time to come. Being cloud-ready is essential to Malaysia’s digital transformation agenda. The cloud computing market has grown tremendously in the region, mainly driven by the fact that it costs less, coupled with the greater awareness of data security and the underlying technology,” said Catherine Lian, Managing Director, IBM Malaysia.

“Our research proves hybrid cloud is the winning architecture. The ‘one vendor approach’ to cloud is gone,” added Lian.

The study revealed that enterprises need to assess how they use the cloud in terms of adoption, velocity, migration, speed, and cost savings opportunity. Other recommendations include: 

  • Focus on security and privacy – determine where your critical workloads reside and scrutinize who and what has access to them. Regularly test that security controls and privacy policies are being adhered to, but also that improperly configured assets and software vulnerabilities are being promptly addressed.
  • Ask which workloads should move to the cloud – take inventory of the IT environment to successfully determine which workloads and applications will yield the most value in the cloud and which are better suited to stay on-premises. 
  • Make data work for you – analyze workloads using AI driven tools and best practices to determine where and how to put them in the right place for the right reason. 
  • Set a tactical approach – address the technology trade-offs, such as selecting the best approach to modernize specific applications and manage important issues like security, governance, and disaster recovery.
  • Determine the right team – put a cross-disciplinary team of people to work rethinking how your enterprise creates value for its customers.

Additional global findings from the 2021 report

  • By industry: Respondents in regulated industries, government (85 percent) and financial services (80 percent), cited governance and compliance tools being able to run across multiple clouds as important to success of digital initiative.
  • By industry: Only one percent of respondents in the electronics, insurance, manufacturing, telco, transportation, and travel industries, reported using a single private or public cloud in 2021.

Access the global full study findings here:  https://www.ibm.com/thought-leadership/institute-business-value/report/cloud-transformation.

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