Originally published on VMware CIO Exchange

As applications continue to propel growth, top performing CIOs are making critical decisions to buffer the impact of rising complexity across application delivery for IT teams held accountable to push secure code faster. As a result, our research shows 87% of technology leaders have already taken the leap to multi-cloud1—and for good reason. Diversifying across multiple clouds is the only configuration that adequately addresses a need to scale while safeguarding revenue and brand reputation as code releases accelerate to meet demand.

Flexibility: The Innovation Accelerator

Most organizations (87%) are reaping companywide benefits tied to multi-cloud adoption and see no sign of slowing down. Some technologists argue that the accelerated rate of multi-cloud adoption is an inevitable byproduct of sustainable innovation—where constant iteration drives the evolution of tech. Others view COVID-19 as a disruptive innovator, sending the evolutionary timeline into overdrive, testing the core of nearly every organization and enabling the resilient ones to thrive. As such, most technology leaders we surveyed say that despite being two years post-onset of a global health crisis, the unpredictability of 2022 rivals that of 2020—particularly when scaling applications to meet fluctuating demand. Now, as IT leaders continue the shift from legacy app development in favor of cloud-native, survey respondents predict a 13% growth in multiple cloud configurations within the next three years.  

Lines of Business are Co-Funding Cloud

Technology is essential in providing external customers with high-performing, secure app experiences and equally essential internally for driving business-critical initiatives across operations, administration, finance, sales, and other lines of business. As such, C-suite leaders have agendas for leveraging cloud to support their infrastructure, flexibility, disaster recovery, and business continuity initiatives in addition to the broad range of apps their teams use. Demonstrating how crucial cloud strategy has become, our survey shows 46% of respondents agree—and as a result—line of business leaders are allocating budget toward cloud initiatives that support their KPIs that ultimately enables stronger bonds between CIOs and their counterparts across the organization.  

Security: The Highest Priority

The move to multi-cloud enables all lines of business to hit key growth-driving goals and empowers teams to choose a unique mix of public cloud services, as a runway to do so. That coupled with attack surfaces expanding alongside rising complexity across application pipelines, and it’s not surprising security is a critical priority. With 88% of IT leaders focused on expanding disaster recovery and mitigation policies, more than half shared concerns that without visibility, distributed application environments will expose weaknesses that could attract a breach. In the current security landscape, with zero-day and other threats on the rise and bad actors leveraging AI/ML to expedite harm, it’s a valid concern and nearly half (40%) of IT leaders rank real-time visibility across application delivery as their highest cloud security priority.   

Q: “Which of the following is the highest cloud security priority on your IT agenda in 2022 (if any)?”

  1. 40% Gain real-time visibility into app security and compliance posture based on best practice and/or industry standards.
  2. 35% Ability to receive real-time alerts for security events, changes, and risks across the total application portfolio.
  3. 13% Auto-remediation of potential risks, based on access or other misconfigurations across platforms.

IT leaders understand that winning market share in the cloud era requires a different lens from which technology can be viewed as a foundational growth driver not just for IT—for the entire organization. Discover more takeaways from our survey to achieve better control in a multi-cloud estate. 

Read the full report “Achieving Better Control in a Multi-Cloud Estate” here.