MEA November 2017

MEAMARKETS / November 2017 21 Public Cloud – Part of the Strategy for Middle East Organizations but Not The Strategy g Public cloud has revolutionized the standard for easy IT. It’s simpler to manage, and removes the time and energy burden of technology upgrades from the customer. It’s a utility model, which is attractive to organizations for which CapEx is limited, and provides the flexibility needed to scale up and down quickly depending on fluctuating demand. An insurance company, for example, needs more infrastructure up and running when more of its customers are on the road – to scale up and down over the course of days or hours requires an agile solution. The other side of the same coin is scale over time. As an organization’s data requirements grow, so does the public cloud bill – exponentially. Today, there is an entire industry being created around public cloud cost management. Many CIOs report directly to the CFO, and when we speak to them, cost certainty is a recurring theme. A volatile and unpredictable operating expense can be untenable when building a digital organization. For all its agility and ease, the public cloud often comes with a performance and reliability downgrade when compared to the best on-premise solutions. This is corroborated by findings from the survey as availability (52 percent) and performance (47 percent) were cited as two of the key drivers for continued use of traditional on-premise solutions. Availability and reliability are core tenets of any cloud strategy. Today, CIOs need to be much more deliberate and thoughtful about the impact of outages on end-users and customers. In the public cloud, disruptive outages do happen. In fact, it happened to Amazon Web Services (AWS) this past February. For mission- critical business operations, like high-performance analytics or anything at scale, a hybrid environment is better suited. Last, and top of mind for a great many CIOs I’ve spoken with, is compliance, something that is particularly important in the Middle East; 77 percent of IT decision makers surveyed said their organization has reduced usage of public cloud over the past year due to security concerns and 38 percent cite security as the key roadblock to adoption of public cloud. In highly-regulated industries such as healthcare and government, data sovereignty and direct control over response to outages are a non-negotiable requirement for many workloads. CIOs need to consider compliance strategy in a world where data sovereignty and regulations are fast changing. In light of global events like Brexit and geopolitical tensions in the region, CIOs need to ensure that their cloud strategies align with ever-fluid national and international regulations and requirements. Ultimately, smart, successful companies use resources toward solving customer problems. Organizations need IT to work for them, so that their best and brightest technical minds are working to advance the next wave of innovation rather than managing infrastructure.