Companies Worldwide Struggling to Better Optimize, Manage and Protect Multi-cloud Compute Infrastructures, According to New Survey

BPI Network Study Finds Multi-Cloud Security Is Top Challenge for Enterprises Globally

A vast majority of enterprises worldwide have adopted multi-cloud strategies to keep pace with the need for digital transformation and IT efficiency, but they face significant challenges in managing the complexities and added requirements of these new application and data delivery infrastructures, according to a global survey conducted by the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network, in partnership with A10 Networks.

The new study, entitled “Mapping The Multi-Cloud Enterprise,” finds that improved security, including centralized security and performance management, multi-cloud visibility of threats and attacks, and security automation, is the number one IT challenge facing companies in these new compute environments.

Among key survey findings:

  • Approximately two-thirds of companies have now deployed enterprise applications across two or more public clouds
  • 84 percent expect to increase their reliance on public or private clouds over the next 24 months
  • 35 percent have already moved half or more of their enterprise applications into the cloud
  • Only 11 percent believe their companies have been “highly successful” in realizing the benefits of multi-cloud
  • Improving multi-cloud security is seen as their most critical challenge, followed by a lack of multi-cloud talent and expertise, the need for centralized visibility, and the capacity to more effectively manage application and infrastructure complexity.

 “Multi-cloud is the de facto new standard for today’s software- and data-driven enterprise,” said Dave Murray, head of thought leadership and research for the BPI Network. “However, our study makes clear that IT and business leaders are struggling with how to reassert the same levels of management, security, visibility and control that existed in past IT models. Particularly in security, our respondents are currently assessing and mapping the platforms, solutions and policies they will need to realize the benefits and reduce the risks associated of their multi-cloud environments.”

“The BPI Network survey underscores a critical desire and requirement for companies to reevaluate their security platforms and architectures in light of multi-cloud proliferation,” said Gunter Reiss, vice president of worldwide marketing at A10 Networks. “The rise of 5G-enabled edge clouds is expected to be another driver for multi-cloud adoption. A10 believes enterprises must begin to deploy robust Polynimbus security and application delivery models that advance centralized visibility and management and deliver greater security automation across clouds, networks, applications and data.”

The study finds that some 38 percent of companies have or will reassess their current relationships with security and load balancer suppliers in light of multi-cloud, with most others still undecided about whether a change in vendors is needed.

Benefits and Drivers of Multi-Cloud

IT and business executives respondents point to a number of benefits and business and technology forces that are driving their move into multi-cloud environments.

The top-four drivers for multi-cloud:

  • The desire to improve efficiency and cut costs (47 percent)
  • The need to move applications and data closer to users (43 percent)
  • Safeguards against single-vendor cloud failures (32 percent)
  • The desire to access new solutions and technologies (28 percent)

The top-four benefits for multi-cloud:

  • Redundancy and disaster recovery (61 percent)
  • Cost optimization (50 percent)
  • Performance optimization (47 percent) are also seen as top benefits
  • Using the best cloud environment for specific workloads (34 percent)

Security Tops IT To-Do List

Respondents report facing a long list of challenges in managing multi-cloud compute environments, with security at the top of their agenda.

The top-four challenges for multi-cloud:

  • Ensuring security across all clouds, networks, applications and data (63 percent)
  • Acquiring the necessary skills and expertise (37 percent)
  • Dealing with increased management complexity (33 percent)
  • Achieving centralized visibility and management across clouds (33 percent)

The top-four requirements for improving multi-cloud security and performance:

  • Centralized visibility and analytics into security and performance (56 percent)
  • Automated tools to speed response times and reduce costs (54 percent)
  • Centralized management from a single point of control (50 percent)
  • Greater security scale and performance to handle increased traffic (38 percent)

The top-four security-specific solution needs:

  • Centralized authentication (62 percent)
  • Centralized security policies (46 percent)
  • Web application firewalls (40 percent)
  • DDoS protection (33 percent)

Survey Methodology

In partnership with A10 Networks, the BPI Network conducted a global survey of IT professionals and business executives to understand the state of multi-cloud deployments worldwide, including their priorities, intentions and concerns. The study includes responses from 127 participants across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, Africa and the Middle East.


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