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Public cloud gaining traction in the UAE

The shift to bring in more agility as well as to remain competitive are key reasons

Gulf News

Cloud computing has been a transformational force in the IT industry. Several of the most recent innovations driving growth and innovative business models are a product of the technology.

Machine learning, big data analytics, the internet of things, the delivery of hardware and software services over the internet and several of the latest — and projected — breakthroughs in mobile computing, social media and big data are either fundamentally dependent upon or greatly enhanced, by cloud computing and cloud-based platforms.

For all these reasons and more, public cloud hosting in Dubai and the larger UAE is a growing trend that is set to continue.

According to a Gartner’s study, public cloud services market in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is projected to grow 22.2 per cent in 2017 to total $1.2 billion, up from $956 million in 2016. It also suggests that the highest growth for the cloud services market in MENA comes from platform-as-a-service (PaaS) at 28.8 per cent growth and software-as-a-service (SaaS) at 28.5 per cent growth.

Spurring this overall growth is the constant shift to the cloud to bring in more agility to the IT infrastructure as well as to remain competitive and focused on business growth.

Added to this are the data sovereignty laws in the UAE which stipulates where the data can be stored and is required to remain within the country. This holds good for the government, health and finance sector.

Needless to say, many Middle Eastern countries and especially the GCC have been making strong investments to bring in digital transformation for economic and social prosperity. The digitisation efforts are clearly visible in the way governments are providing their citizens and residents with services, as well as in transportation, banking, etc. The key factor to all of this is connectivity through the Cloud, which is turn has propelled the growth of the cloud business.

A public cloud, due to its nature as an off-site internet based service provided to multiple clients, provides some very specific advantages to companies. Several business models require companies to operate with demands constantly fluctuating. Public cloud hosting in the UAE has addressed these variations in resource and expertise efficiently and through highly specialised solutions.

Short-term projects requiring a sudden upsurge in resources and expertise, peak periods that place similar demands or a sudden surge in business that had not been anticipated can be addressed easily using public cloud services at a short notice and without the need to invest in employees and resources that will not be required consistently. It is also an excellent strategy for projects involving collaborations and for ad hoc projects such as a design and development project using a PaaS.

Besides, the push from the government, mandatory laws, and more organisations opting to adopt Cloud strategies, some of the other reasons behind the continued and enthusiastic growth being experienced by the public cloud can be attributed to:

• Cost Savings: Public cloud hosting reduces the costs associated with getting a dedicated server and network resources. It also makes upgrades — either software or hardware — much easier to roll out and also executable with a much lower expense incurred. Organisations can customise their usage and resource allocation on an ongoing basis as it suits their needs and requirements — creating further savings by optimising economies of scale. Essentially, companies are able to pay for the specific resources and services they require, while also saving on the expenses they would have had to outlay for infrastructure, human resources and ongoing upgrades.

• Optimal solution for specialised requirements: Big data analytics, IoT and machine lLearning are three very specific technological applications that the public cloud can enable in a far more economical and intuitive way than in-house IT infrastructure. Constantly evolving and fluid resource allocation, as well as specialised skills and knowledge related to the aforementioned technologies can be delivered far more easily through the means of the cloud, rather than by traditional deployments and infrastructure.

• Access on the go: Mobility is the new buzzword in the IT industry. Not only is mobile access a standard feature due to the nature of the technology itself, it is also allowing enterprises to conduct their activities in a far more resource efficient and synergistic manner. Public cloud hosting is very well aligned with the requirements of mobile technologies and applications and on the go access, thus associating yet another advantage with the adoption of the technology.

Windows and Linux cloud hosting offers organisations an excellent solution at a reduced cost to the enterprise. Such advantages would benefit any business model and the enthusiastic uptake, as well as the continuing growth in the adoption of the technology should therefore come as no surprise.

All forecasts and trends indicate that the technology will continue to be adopted for the wide cross-section of needs it addresses and the advantages it renders to those that adopt it.

The writer is the CEO of eHosting DataFort.