The role of the cloud in digital transformation cannot be stressed enough as in the latest report from NTT Ltd. (NTT), which reveals that 96.2% of businesses in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region see it as a critical component in fulfilling immediate business needs amid the pandemic.
NTT, a global technology services company, released its “2021 Hybrid Cloud Report,” which highlights the need for business agility and the role hybrid cloud has in helping businesses achieve this.
Before COVID-19, many companies embarked on digital transformation journeys, but the pandemic also discovered that many were not as agile as they had previously thought they are. The pandemic laid bare deficiencies in businesses’ cloud infrastructure, security, and network architecture capabilities, hindering their ability to adapt and remain agile.
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“As businesses look to navigate the new year, they must look to hybrid cloud environments that are optimized for agility, security, and supported by the right network architecture while also meeting compliance requirements,” said Rob Lopez, EVP, Intelligent Infrastructure at NTT Ltd. “This is the foundation upon which cloud is successful and will enable businesses to weather any form of disruption that comes their way.”
Working from home
The pandemic has forced a cultural mindset shift with global organizations adapting their agility plans from recovering infrastructure and applications to getting office-based workers set up and working from home. Despite this uncertainty, the pandemic has provided a significant opportunity to accelerate digital transformation initiatives.
The report, which surveyed 950 decision-makers in 13 countries across five regions, including Hong Kong, India, and Singapore in the Asia Pacific (APAC), highlighted their increasing reliance on technology as the pandemic rages on. The report found that 90% of APAC businesses agree that pandemic has forced their businesses to rely on technology more than before and that the benefits of hybrid cloud are already clear with 60.3% of APAC organizations already using or piloting hybrid cloud.
The study found that a further 31.6% of APAC respondents plan to implement a hybrid solution within 12-24 months. With this, the study proved that hybrid cloud is now seen as critical to data-driven processes and real-time decisions both now and in the future.
Hybrid cloud drives efficiencies
During such an uncertain time, businesses are continuing to tighten their budgets and look to hybrid cloud to increase cost efficiency and drive the organization’s overall performance. The report found that an improved speed of deployment of apps and services is the biggest driver (38.8%) of hybrid cloud adoption in APAC, especially given the shift to a distributed workforce model where businesses in this region now need to access data and applications in new, different and often complex ways.
According to APAC respondents, the second-largest motivation for hybrid cloud adoption is an overall improvement of business agility (38.3%), followed by a more efficient total cost of IT operations (34.0%).
NTT said businesses need to implement hybrid cloud in a way that will optimize environments to maximize efficiencies. This is why over half of organizations (53.6%) strongly agree on the need to engage with experts like the managed cloud providers.
Security and compliance
Beyond maximizing cost efficiencies, businesses are also changing attitudes toward security and compliance. The report found that more than half (51.2%) of the respondents in APAC claim that the difficulties in managing data security are the greatest barrier to adopting hybrid cloud. NTT advised organizations to overcome these barriers when working in such complex environments and organizations must choose the right environment that will securely host their mission-critical applications across public and private clouds. They should work with a partner who understands their industries to ensure compliance.
The report found that network performance and a shortage of skills were also regarded as sizeable barriers to hybrid cloud adoption. Both, if not appropriately addressed, could undo the benefits it offers when implementing hybrid cloud.
The technology services company also advises that industry collaboration and working with external experts will provide businesses with the right knowledge and skills to set up their hybrid cloud environments for agility. It found out that 70.8% of businesses said they engaged with systems integrators, while 55.4% engaged with specialist information security consultants or managed security service providers (MSSPs), highlighting the importance of security to cloud deployments.