The urgent need to modernise has placed a spotlight on every organisation’s digital transformation effort and progress. It’s clear there has been a major shift from a single cloud approach as organisations demand the flexibility to manage data across multiple clouds, on premise or at the edge. According to recent findings from the IBM Transformation Index: State of Cloud, 85 per cent of the Indian business and IT decision-makers surveyed said their organisation has adopted a hybrid cloud approach to drive digital transformation

As organisations move further into their hybrid cloud journey, they are faced with the complexities that come with making all their environments work together.

Our research shows less than a third of respondents manage their cloud environments holistically. But piecing together different public and private clouds with on-prem environments at speed and treating them disparately can increase vulnerabilities, especially in security.

This fragmented way of working is opening businesses up to risk — something they cannot afford with the average total cost of a data breach in India reaching ₹176 million this year, up 25 per cent from 2020. Today the question on the minds of business leaders is how can hybrid cloud environments be securely and holistically managed without decelerating innovation? While they may have all the right tools — such as confidential computing, multi-factor authentication, single sign-on, VPNs and zero trust procedures — yet organisations are still struggling to leverage the full potential of hybrid cloud. Simply put, companies do not have enough talent with the appropriate skills to design and run a hybrid cloud environment, especially when that pool of talent is potentially spread very thin, managing different clouds.

When asked about the barriers to hybrid cloud integration, about 66 per cent of respondents said their lack of cloud application management skills is a significant challenge — acting as a barrier to better, more secure cloud implementations. As organisations look to overcome security challenges, the majority of companies are looking to hire and nurture talent that can fill the skills gap.

Filling the skills gap to scale cloud adoption requires moving away from the conventional cloud-ways-of-working training programs and conduct contextualised training more efficiently and at scale. People need to be trained on applying new skills directly in the context of their role in a hybrid cloud operating model — and making learning more experiential is a great way to do so.

Now is the time for leaders to move beyond hybrid cloud adoption in patches and move towards mastering it.

The writer is MD, IBM India/South Asia