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IBM: UAE C-Suite Use Hybrid Cloud as the Dominant IT Architecture

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IBM has announced the results of a global study on cloud transformation, conducted by IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) in cooperation with Oxford Economics, that surveyed almost 7,200 C-suite executives across 28 industries and 47 countries, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

Hossam Seif El-Din, IBM
Hossam Seif El-Din, IBM

According to the findings of the study, there has been a drastic shift in business needs for using cloud for businesses in the United Arab Emirates, as none of respondents in the UAE reported using a single private or public cloud in 2021, down from 43 percent in 2019 – establishing hybrid cloud as the winning IT architecture of the future.

“The rapid acceleration in the adoption of new technologies have led the UAE’s strong response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Hossam Seif El-Din, General Manager of IBM in the Middle East, and Pakistan.

It is evident now that cloud is at the core of the UAE’s organisations’ journeys to unlock digital reinvention, and today’s findings prove that hybrid cloud is the IT architecture of choice for businesses in the UAE.”

The findings indicate that the cloud market has entered the hybrid, multi-cloud era and concerns around vendor lock-in, security, compliance and interoperability remain paramount.

The study found that infrastructure complexity is creating cracked doors that cybercriminals are exploiting, with 80 percent of respondents in the UAE said data security being embedded throughout the cloud architecture​ is important or extremely important, in most cases, to successful digital initiatives. While 54 percent of respondents in the UAE indicated improving cybersecurity and reducing security risks are among their largest business and IT investments.

The study found that 71 percent of respondents in the UAE said workloads being completely portable with no vendor lock-in​ is important or extremely important to the success of their digital initiatives. While nearly 64 percent of respondents in the UAE said vendor lock-in​ is a significant obstacle to improving business performance in most or all parts of their cloud estate.

The study found that public cloud adoption is evolving towards specialised clouds capable of increased levels of compliance and data protection – with nearly 56 percent of respondents in the UAE citing industry-related regulatory compliance as an obstacle to the business performance of their cloud estate.

The study revealed that enterprises need to assess how they use the cloud in terms of adoption, velocity, migration, speed, and cost savings opportunity. Other recommendations include:

Focus on security and privacy – determine where your critical workloads reside and scrutinise who and what has access to them. Regularly test that security controls and privacy policies are being adhered to, but also that improperly configured assets and software vulnerabilities are being promptly addressed.

Ask which workloads should move to the cloud – take inventory of the IT environment to successfully determine which workloads and applications will yield the most value in the cloud and which are better suited to stay on-premises.

Make data work for you – analyse workloads using AI driven tools and best practices to determine where and how to put them in the right place for the right reason.

Set a tactical approach – address the technology trade-offs, such as selecting the best approach to modernise specific applications and manage important issues like security, governance, and disaster recovery.

Determine the right team – put a cross-disciplinary team of people to work rethinking how your enterprise creates value for its customers.


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