The cloud is becoming an increasing part of our lives, integrated throughout many aspects. Our phones sync photos of family and friends with the cloud, as well as an ever growing list of contacts.
Gaming consoles ensure that we don’t lose achievements from the hours spent. Even in offices, our software offers the option to back up to the cloud.
This technology is capable of so much more than simply providing backup – it is driving digital transformation, economic growth and job creation. The cloud has become an essential tool for organisations of all shapes and sizes, from government to corporate, from conglomerate to startups.
Not only that, the cloud is accessible for all and considerably more cost effective than on-site data centres, with the ability to scale up and scale down according to need – and thus suitable for every size of business and budget.
At tipping point
Spending on traditional, non-cloud, IT infrastructure is on the decline but still accounts for the majority - 57.2 per cent - of total spending on IT infrastructure. There are a number of benefits to utilizing the cloud, including the ability to scale up and scale down, which provides a cost-effective solution.
However, the benefits are so much beyond initial investment as a solid RoI (return on investment) is provided in a variety of areas.
With increasing complexity of local data residency and governance - as the region increasingly becomes a mature market - businesses of all shapes and sizes can meet compliance needs in a cost-effective manner. What’s more, the cloud can achieve the broadest compliance, security, privacy and certification standards with the most effective prevention and mitigation measures in the industry.
The cloud has applications for every level as it drives digital transformation for governments, organizations and startups, enabling them to better engage their customers, empower employees, optimize operations and transform their products and services.
In full view
During the course of this year, we have seen how remote work has been enabled by the cloud, with communication apps and remote capability of devices providing an office from home. We’ve also seen how frontline workers have kept hospitals up and running and staffed grocery stores’ engage in curb-side pick-ups
The cloud has better connected these workers with corporate offices, digitize manual processes, equipping them with the right devices, and all on a foundation of security.
This technology provides an empowering capability, accelerating innovation by enabling companies to adopt AI, machine learning and other innovative technologies. This provides an in-reach option for start-ups and SMEs, providing increased competitiveness.
The cloud also enables organizations to immediately connect with IT resources. With the data centre migrated out, there is no need to wait for hardware deployment or procurement as this is part of the cloud service.
In the UAE there are now two Microsoft Cloud data centers, which integrate into a broader network across more than 60 regions. This is greatly aiding the entrepreneurial spirit that has long driven forward the UAE business environment, driving digital transformation, economic growth and job creation.
More customers in the Middle East can move with confidence to the cloud. We have particularly seen this come to light during the pandemic, where many businesses have experienced a response and recovery journey, with a first taste of cloud technology through business continuity.
Businesses will find they become even more competitive as they continue a digital transformation journey to reimagine their ways of working and empowered by the cloud.
- Necip Ozyucel is Cloud and Enterprise Group Lead at Microsoft UAE.