Security, cost top concerns for APJ enterprises in multi-cloud world: VMware

Organizations prioritize cost savings and security over innovation when considering multi-cloud adoption, reveals VMware research.

VMWARE Apr 13th 2018

VMware, a leading innovator in enterprise software, in association with MIT Technology Review Custom, revealed new Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) findings from a study analyzing enterprise adoptions of multi-cloud environments.

The research highlights that whilst APJ respondents are more bullish about adopting artificial intelligence (AI) in the cloud when compared to their global counterparts, they are behind the curve when it comes to utilizing multiple cloud providers to drive innovation. Security also remains a top priority and concern in multi-cloud adoption, particularly with the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) set to come into effect in May 2018.

The research, titled "After Deployment Storms, Skies Turn Sunny For Multi-Cloud Environments" surveyed more than 1,300 global IT decision makers in large enterprises to analyze their attitudes towards cloud adoption, including more than 750 executives from Australia, China, Japan and India.

Findings from the research reveal that APJ remains behind the curve when it comes to using multiple clouds to innovate for business growth, and that cost is the key motivating factor in cloud selection:

  • Respondents in the APJ region did not cite ‘improving innovation’ as a key benefit from multi-cloud adoption. This suggests that the use of multiple providers to drive innovation is still relatively nascent in this region.
    • Organizations are still in the process of learning when it comes to the adoption of technologies like AI. Only a minority of APJ respondents reported that they were currently using AI or machine learning, including AI-driven clouds.
    • Respondents from China and India are working towards adopting AI in their companies, with almost half indicating their companies will be adopting AI within the next three years. Respondents from India were also the most confident that clouds themselves will soon become AI-driven.

“We have been living in a multi-cloud world for a while now. The research findings reinforce this fact. A multi-cloud strategy makes perfect sense. It gives organizations the freedom to buy the right – and cheapest – technology at any point in time and break free from vertical stacks,” said Duncan Hewett, Senior Vice President and General Manager, APJ, VMware. “Beyond efficiencies and cost savings, there is strong potential for the region to leverage multi-cloud environments to innovate at scale and integrate emerging technologies like AI and the Internet of Things (IoT) to run secure, competitive and successful businesses.”

Key Findings in India:

Benefits from Multi-Cloud Adoption Depend on Where the Company is at on its Adoption Curve

  • Organizations in India are leveraging a multi-cloud infrastructure for security (94 percent), data privacy (93 percent), and to satisfy business unit requests (92 percent) – the three most cited benefits of multi-cloud adoption.
  • Cost is also a key motivating factor when it comes to multi-cloud adoption.
  • Respondents in India did not cite “improving innovation” as a key benefit, suggesting that organizations in India are still in the initial testing phases of multi-cloud adoption – they are still new to the cloud and tend to focus on technical, security and end-user concerns.

Security and Data Privacy Are Still Concerns, But Perhaps Less So in APJ

  • Respondents in India report that most IT resources were allocated to security when moving to a multi-cloud environment, as was the same in other APJ regions, as well as globally.
  • Out of all the APJ regions, organizations in India were most confident about improvements in security, an organizational ability that resulted from the adoption of the multi-cloud.

India ranked its four strongest organizational abilities as:

    • Detecting security breaches
    • Knowing who has access
    • Understanding data well
    • Technology for immediate changes
  • For India, improved security was the top benefit of cloud and multi-cloud environments
  • Improved security features was also the second most desired additional technology to cloud

Organizations Must Overcome Inherent Technical Challenges and Misconceptions Around Costs

  • The move to a multi-cloud environment inherently involves technical challenges.
  • Respondents in China reported that the toughest challenges endured in the process were the integration of legacy systems (78 percent) and understanding the new technology (79 percent).
  • Difficulties in the migration and management of data from one cloud to another was also raised. This serves to highlight the importance of researching and planning effectively before making the move to a multi-cloud environment.
  • Other than technical challenges, 75 percent of respondents in India were cost sensitive and cited ‘increased costs’ as one of the biggest challenges to multi-cloud adoption.

This, however, can be overcome over time, with 85 percent of respondents in India citing ‘cost savings’ as a benefit from operating in a multi-cloud environment instead.

Managing Change is Essential When Preparing for Multi-Cloud Adoption, Particularly in APJ

  • Apart from challenges associated with technology, respondents also confirmed that moving to a cloud environment had a strong impact on the organization’s people and processes, and even more so for APJ respondents than their global counterparts
    • Respondents in India mirrored the APJ average and reported the largest change to the organization when moving to the cloud was data governance (26 percent)
    • This was followed by skills (23 percent), policies (21 percent) and a broader vendor set (11 percent).
    • Respondents in India rated staff training as the top organizational change (85 percent) that resulted from adopting a multi-cloud environment.
    • Other organizational changes included a shift in security protocols (84 percent), budgeting (76 percent), processes (82 percent), staff (72 percent) and culture (70 percent).

“Public and private cloud models have been successfully established as a necessity for most enterprises. What’s interesting to see is the gradual shift towards the multi-cloud culture. Although multi-cloud adoptions are still in their initial testing phases for most organizations, it is already increasingly being accepted as a secure platform,” said Sangeeta Giri, director, Sales, SDDC at VMware. “Reasons can vary from data privacy to enhanced efficiency and reduced costs, but with CIOs ready to accept the concept of multi-clouds, its future in India looks promising. VMware is therefore putting its best technologies forward together with cloud providers to enable businesses to become more secure, competitive and successful.”

“From what we’re hearing from some of our largest customers, IT environments in APJ are now a mixture of legacy infrastructure and public and private clouds. The true benefit of multi-cloud environments is being able to mix and match the best-in-class enterprise technologies – which are able to work across multiple platforms and devices – to create the best possible solution for your business. VMware’s partnerships with cloud providers, and VMware Cloud Foundation is ultimately bringing us closer to the endlessly sought-after seamless integration organizations need to meet the high and growing demands of today’s digital economy.”

Download the full APJ outlook and research findings at the following link: [Click here]