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IBM releases Transformation Index to assist cloud innovation

IBM has released its Transformation Index: State of Cloud. Commissioned by the company and conducted by independent research firm, The Harris Poll, it was created to help organisations map their cloud transformation and empower them to self-classify their progress.

Built on a foundation that leverages insights from experienced cloud professionals, enterprises can use the Index to gain measurable metrics that can help quantify their progress and uncover areas of opportunity and growth, IBM states.

The Index consisted of more than 3,000 global business and technology decision-makers from 12 countries, across 15 industries including financial services, manufacturing, government, telecommunications and healthcare, to understand where organisations are advancing, or merely emerging, on their transformation journeys.

The Index points to a strong correlation between hybrid cloud adoption and progress in digital transformation, with the majority thinking its difficult to realise the full potential of a digital transformation without having a solid hybrid cloud strategy in place.

The Index suggests the reason for the disconnect between adopting cloud and enabling digital transformation to be:

  • Compliance: Businesses believe ensuring compliance in the cloud is currently too difficult especially as we see enforcement of regulatory and compliance requirements heat up across the globe.
  • Security: While businesses have embraced a variety of security techniques to secure workloads in the cloud, concerns about security still remain.
  • Skills: As organisations face the realities of a talent shortage, they are failing to implement a holistic hybrid cloud strategy which can create gaps in security and compliance and cause risk across cloud environments.

Howard Boville, Head of IBM Cloud Platform, says, “As we see regulatory requirements grow across the globe, compliance is top of mind for business leaders. This concern is even greater for those in highly regulated industries.

"Yet at the same time, they are facing a growing threat landscape one that demands holistic management of their multicloud environments to avoid the risks of a Frankencloud an environment that's so disconnected, its difficult to navigate and can be nearly impossible to secure, particularly against third and fourth party risks.

"An integration strategy to bring together these different piece parts is what we believe separate the leaders from the rest of the pack the alternative is to pay the price of the Frankencloud.”

Rick Villars, Group Vice President of Worldwide Research at IDC, says, “The key value of cloud for businesses is rapid access to innovative technologies, data sources, and applications required to navigate current disruptions and transform businesses.

"No individual cloud can address all of an enterprises requirements, so they must be able to use and effectively control hybrid cloud assets across many locations. IBM with its focus on providing a holistic hybrid cloud strategy is well positioned to help organisations address the security, data management and compliance complexities that can prevent them from taking full advantage of cloud innovation."

The 2022 IBM Transformation Index: State of Cloud also revealed that exposure to cyber threats continues to lurk despite embracing security techniques.

While more than 90% of responding financial services, telecommunications and government organisations across the globe have adopted security tools such as confidential computing capabilities, multifactor authentication and more, gaps remain that are preventing organisations from driving innovation.

Regulatory and compliance requirements remain centre stage causing businesses to pause With regulations on the rise, so too are compliance challenges. 58% of respondents believe that ensuring compliance in the cloud is currently too difficult and nearly one-third cite regulatory compliance issues as a key barrier for integrating workloads across private and public IT environments.

In financial services, for example, more than a quarter of global respondents agree that meeting industry requirements is holding them back from fully achieving their cloud objectives.

Based on the Index, IBM states the company will launch an interactive tool to serve as a continual source of feedback for organisations to measure their transformation progress. With the ability to help companies assess how they fare against others, the tool will allow them to identify areas where transformation is stalled and where it may be excelling unlocking the ability to diagnose and act with efficiency even against the real-world of complexity of cloud transformation.

IBM will make the IBM Transformation Index: State of Cloud tool publicly available in the coming months, aiming to provide business leaders with valuable benchmarking insights that can inform their hybrid cloud strategies. The IBM Institute for Business Value also published a new report, A Comparative Look at Enterprise Cloud Strategy with an action guide for how leaders can use the Index to help advance their organisations' digital transformation.

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