How enterprises are prioritizing digital resiliency
Today’s enterprises have faced a higher pace of change over the last few years, as existing digital transformation strategies were catalyzed by the disruption of a global pandemic that restricted in-person working. The pressures on enterprises to fast-track IT strategies whilst reckoning with increased cyber risk and the competitive need to match other enterprises’ digital transformation has created many challenges for enterprises in maintaining an IT infrastructure that is both resilient and secure.
Overall, this has been a successful endeavor, and many enterprises transformation strategies are well underway.
Massive global macro-economic shifts have fundamentally changed the way companies operate, from the rise of remotely working employees to the adjustments of customer engagement strategies. Remote work was fairly common before the pandemic and already had an impact on IT strategy and the shift to cloud, including hybrid cloud. This trend has only accelerated due to the ease of remote deployment and accessibility for software, SaaS, and cloud options.
With all these changes, the specter of security breaches is high. This explains the rise and popularity of Zero Trust as a framework for securing networks in these new realities, and as an effective tool to drive cybersecurity initiatives within the entire enterprise.
All this means that, in a post-pandemic era, digital resilience is a top priority for enterprises across all sectors, especially as cyber threats continue to accelerate. As a result, enterprise organizations have a broad spectrum of concerns as they look to shore up their defenses.
Reflecting on and analyzing the events of the last two years, 2022 is an ideal time to explore enterprise perceptions about the future. To gain these insights, A10 Networks surveyed 2,425 senior application and network professionals from across ten regions around the globe. Not surprisingly, we found high levels of concern around all aspects of digital transformation solutions and resilience, with a strong focus on business continuity. The key features of the Enterprise IT landscape that we uncovered included:
Private Clouds are the Preferred Enterprise IT Environment
Even though the industry witnessed a rapid pivot to cloud in the last couple of years, plenty of on-premises environments remain. Twenty-three percent of respondents have retained an on-premises environment, and this is unlikely to change in the future. Private clouds were the preferred environment for 30 percent of respondents, while just under one quarter said their environment was in a public cloud with a similar percent in SaaS environments.
New Working Patterns and Digitalization Prompt Strategy Reassessment
Resilience is certainly a board-level discussion in 2022, as senior leaders look to ensure that the business can cope with any future disruption. Our enterprise respondents said that digital transformation solutions, business continuity (both technically and organizationally), and stronger security requirements have all become paramount. This puts tremendous pressure on IT professionals to rethink their architectures and IT strategies to meet the challenge.
Asked to rate their concern about 11 different aspects of business resilience, nine out of 10 respondents expressed some level of concern about every issue. The top concerns were around the challenge of optimizing security tools to ensure competitive advantage, utilizing IT resources in the cloud, and enabling remote access and hybrid working while ensuring that staff feel supported in whatever work style they wish to adopt.
Top Cyber Threat Concerns for Enterprise IT
Without a doubt, the escalating threat landscape is causing a broad array of concerns from respondents. Chief among them is the loss of sensitive assets and data, followed by the disruptive impact of downtime or network lockdown. In response, there was an evident shift to a Zero Trust security approach. One-third (30 percent) of enterprise organizations surveyed said that they had already adopted a Zero Trust model.
Looking to the future, the adoption of cybersecurity initiatives is likely to remain high and continue to grow. The increasingly porous networks developed under COVID-19 will require a more pervasive adoption of the Zero Trust model within enterprises as all employees become more aware of the benefits of such a strategy and approach.
Although the urgent demands of the pandemic have lessened, it is clear that there is unlikely to be any relief from the pressures for enterprises and their IT practitioners, whether in infrastructure or security domains. Enterprises will be dealing with the impact of these pandemic-related changes for years to come, alongside the continued integration of newer technologies, strategies, and evolving standards.
Therefore, organizations must meet their multifaceted digital resiliency needs by continuing to invest in modern technologies that will support ongoing digital transformation initiatives while striking the balance between strong Zero Trust defense and operational agility.
Adrian Taylor is Regional VP at A10 Networks.