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Bitglass: 'A Lot of Companies Are Putting Their Data at Risk'

The 2019 Cloud Adoption Report from Bitglass unveils important findings for channel partners to consider.

Kelly Teal

November 27, 2019

4 Min Read
Data emerging from a cloud on a blue background.
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The need for enterprise data protection has grown more crucial than ever as organizations adopt cloud technologies at a “staggering rate.”

That’s according to Bill Ng, channel marketing manager for cloud access security broker (CASB) Bitglass, commenting on new findings from the company. Bitglass earlier this month released “A for Adoption,” its 2019 report on organizations’ uptake of cloud computing technologies.

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Bitglass’ Bill Ng

“The number has grown from just 24% in 2014 to 86% in 2019,” Ng told Channel Futures.

The findings, he added, should spur partners to ensure their customers “are not exposed in the cloud.”

Bitglass surveyed more than 138,000 companies worldwide. The company said its research team relied on internally developed technologies to scan the cloud and identify which services a sampling of those businesses use. The analysis included productivity suites such as Office 365 and G Suite, as well as Amazon Web Services, Salesforce, ServiceNow, messaging apps such as Slack, file-sharing apps such as Box, and single sign-on (SSO), a basic cloud and vital security tool.

The results indicate that 86% of enterprises have deployed cloud-based tools, but only 34% have implemented SSO. That’s a problem, said Rich Campagna, chief marketing officer at Bitglass.

“The significant gap between the adoption of cloud-based tools and cloud security technologies indicates that most companies are at serious risk of suffering a data breach,” Campagna said in a press release. “Enterprises must understand that operating in the cloud is fundamentally different from the traditional way of conducting business, and that on-premises methods of protecting data are no longer sufficient.”

Ng agreed.

“A lot of companies are putting their data at risk,” he said. “SSO tools are table stakes when it comes to data protection in the cloud.”

Large enterprises are ahead of the game, Bitglass found, which comes as little surprise given their typically deeper pockets. Sixty-four percent of these organizations have adopted SSO, nearly 50% more than medium-sized companies, and more than twice as often as the SMB market, according to Bitglass.

“This means larger organizations are putting in the proper safeguards to ensure they’re prepared for this cloud-first world,” Ng said. “Ultimately, this leads to enormous CASB opportunities for partners to capitalize on within the mid-enterprise and SMB markets.”

Other data point to additional partner opportunities. For example, Bitglass discovered that the use of cloud applications has grown extensively over the past year, with Salesforce and Slack increasing by 55% and 44%, respectively. Microsoft Office 365, meanwhile, dominated cloud productivity with a 79% adoption rate in 2019, a 23% increase from last year.

“An overwhelming majority of [partners’] customers are already adopting cloud-based tools and that trend will continue to grow,” Ng said.

Importantly, these deployment trends call for organizations to implement effective security tools and strategies. Partners are key to those efforts.

“Rapid cloud adoption means organizations must be ready to protect sensitive data within any application on any device, anywhere,” Ng said. “Talk to your customers and find out what cloud apps their organization are using. Understand from them what sensitive data could be at risk as it relates to the cloud. Educate your customers on the data leakage and threat risks associated with using cloud apps.”

Bitglass has researched cloud adoption rates each of the past five years to uncover deployment trends. Some interesting discoveries in the 2019 report include:

  • Despite an early lead in the cloud productivity market, the adoption of Google’s G Suite has reached only 33%, up from 25% in 2018. Microsoft Office 365 still reigns as the cloud productivity suite of choice with a 79% adoption rate.

  • Deployment of AWS has increased by 43% since 2018, reaching an average of 20% this year.

  • At 82%, financial services organizations are the fourth largest adopters of Office 365. In addition, their adoption of SSO grew nearly 41% since last year, indicating that the financial services sector is recognizing the criticality of cloud security tools.

  • While 79% of health care organizations have adopted Office 365, only 30% have adopted SSO. Bitglass called the disparity “particularly concerning” in light of the vast amount of sensitive personally identifiable information that health care organizations collect and store.

  • Technology remains the leading vertical in terms of AWS adoption (32%) and is the top user of Slack (79%). However, the industry lagged in SSO, reaching only 33% adoption.

  • Education is a major user of cloud-based tools, adopting Salesforce (30%) and Okta (18%) more than any other industry.

  • Larger organizations are the leading adopters of cloud applications and single sign-on.

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Channel Research

About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC. Follow her on LinkedIn at /kellyteal/.

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