Despite Security Fears, Digital Transformation and the Cloud Journey Continue

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Many enterprises today are deeply entrenched in their digital transformation efforts, so that their business can best leverage digital technologies to compete and grow. According to a recent survey conducted by IDC for Unisys, 72% of enterprises believe that it is critical or very important for an organization to modify IT processes and resources to support a digital business model.

And respondents in the survey see cloud computing as a critical component of their digital transformation efforts, as they report 55 percent of applications are already deployed in cloud. The survey, conducted by IDG Research, consisted of questioning 175 IT and business executives in the United States and Europe regarding their efforts to capitalize on the convergence of social, cloud, mobility, data analytics, internet of things (IoT).

Also nearly one-quarter of respondents say they are making progress toward creating an IT organization that is scalable for digital business. Survey participants are reaping a lot of benefits from their efforts, including 56% who say data security has improved, and 44% say the same regarding user experience with apps and services. Another 42% and 41% respectively cite improved IT efficiency and infrastructure performance/availability.

The survey shows that respondents who consider their organizations extremely flexible and nimble, and more aggressive in adopting the cloud, more frequently report benefits from use of cloud apps. Fifty-nine percent of such respondents said they have improved data security (vs. 56 percent of those who do not), while 56 percent of the same group say they are seeing improved speed of business decision-making. However, only 18% of organizations that self-identified as less nimble say they’ve improved the speed of decision-making.

The survey also found that respondents in nimble organizations are more likely to say they have improved customer experience through integration of infrastructure and applications with IoT.

But all isn’t rosy, as serious concerns persist. According to the report, 88 percent cite data security in the cloud as a top priority for competitiveness, while only 32 percent cite significant progress. That leaves quite a few organizations, well more than half, that have a security chasm that they have to close if they are to get to where they believe they need to be. There are other substantial challenges, too. These include creating an IT environment that can scale and have transparency.

This survey shows that there is a good commitment among executives to build the IT necessary to deliver digital transformation, but there are also concerns many of the executives to keep the momentum. Consider that less than 1 in 5 of respondents say that their enterprise currently has "extremely flexible/nimble" business attributes.

These results contradict a similar survey I recently covered, from QuickBase. According to the QuickBase Digital Transformation Survey, 70 percent of c-suite respondents said that they are ahead, to way ahead, of other enterprises when it came to their digital transformation initiatives. Compare that to only 30 percent of those in the line of business and other employees who believe the same.