Cloud giants holding businesses 'captive'

Wednesday, 04 October, 2023

Cloud giants holding businesses 'captive'

In the last several years, organisations have increasingly adopted more applications, often SaaS-based, to help teams efficiently and collaboratively operate in a hybrid work environment. However, this has introduced new risks and challenges and led nearly 40% of organisations to agree or strongly agree that they are losing control over their IT and security environments, according to a newly commissioned study.

The Forrester Consulting study, commissioned by Cloudflare, specifically found that organisations ranked the top four factors contributing to an overall loss of control as:

  1. An increase in the overall number of applications (66%).
  2. An increase in locations for applications (62%).
  3. The shift from on-premise to cloud (54%).
  4. The shift to remote/hybrid workforces (49%).

New and more complex responsibilities

IT and Security teams are now tasked with responsibilities to remain productive and compliant while managing an increasingly complex landscape — and a third of organisations say these new responsibilities weren’t in their purview five years ago.

For instance, 52% of IT and security teams were not responsible for ensuring security for all in-office, remote or hybrid workers five years ago, but are today. More than 40% are also now responsible for managing and securing applications in public cloud environments or managing and securing data in SaaS environments, despite not owning these areas five years ago. These tasks are also becoming harder since 2020, with 30% of teams noting that managing and securing both public cloud environments and data in SaaS environments is significantly more complex today than ever before.

Ignoring the challenges will have real impact

IT and security leaders see their major challenges revolving around managing a growing business landscape while ensuring their team remains productive and secure. Nearly 50% of organisations see the growing number and types of users — spanning human, machine and third party — as one of the top five challenges they face today. The top five challenges also include the difficulty of maintaining or improving their team’s productivity (44%) and addressing growing attack surface areas (44%). If not adequately addressed, these challenges are expected to have a direct impact on customer experience, productivity and their organisation’s competitive advantage.

Is a connectivity cloud the answer?

According to the study, most (98%) organisations agree that today’s businesses would gain value from a connectivity cloud that provides secure, performant, ‘any-to-any’ connectivity (ie, connectivity between more people, apps, data, devices, networks and clouds) more now than ever before. Nearly half of respondents believe this type of solution would accelerate digital transformation, while reducing attack surface area. 58% of leaders also believe this solution would increase productivity, 54% see it improving time to market and 54% of businesses believe it would grow overall revenue.

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