Technology

New Study Reveals Cloud Giants are Holding Businesses Captive


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Independent study finds that 96% of respondents would find value in a connectivity cloud approach

Cloudflare, Inc. (NYSE: NET), the leading connectivity cloud company, released a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting that underscores companies’ growing need to connect everything in their business, while maintaining control over their security, productivity, and competitive growth. To help the industry address this emerging challenge, today Cloudflare is introducing the concept of the connectivity cloud – a unified platform of cloud-native services designed to help enterprises regain control over their increasingly complex and sprawling technology and data.

“Today, the big clouds have built business models on capturing your data, making it hard to move your data. These captivity clouds will lure you in with one product, and make it near impossible to mix and match competitive offerings across the cloud space,” said Matthew Prince, CEO, Cloudflare. “Cloudflare offers an alternative: the connectivity cloud. Fundamentally, we are a network that makes it easy for you to connect and protect everything. We sit atop everything else and connect anything that’s online — whether it’s a cloud, a device, a database, or on-premises hardware — so businesses can escape the grasp of the cloud captors.”

Organizations Are Losing Control Over Their IT and Security Environments

In the last several years, organizations across the globe have seen a dramatic increase in the adoption of more applications, often SaaS-based, to help teams efficiently and collaboratively operate in a hybrid work environment. However, this has introduced new risks and challenges and led nearly 40% of organizations to agree or strongly agree that they are losing control over their IT and security environments. Specifically, organizations ranked the top four factors that are contributing to the overall loss of control as an increase in the overall number of applications (66%), an increase in locations for applications (62%), the shift from on premise to cloud (54%), and the shift to remote/hybrid workforces (49%).

New and More Complex Responsibilities Are Burdening Today’s IT and Security Teams

IT and Security teams are now tasked with responsibilities to remain productive and compliant while managing an increasingly complex landscape — and a third of organizations say these new responsibilities weren’t in their purview five years ago. For instance, 52% of IT and security teams were not responsible for ensuring security for all in-office, remote or hybrid workers five years ago, but are today. What’s more, greater than 40% are also now responsible for managing and securing applications in public cloud environments or managing and securing data in SaaS environments, despite not owning these areas five years ago. These tasks are also becoming harder since 2020, with 30% of teams noting that managing and securing both public cloud environments, and data in SaaS environments, is significantly more complex today than ever before.

Ignoring the Challenges of Today’s Changing Landscape Will Have Real Business Impact

IT and security leaders see their major challenges revolving around managing a growing business landscape while ensuring their team remains productive and secure. Nearly 50% of organizations see the growing number and types of users — spanning human, machine, and third party — as one of their top five challenges they face today. The top five challenges also include the difficulty of maintaining or improving their team’s productivity (44%) and addressing growing attack surface areas (44%). If not adequately addressed, these challenges are expected to have a direct impact on the customer experience, productivity, and their organization’s competitive advantage.

A Connectivity Cloud Can Help with Digital Transformation, While Decreasing Risk and Increasing Productivity

98% of organizations agree that today’s businesses would gain value from a connectivity cloud that provides secure, performant, “any-to-any” connectivity (i.e., connectivity between more people, apps, data, devices, networks, and clouds) more now than ever before. Nearly half of respondents believe this type of solution would accelerate digital transformation, while reducing attack surface area. 58% of leaders also believe this solution would increase productivity, 54% see it improving time to market, and 54% of businesses believe it would grow overall revenue.

Methodology

In September 2023, Cloudflare commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate the IT and security ecosystem. Forrester conducted an online survey with 449 IT decision makers across North America, Europe, APAC, and Latin America.

Customer Testimonials

“With 12,000+ stores and more than 11 million transactions every day, Carrefour needs a platform that we trust to connect, manage, secure, and accelerate online experiences,” said Guillaume Cécile, Operational Security Manager at Carrefour. “That’s why we rely on Cloudflare and its global network to help deliver security, performance, visibility, and reliability—everywhere we, and our customers, do business.”

“Every day, Indeed connects millions of people to new opportunities. Operating at this scale means control and simplicity are key, especially in how we run our IT and security teams,” said Anthony Moisant, CIO and Chief Security Officer at Indeed. “With Cloudflare, we’re able to connect, secure, and optimize the digital experience of our 350 million monthly unique visitors in a connected, cloud-native manner.”

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