A10 Networks today published global research revealing the challenges and priorities of enterprise organisations in today’s post pandemic era, as we learn to live with COVID-19, and how this is shaping future technology requirements.
Of the 250 enterprise organisations surveyed in the Middle East (Saudi and UAE), nearly all (92%) showed high levels of concern around all aspects of enterprise digital resilience. Overall levels of concern were highest around responding to external change, delivering superior customer experiences and adjusting to agile practices around DevOps, but organisations were extremely concerned about delivering superior user experience.
Private Cloud is the Preferred Environment
Rising network traffic has compounded the challenges respondents face with 75% of Middle East enterprise organisations witnessing network traffic increase in the last 12 months, with a 42% average increase in traffic reported.
When asked about the expected split of their future network environment, 75% of Middle East enterprise organisations said it would be cloud based with private cloud being their preferred environment. However, they are not reassured by the security provided by cloud service providers, with nearly half (47%) saying that they are failing to meet their SLAs.
The Enterprise Perspectives 2022 study was undertaken by independent research organisation, Opinion Matters, among 2,425 senior application and network professionals from across ten regions including UK, Germany, Southern Europe, Benelux, Eastern Europe, Nordics, USA, India, Middle East and Asia Pacific.
The research was conducted to understand the challenges, concerns and perspectives of large enterprise organisations as they continue adapting their IT strategy and infrastructure to the rigours of digital transformation and a hybrid work environment.
Cyberthreats are Escalating
Without a doubt, the escalating threat landscape is causing a broad spread of concerns from Middle East respondents. The biggest cyberthreat concern for regional organizations is a tie between investigations and lawsuits should they suffer a data breach due to a cyber attack and ransomware.
The New Normal
36% of respondents from Middle East enterprise organizations say all or most employees will work in enterprise offices over the long term. This is vastly lower than the global figure of 62%. This may reflect differing levels of access to technology in the home as well as the suitability of the home environment.
Technology Investment Priorities
Interestingly, when asked about the most critical technology for business resilience in the year ahead, 5G scored highest for Middle East respondents, followed by IoT devices to help business functions, and metaverse-related technologies.
The Middle East is the only region where 5G technology has been the most popular implementation (34%). Globally it sits at 8th position with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning being the top technology implementations. Uptake of Metaverse technologies and IoT devices have undoubtedly come of age, with 26% of Middle East enterprise organisations saying they have deployed both these technologies in the last 12 months. Additionally 23% say they have deployed DevOps/SecOps and Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML) technologies.
Commenting on the research, Amr Alashaal, Regional Vice President – Middle East at A10 Networks said: “The world has changed irrevocably and the pace of digital transformation has acclerated beyond expectations. But as we move beyond crisis mode, organisations are now laser-focused on digital resilience, moving to the cloud and how they can shore up their defences. There is clearly a need to support employees to work in ways they are most comfortable. It’s a good sign that we are seeing organisations in the Middle East pivot to deployment of 5G, IoT and Metaverse technologies.”
Looking to the future, the adoption of cybersecurity initiatives will likely become higher, and this includes Zero Trust models. With more widespread implementation expected, as Middle East enterprise organisations become educated around the benefits. It is clear from the study that there is unlikely to be any relief from the pressure on Middle East businesses in the coming years.
“With the escalating threat landcape, post-pandemic fallout, the current Russia-Ukraine conflict, not to mention rising energy prices and inflation, there is a lot for enterprise organisations to consider. To address these issues, companies must continue to invest in modern technologies that enable automation and protection that strike the balance between defence and agility for an increasingly multifacted infrastructure,” concluded Amr Alashaal.