Our EMEA Vice President of Marketing, Ruth Plater, recently spent time in the Middle East markets. Here are some of her observations:
If the analyst expectations are correct, Middle Eastern and North African companies will spend $1.2bn on public cloud services this year, climbing to $2bn by 2020. That’s a 22% increase on last year’s spend, with the main drivers being demand for PaaS (28.8%) and SaaS (28.5%).
Previous resistance to the cloud
These markets have historically been resistant to cloud adoption. Part of the hesitation is due to a lack of clarity on the benefits, with another being a lack of confidence in the business model.
But, perhaps the biggest barrier to adoption has been security. One only has to look at recent news on the crippling hacks that Saudi Arabia has encountered to understand the source of these fears.
Problems with connectivity in and out of the region
The region has been known for many years as a costly market to enter. Bandwidth pricing in and out of the region outstrips the price per Mbps found in Europe and the US, and has only recently begun to decline. Network architecture has also been an issue: Historically, owing to regional regulatory and territorial complexities, it has made more sense for networks to send their local traffic all the way to Europe, exchange data and backhaul it back to the Middle East.
The driving factor behind the move to the cloud is not architectural but rather user-generated. Customers are now demanding the same ‘anytime-anywhere-on-any-device’ experience – including low latency and speedy page loading times – as Europe, Asia and North America. And, the market is being forced to respond.
This demand for predictable, high-level performance – combined with the need for high-level security – is creating exciting opportunities for a new range of network professionals and service providers. With this new and growing increase in businesses migrating their applications and workloads into cloud environments, Console Connect – coupled with our network of partners – are poised to play a major role in this emerging market.