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Results from Red Hat's annual Global Tech Outlook survey are in, and as in years past we explore what the data reveals about the current state of cloud and organizations' cloud strategies, their major funding priorities, and the factors influencing digital transformation success. This helps us not only understand the current business environment, but also how we can better serve our customers and help meet their needs. Here, we highlight key findings from the report and how these results have changed over time.

Hybrid and multicloud strategies are on the rise

Hybrid cloud continues to be the leading cloud strategy among respondents, rising three points to 30% this year. Multicloud is also on the rise, coming in at 13% compared to 11% last year. On the other hand, public (9%) and private (14%) cloud-first strategies are waning. This should come as little surprise as we see the realities of today's business environment leading organizations to want to balance the speed, efficiency and scale of cloud-native technologies with the control and security features that on-premises infrastructure provides.

Figure 1: Which of the following best describes your cloud strategy?

Notably, 18% of respondents are still establishing their cloud strategy and a small percentage (5%) have no cloud strategy at all. Given that these percentages remain unchanged from last year, we will be watching closely for signs of acceleration in the year ahead.

IT funding priorities show year-over-year consistency, with security continuing to lead

From a funding perspective, security, cloud management and cloud infrastructure remain the top IT priorities for 2022. In fact, security was top of mind for respondents across the board when asked about their top priorities for cloud infrastructure, IT operations automation, and big data and analytics, ranking cloud security (43%), security automation (36%) and data security and integrity (45%) as the leading priorities in their respective funding areas. We also see IT automation continuing to rise year over year. For 2022, 38% of respondents said automating IT operations is their second most important funding priority for optimizing legacy IT. Compared to 32% in 2021, it saw the biggest increase from the prior year.

Companies double down on digital transformation efforts in the wake of COVID-19

Last year, we saw customers across industries accelerate transformation plans to address the impact of the ongoing pandemic. This year, survey respondents indicated that this trend continues as more companies use technologies and processes to innovate and transform their businesses (31%, up from 29%) or have accelerated their digital transformation efforts (22%, up from 21%), citing the global pandemic (52%) and revenue increases (50%) as reasons for this acceleration. Fewer respondents feel that their digital transformation initiatives remain stalled (3%), and more are now in the early stages of starting new projects (8%), underscoring this shift.

Figure 2: Currently, where is your company in its journey to digital transformation?

The talent gap is now the leading barrier to digital transformation success

Watching what's happening in digital transformation matters because it pervades everything else. It involves technology, processes and people. Therefore, success relies on an organization's ability to overcome barriers across all three. This year, skill-set or talent gaps (26%) moved into the top spot in terms of barriers preventing companies from being successful with digital transformation, while integration issues and security and compliance declined several points to 23% apiece.

Figure 3: What do you think are the top barriers preventing your company from being successful in its digital transformation? 

Find out more in the report

There's a wealth of additional insights in the report, such as plans to use emerging technology, automation plans, and more. For a deeper analysis, check out our 2022 Global Tech Outlook and learn more about how enterprises are planning to modernize their IT approach in the coming year.

Survey methodology

This year, more than 1,300 IT professionals, most from companies with more than US$100 million in annual revenue, were surveyed from June through August 2021. The respondents represent a broad mix of organizations—including some Red Hat customers—from all the major geographies and across a range of industries.

About the author

Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver reliable and high-performing Linux, hybrid cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies.

Red Hat helps customers integrate new and existing IT applications, develop cloud-native applications, standardize on our industry-leading operating system, and automate, secure, and manage complex environments. Award-winning support, training, and consulting services make Red Hat a trusted adviser to the Fortune 500. As a strategic partner to cloud providers, system integrators, application vendors, customers, and open source communities, Red Hat can help organizations prepare for the digital future.

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