Aiming for the clouds

ACN delves into the complex challenges associated with cloud computing

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Aiming for the clouds Despite its slow start however, cloud computing has seen a substantial rise in adoption over the last five years, particularly in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
By  Alexander Sophoclis Pieri Published  August 8, 2016

While cloud computing has flourished across the globe over the last decade, its adoption here in the Middle East has been slow by comparison. When the concept behind the technology was first introduced to the region, reactions were mixed.

On the one hand, the appeal of enhanced IT operational efficiencies and reduced infrastructure costs were favourable to many enterprises. At the same time however, many organisation avoided the jumping on the bandwagon, unsure exactly of how secure such systems really were when it came to managing back-end operations and company data.

It was also the case that many enterprises active in the region at the time, were running operations supported by legacy platforms, which were largely incompatible with cloud. Even to date, a portion of the regional market still operates on paper-based system, making it all the more difficult to bring companies forward into the digital era.

Despite its slow start however, cloud computing has seen a substantial rise in adoption over the last five years, particularly in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. While public sector organisations still remain hesistant on the side lines, private cloud has experienced exponential growth as of late.

With its rising popularity however, new problems have also arisen. As many businesses make the push towards cloud, in many cases, the transformation is done in haste and without the proper foundation in place. This often leads into a situation, which many cloud providers describe as a ‘poor’ deployment.

“The major traits seen are poor planning, lack of collaboration between the operation team and the IT in choosing the cloud provider, wrong expectation, lack of cloud risk assessment and insufficient due diligence,” explains Ashok Kumar, business director, Cloud Ecosystems.

Describing the right approach, he shares: “While planning to move from physical infrastructure to cloud or Hybrid, it is very important to set the goal. Understand organisation current workload and future requirements.

“Business needs to collaborate with IT in sizing the performance and end-to end service levels. Choose the right type of service that fits the business, IaaS, Paas or SaaS. After finalising on the plan of deployment, enforce security policies.”

Initially entering into the market as a cloud deployment specialist, UAE-based Cloud Ecosystems later expanded its capabilities towards developing systems for cloud. Working with its clientele right from the design stage, all the way through to administration and scaling, Cloud Ecosystems’ offerings include managed services, Internet-of-Things (IoT), Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), big data analytics and Customer Relation Management.

“We ensure performance of the three core technologies – compute, network and storage, similarly weighted in order to avoid bottlenecks,” asserts Kumar.

“In larger enterprise or in a hybrid environment, administration of all the elements associated with service delivery, service management and monitoring tools helps our customers to keep up with the continually shifting capacity demands of a highly elastic environment.”

Commenting on the security concerns of old, the business director points out that a number of flaws in data security have been addressed by major cloud providers, the best of which ensure their cloud is protected at every layer. The lingering issue he suggest however, lies with the end-user, who must remain diligent in understanding the different types of security offered, and whether it complies with the requirements of the business, as well as the region.

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