Cloud adoption has been on the cloud seven in the recent past, and the enterprise cloud computing is gaining further momentum. This feature discusses how is cloud computing aiding the enterprises and the role channel can play in growing cloud market.
The cloud infrastructure spending had risen to a whopping 33% YoY to $32.8 billion during the third quarter of 2020. And analysis suggests that the Channel has played an important role in this growth. The times were unprecedented in 2020 with the pandemic outbreak affecting business and the economy. During this time, the adoption of the cloud was seen as the future-proof platform for organisations. There is a heavy reliance on the cloud, whether public, private or hybrid, which is here to stay as organisations return to a new normal.
As the Middle East market is adopting cloud solutions, trusted channel partners are key in identifying business goals, pointing the solutions and supporting and developing digital skills. “Channel partners play a core role as organisations in terms of application strategies, integration into business processes, optimising user experiences, and securing the data. As businesses continue their digital transformation, whether they’re migrating more processes to the cloud, seeing a proliferation of IoT devices, or entering new markets, there is far more to secure,” said Samer El Kodsi, Channel Sales Director, Emerging Markets, EMEA at Palo Alto Networks.
Channel Partners play a vital role in business especially in a region like the Middle East where the market is large and diverse. The Channel has a deep understanding of the specific needs of the customers making them play a key role in embracing the cloud transition. “The challenge often facing companies operating in the channel is how they can be a better business partner to their customers who are seeking more flexibility, faster innovation, increased efficiencies, and lower costs from modern technologies, without complexity,” said Ossama Eldeeb, Director, Partner Organization, VMware, Middle East, Turkey and North Africa.
He further elaborated that with digital transformation projects and the IT requirements of the modern enterprise growing in scale and complexity, a shortage of skilled IT personnel and the risks of failure means enterprises are turning to professional services partners for help to accelerate and de-risk their IT projects. That means that these organizations need to be experts, or masters, of the solutions they are delivering to customers.
With these, we are seeing a change in the business models of channel partners. Cloud is something every customer is looking at with which we are witnessing a change in the business model of channels. “They are looking at new business models specifically on how they can help service the adoption like migration services. Now services are more of a component rather than revenues coming in from product selling. Also, every vendor is offering cloud services, there would be migration services to start with and also orchestration platform,” said Anand Choudha, CEO and President at Spectrami.
The service vendors of the cloud are being placed in a position where they have to be careful with capital expenditure management, balancing risk costs and the geographical locations. Mena Migally, Regional Vice President of Middle East, Turkey and Africa, Riverbed says that one of the key factors to consider is the performance of cloud applications. “If this isn’t up to mark, it will impact user productivity and ultimately user acceptance and utilization of any enterprise cloud computing solution. To address this, we must first recognize that how the network delivers and handles applications has fundamentally changed.”
Over the traditional data storage, the cloud computing solution has numerous benefits. It is cost-effective, flexible, mobile, accessible and has a higher employee collaboration. With the global pandemic, organisations adapt to digital transformation for business continuity. This shift resulted in massive cloud adoption to aid organisation in multiple ways.
The cloud provides businesses with instant access to data and information at the touch of a button while simplifying the management process for already-stretched IT teams. “Virtualised networks are gaining traction to help organisations manage complexity, without the requirement for physical intervention. By deploying cloud-based networking, “leaner” IT organisations can easily provision, manage, optimise, and troubleshoot a high-performance enterprise wired and wireless network via a single web dashboard or native mobile application.” said Ehab Kanary, vice president of Enterprise Infrastructure for MEA, CommScope.
Gartner predicts that by 2022, over 90% of organizations would be using cloud services. A recent VMware study noted that 63% of organizations state inconsistencies between clouds as one of the top ‘multi-cloud challenges, as the danger of recreating old IT silos in the digital era looms.
Also, the reports suggest that only 37% of organisations have the skills and technology to keep pace with digital projects during the pandemic.
The massive opportunity cloud computing opens up comes with a few challenges. Fragmented visibility tools, a lack of before-and-after performance metrics and over-provisioning can each lead to unpredictable outcomes, higher costs and poor end-user experience. There are also various issues faced in different market regions.
Thierry Nicault, Area Vice President – Middle East and North Africa, Salesforce said “Creating unified customer experiences is a major challenge facing Middle East organizations in their cloud journeys. In the UAE, for example, 92 per cent of service professionals say the pandemic exposed technology gaps, according to Salesforce’s 4th State of Service report. In response, customer service leaders are transforming their operations, accelerating digital transformation, and overhauling workforce management,” said Thierry Nicault, Area Vice President – Middle East and North Africa, Salesforce.