Before the 2009 global financial meltdown, I spent countless hours knocking on doors throughout the Gulf trying to pioneer Cloud Solutions here, and very few were convinced or even listening. Thankfully since then, and with today’s economic belt tightening, the phone is happily ringing off the hook. Why? The bottom line is, CEOs and CFOs are increasingly recognising how they can save money while increasing productivity via the cloud. The prediction is that cloud-based services are set to halve IT Enterprise costs throughout the Arabian Gulf, and 2016 will see a fall-off in demand for traditional IT infrastructure. The time for cloud adoption is finally here.
So why is the market waking up? Quite simply – the cloud makes good business sense. The cloud significantly reduces the need to invest in expensive servers and their maintenance. Today all it takes is to buy licences for cloud services based on a pay-as-you-go model as and when they’re needed. This greatly cuts down maintenance headaches and leaves IT teams free to concentrate on innovation. And it’s an absolute boon for SMEs who want to get up and running as quick as possible and may not have the capital to invest in heavy infrastructure. The trend is for enterprises to invest in faster internet bandwidth, and utilize the cloud to run both simple and complex applications and enable faster deployments of business critical applications.
The main upshot though is that for all organisations, particularly large enterprises, capital expenditure can be turned into operation expenditure. That’s a model which is certainly appealing as budgets are being squeezed.
If we consider the myriad of global research out there too, more than one third of all data centre traffic is currently based on the cloud and demand for cloud-based solutions is expected to triple over the coming three years as companies migrate to service delivery via hybrid cloud infrastructure. Gartner, the world’s leading information technology resource and advisory company, predicts that in 2018, total public cloud services spending in the MENA region will rise to $1.5 billion.
The elephant in the room has always been, can the cloud guarantee security, reliability and performance? In short the answer is a resounding YES, and in most cases the cloud, can improve on what was once delivered by on-premise deployments.
The most exciting part is the cloud gives organisations the ability to totally rethink the way their infrastructure is built. But most of all it offers flexibility and the ability to be productive without the fear of being locked down into a legacy hardware heavy IT architecture environment.
My own company Media Solutions, through a joint venture with Cobweb of the UK which is Europe’s largest cloud based solutions provider, is now offering a hybrid, bundled cloud offering which is built around Microsoft Office 365 and the Microsoft Azure platform.
So as the phone continues to ring, we’re converting more clients to embrace cloud based solutions and supporting them to realise improved costs, data security and improved reliability. There has never a better time to get your head into the cloud and start reaping the benefits.