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People in the IT industry have witnessed explosive cloud growth over the last several years, such that it may be difficult at times to keep in mind just how much further the journey to the cloud can go. Less than 10 percent of enterprises are fully deployed to the cloud, according to Ping Identity’s The State of Digital Transformation Report 2016, just one of several indications it gives of the market’s relative immaturity.
Surveying 200 IT decision-makers in France, Germany, the U.S. and U.K., Ping Identity finds that 86 percent consider cloud adoption important, 83 percent say shifting infrastructure should be taken on as a priority at the board level, and 81 percent believe it should be a top priority for most companies.
Security and identity access management are the two areas considered most critical to digital transformation, and as usual, security is considered the greatest barrier to cloud migration.
As they attempt to deal with security, a majority (59 percent) of those surveyed say the challenge is a little more complex than 2 years ago, while 19 percent say it is a lot more complex. Eighty-two percent have dedicated more staff to security, and budgets reflect this increase. Over one-third say their security budget is twice what it was two years ago, almost a quarter say it has increased five-fold, and 9 percent say it is ten times larger.
“Above cloud, mobile and IoT, enterprises view security and Identity and Access Management as the make-or-break factors for winning in the digital economy,” Andre Durand, CEO of Ping Identity said in a statement. “This research illuminates how a company’s ability to succeed at everything from delivering personal, convenient and trusted mobile customer experiences to moving infrastructure to the more cost-efficient cloud hinges on having the right security measures in place, including secure access for employees, partners and customers.”
Asked what didigital transformation means to them, 63 percent of respondents said engaging customers via smart, connected devices, while 62 percent identified the use of cloud services, rather than on-premise servers or VPN, and 62 percent said migrating applications to IaaS. Seamless customer experience across devices or channels and employee mobile app usage were selected by half of respondents.
Despite these priorities, employee mobile app usage is both deployed and in the progress of deployment most widely.
Partner ecosystem was chosen as the least important element in digital transformation by half of those surveyed, which Ping Identity suggests will change as enterprises come to understand the role of partner networks in breaches like those of Target and Home Depot.
Identity and access management is seen as a key enabler of digital transformation, according to the report, perhaps even the main enabler. Recognizing the importance of IAM is easier than properly controlling it, however, as a report this summer indicated most companies have no approval process for creating new privileged accounts, shortly before tech companies warned of widespread lax privilege management in the wake of an incident at accounting software company Sage.
While the report indicates a clear path to growth for infrastructure and IAM providers, it is probably good news for the industry as a whole, given how much work remains for enterprises in the digital transformation process.