Indian Firms View Hybrid Cloud as Key for Generative AI: IBM Study

60% of Indian cloud leaders cite security or compliance as reasons for moving certain workloads.

A new global survey from IBM revealed that 64% of hybrid cloud users in India have a formal, organization-wide policy and approach for using Generative AI (GenAI). However, barriers that once slowed down hybrid cloud adoption are now impeding the implementation of GenAI. Cloud leaders are concerned about the challenges associated with the privacy and confidentiality of data and information when adopting GenAI. In addition to the ability to unlock the power of generative AI being cited as one of the key benefits of a hybrid cloud approach, leaders agreed that a cloud environment is essential for managing sustainability initiatives at an enterprise level. Still, the workforce needs to improve in cloud skills to impact implementation.

The IBM Cloud Transformation Report 2023, commissioned by the IBM Institute for Business Value and conducted by independent research firm The Harris Poll, was created to help organizations map their cloud transformation and empower them to self-classify their progress.  Built on a foundation that leverages insights from experienced cloud professionals, enterprises can use the Index to gain measurable metrics that can help quantify their progress and uncover areas of opportunity and growth.  Over 3,000 IT and business decision-makers in 12 countries and 23 industries were surveyed.

“As GenAI gains momentum in India, organizations need to harness the power of a robust hybrid cloud approach to tackle challenges coming to the forefront. Investing in the right cloud technologies and tools will help businesses tackle increasing security and compliance concerns and deliver on their sustainability goals,” says Viswanath Ramaswamy, Vice President – Technology, IBM India & South Asia. “As evidenced by the report, hybrid cloud models aided by the right talent capabilities will play a huge role in shaping the success of business transformation initiatives. It is heartening to see that about 85% of respondents have said they are creating new job positions to fulfill the need for cloud skills in this Generative AI era.”

The IBM Cloud Transformation Report 2023 – India Findings

Need for Cloud Skills Takes Center Stage

In India, on average, 68% of the business leaders surveyed agreed that lack of cloud skills remains a considerable challenge in their digital transformation journeys, which is higher than the global average of 58% – ranking second only to Japan (75%). However, the firm intent of Indian businesses to overcome this obstacle to innovation is becoming evident – about 85% of the surveyed organizations said they have created new positions to fulfill the need for cloud skills. Indian organizations are leading the efforts to close the skills gap, followed by those surveyed in the United States of America (80%), United Kingdom (77%), Germany (72%), Spain (72%) and Australia (70%).

Security and Compliance Concerns Slowing Down GenAI Adoption

As businesses ramp up digital transformation efforts in a rapidly evolving cyber threat landscape and strive to remain compliant with cybersecurity laws, they are also concerned about the exposure of sensitive data. In India, about 36% of cloud leaders expressed concern about cybersecurity or the privacy and confidentiality of data and information when adopting GenAI. 60% of cloud leaders cite security and compliance as reasons for moving specific workloads from public clouds to private clouds or on-premises data centers, which represents an increase of 18% from the previous year.

Leveraging the Cloud for Sustainability Initiatives

As the adoption of GenAI grows, the data processing power required for AI workloads can present new challenges to organizations looking to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Using the right tools for tracking, managing, and reporting on sustainable goals – including for partners and third parties – has never been more critical. In fact, 43% of decision-makers surveyed in India agreed they use the cloud to help deploy, track, and manage sustainability goals internally. In comparison, 44% say they use the cloud to help deploy, track, and operate sustainability goals for third parties.

Organizations surveyed recognize the role of strong technology partnerships in helping them achieve their sustainability goals. About 92% of the organizations surveyed in India agree that open innovation with business partners is the biggest driver for sustainability initiatives – with India ranking the highest of all countries surveyed alongside Brazil.

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