Speaking with Channel Post MEA, the Senior Research Director, Analyst at Gartner, Santhosh Rao elaborates on the role of Channel partners in the adoption of cloud.
What is the growth and size of the Middle East market in the adoption of cloud in enterprises?
The market in the middle east region is on the rise and the end user spending on cloud is expected to total USD 3.9 Billion in 2021, a growth of 24% from 2020.
What is the role of channel in adoption of cloud in the enterprise?
Channel plays an important role in cloud adoption as it helps reduce the skills gap within the enterprise. As you know, cloud computing is at a nascent stage in the region and I think a lot of enterprises have this journey of reskilling their existing resources to transition to the cloud. In the interim, they need a solid partner externally who can deliver cloud readiness, cloud migration and cloud managed services – that’s how the channel becomes important. That is the demand side of the story.
The supply side of the story is a lot of existing system integrators are themselves transitioning to this new world of cloud computing services – the transition is work in progress. And, you have a bunch of cloud channel native partners (cloud native MSPs) growing across the region delivering those services. That’s a nutshell from a supply and demand side.
How is enterprise cloud computing aiding business?
There are two scenarios – migrating existing apps to the public and new application development. Now typically, enterprises would struggle through lengthy hardware and software procurement cycles in case of new application development programs If it was an initiative, they want to run on premise in their existing data centres, you have to procure the right hardware and software, work with the procurement team and vendors, and that’s a very lengthy process.
Cloud significantly cuts short that cycle. The development cycle time reduces significantly, and you can fail fast – which is if your project does not go through successfully, you can just stop paying the cloud provider and continue on new initiatives – cloud gives you that flexibility.
Digital transformation business initiatives that enterprises are planning on such as IoT, AI/ML projects etc., are perfect for such scenarios.
The other scenario is moving existing apps to the cloud. Applications that require agility – that scale up and down based on business demand can benefit from moving to the public cloud.
What is the process of implementation of enterprise cloud computing?
Cloud journey is mainly a four-step process. First is assessing the existing application landscape and formulating a cloud migration roadmap. Application criticality and complexity are key considerations when creating this roadmap. Also. application migration must align with infrastructure refresh cycles.
Second step is the migration process itself Ensuring the application is migrated to the cloud with little downtime and without compromise in performance and availability SLAs is important. Enterprises should leverage services of the channel partner if they do not have these skills available internally.
Third step in the process is the ‘run phase’ which is managing the infrastructure in the public cloud/ Enterprises assume that the IT team has limited responsibility after applications are migration to the cloud. It is important to understand that cloud is shared responsibility model.
The fourth step would be continuous improvement in the cloud itself. If you move the application to the cloud, that’s not enough. You must modernize the applications and automate common workflows to ensure you reduce the total cost of ownership of running applications in the cloud
What are the challenges faced during adoption of cloud computing and how to tackle it?
Lack of public cloud knowledge, limited knowledge on automation, limited understanding of total cost ownership and cost models in the public cloud are some of the common barriers to entry when it comes to public cloud adoption. Enterprises must invest in public cloud training and certification initiatives to reskill their IT team. They must emphasize the need for automation and recognize efforts by IT team to automate workflows. Thoroughly understanding the long term TCO of running applications in the public cloud before migration is imperative.