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Gartner found that $32.4bn was spent on the public cloud in 2018. It’s a staggering amount of money, but this is just one part of an overall picture. According to IDC’s 2018 Cloud and AI Adoption Survey, 80% of 400 IT decision makers would migrate applications or data that were primarily part of a public cloud environment to a private cloud or on-premises environment.

This mixture of environments – otherwise known as the hybrid cloud -  is nothing new, and is in fact now seen as the norm by most CIOs. The IDC survey just illustrates that even more enterprises have entered the hybrid cloud space, joining those who did not ever commit fully to shifting to the public cloud.

The same survey identified security as the main concern driving repatriation. This isn’t because public cloud infrastructure is insecure, but rather that users are reliant on third-parties to keep their data safe, and that by moving this back into their control, they have greater visibility of their data. This is particularly important at a time when data breaches are increasing – it seems like we’re hearing about a huge breach every week. The associated cost of data breaches is rising every year too, with the average data breach costing companies  $3.92m, which is a 12% increase over the past five years.

Hybrid cloud and multi-cloud security

Within this hybrid approach, 81% of public cloud users reported using two or more providers, according to a Gartner survey, and it’s clear that organisations are driving towards a multi-cloud. While there’s an overlap between multi-cloud and hybrid cloud, and many enterprises will be using both approaches, it is likely that the use of multi-cloud is not for security reasons, and is rather more about performance and enabling a best-of-breed approach, so that different departments can benefit from the cloud in their own specific ways.Taking a hybrid cloud approach may be the first step in helping businesses to strengthen their security, but organisations need to ensure they also have highly reliable infrastructure in place to plug any potential gaps between an organisation’s various cloud providers and on-premises data centre operations.

It is for this reason that IBM announced significant enhancements to IBM Cloud Private (ICP), so that we can deliver integrated platform management and orchestration capabilities with a highly secured private cloud by running the entire private cloud infrastructure on IBM Z. ICP on Z now comes with the ability to allow customers to run and manage their Kubernetes-based private cloud workloads from IBM Z/LinuxONE, and a Secure Service Container, which provides customers with the ability to help protect their containerised workloads from internal and externa threats.

When it comes to filling the potential gaps between various cloud providers and on-premises operations,, 100% encryption is critical. IBM z15 enables enterprises to encrypt 100% of application, cloud services and database data, whether the data is at rest or in flight. In addition it comes with software the identifies security vulnerabilities and threats and assesses an organisation’s risk level, acting as multiple lines of defence.

Overall, IBM z15 helps prevent breaches 8.4x more effectively, 93% cheaper and 81% faster than competing platforms.

Whatever approach an enterprise takes when it comes to hybrid cloud and multi-cloud has to consider the security aspect. To mitigate a data disaster, it’s up to organisations to take on-board best practice solutions.

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