Is Middle East Moving to the Cloud?
When we think of cloud, we often think of advanced countries like the U.S, Canada, Australia, Germany, and Scandinavian countries. Or we think of emerging economies like India and China. We rarely associated cloud technology with the Middle East and that’s probably what needs to change.
A report by Gartner shows that companies in the Middle East are all set to spend more than two billion dollars over the next three years as they want to move their data and applications to the cloud. This represents a 22 percent growth as the revenue figures stood at $956 million in 2016.
So, what’s driving the cloud here?
The report further states that platform as a service (PaaS) is recording the highest growth rate at 28.8 percent closely followed by software as a service (SaaS) at 28.5 percent. Growth in both these areas indicate that companies are looking to migrate their applications and workloads from an on-premises data center to the cloud.
As with the rest of the world, companies operating in the Middle East also understand the benefits that come from cloud, and they want to make the most of it. Contrary to popular opinion, Middle East is no longer about oil. Falling oil prices and the growing demand for alternate sources of energy has forced oil-producing countries like Saudi Arabia to look at development of other industries.
Already Dubai and Abu Dhabi are leading the way as one of the best cities in the world for travel and living. There are many companies that have a presence in these two cities, thanks to their advanced infrastructure and friendly corporate policies. Other cities too such as Cairo are looking to follow suit, and it won’t be long before these countries become attractive destinations for companies of all sizes and sectors.
With such a trend, it’s no surprise that cloud will boom here too, as many companies will depend on the cloud one way or the other. In fact, keeping this trend in mind, companies like Alibaba have already started setting up cloud data centers in this part of the world.
This is a smart move considering that data center traffic will reach 366 exabytes per year, up from 68 exabytes in 2013. Such an explosive growth needs a ton of facilities and this is exactly what major cloud companies are vying to setup.
In addition to data center traffic, consumer adoption of cloud storage is also expected to grow astronomically. It is expected to represent 61 percent of total cloud transactions in 2018, up from 26 percent in 2013, according to a report by Cisco. To top it, Cisco predicts that this region will rank second in the world, just behind the Asia Pacific region when it comes to growth.
All these numbers and trends point yet again to the growing might of cloud and its overarching reach to almost every part of the world. Let’s hope that soon African and Asian countries also join the bandwagon, so every individual in every part of the world can leverage the benefits of cloud technology.