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GigaOm Key Criteria for Evaluating Cloud Workload Security (CWS) Solutionsv1.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision-Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. CWS Sector Brief
  3. Decision Criteria Analysis
  4. Analyst’s Outlook
  5. About Chris Ray

1. Executive Summary

Cloud workload security (CWS) is a critical component of modern cybersecurity strategies, focusing on protecting the dynamic and ever-expanding workloads in cloud environments. It’s essential because organizations across various industries rely on cloud services to store, process, and manage their data and applications. These cloud workloads often contain sensitive information, making them attractive targets for cyber threats.

CWS matters to a broad audience, including C-suite executives, IT security teams, cloud architects, and businesses transitioning to cloud-based operations. The C-suite recognizes the importance of CWS because it directly impacts the organization’s reputation, compliance, and financial stability. IT security teams rely on CWS to safeguard critical assets, detect threats, and ensure compliance. Cloud architects seek CWS to design secure cloud environments, while businesses understand that it’s a fundamental part of securing their digital transformation initiatives.

Business Imperative
From a CxO’s perspective, the organization needs CWS for several reasons. First, it’s essential for mitigating risks associated with cloud workloads. Cloud providers offer basic controls, but CWS enhances security by identifying vulnerabilities, ensuring compliance, and responding swiftly to threats. The cost of a data breach or non-compliance can be devastating, making CWS a proactive measure to protect the organization’s reputation and financial well-being.

Second, CWS is crucial because the CWS landscape is evolving rapidly. CWS has seen significant growth and maturation, with advanced features like AI-guided remediation, real-time workload security insights, and automated vulnerability assessments becoming standard. Organizations must stay ahead of emerging threats and embrace these innovations to maintain a robust security posture.

Sector Adoption Score
To help executives and decision-makers assess the potential impact and value of a CWS solution deployment to the business, this GigaOm Key Criteria report provides a structured assessment of the CWS sector across five factors: benefit, maturity, urgency, impact, and effort. By scoring each factor based on how strongly it compels or deters adoption of CWS, we provide an overall Sector Adoption Score (Figure 1) for CWS of 4.2 out of 5, with 5 indicating the strongest possible recommendation to adopt. This indicates that CWS is a credible candidate for deployment and worth thoughtful consideration.

The factors contributing to the Sector Adoption Score for CWS are explained in more detail in the Sector Brief section that follows.

Key Criteria for Evaluating CWS Solutions

Sector Adoption Score







Figure 1. Sector Adoption Score for CWS

This is the first year that GigaOm has reported on the CWS space in the context of our Key Criteria and Radar reports. This GigaOm Key Criteria report highlights the capabilities (table stakes, key features, and emerging features) and non-functional requirements (business criteria) for selecting an effective CWS solution. The companion GigaOm Radar report identifies vendors and products that excel in those capabilities and business criteria. Together, these reports provide an overview of the category and its underlying technology, identify leading CWS offerings, and help decision-makers evaluate these solutions so they can make a more informed investment decision.


The GigaOm Key Criteria report provides a detailed decision framework for IT and executive leadership assessing enterprise technologies. Each report defines relevant functional and non-functional aspects of solutions in a sector. The Key Criteria report informs the GigaOm Radar report, which provides a forward-looking assessment of vendor solutions in the sector.