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Middle East ready to implement cloud

HP releases research that shows 85% of companies polled will make the move to cloud in 12 months

Middle East ready to implement cloud
HP has released the results of a recent study, which shows that 85% of companies polled are planning to implement some form of cloud in the next 12 months.

HP has released Middle East-focused research into the adoption of cloud technologies in the region, in collaboration with Coleman Research Group. The research found that 85% of companies polled are planning to implement some form of cloud in the next 12 months, whether it is public, private or hybrid cloud.

"Seventy-percent of respondents said they will be investing in cloud technology in the area of IT delivery, improving their infrastructure so they can deliver their infrastructure as a service, platform as a service or applications as a service. So the biggest chunk is looking at automation," said Eyad Shihabi, managing director and enterprise business lead, HP Middle East.

Twenty-seven percent of respondents said their investment will go into mobility. Companies are looking at how they can use the cloud to enhance the mobility for their workforce, customers, clients or citizens.

According to HP, four out of 10 respondents said they will invest in applications, in automation and in software, they will take a look at their legacy applications and how they can transform them into the cloud and how they can use the cloud to speed up application development and the delivery of application.

"Seventy-five percent of respondents confirmed they will be prepared to move mission critical systems into the cloud in the next two to five years. HR, finance and some of the non-core applications will be targeted to migrate in the next two to five years," said Shihabi.

The research focused on companies in a range of sectors, including finance, communications, media and oil and gas in the Middle East with over 1,000 employees.

Shihabi said that the number one driver for companies to move into the cloud is agility and the speeding up of core processes; savings is also a big bonus for companies, with 50% of survey respondents saying that the move to cloud would save them 21% to 40% from IT OPEX. This could be any cloud environment, public, private or hybrid.

However, there are still five barriers to companies adopting cloud, according to HP.

The first barrier is a lack of understanding about cloud implementations and how the company can adopt cloud technology into their existing environment.

"Number two is security, corporations have major concerns on the loss of data, illegal access to data and exposure of their competitive advantage to their competitors, and legal issues," according to Shihabi.

The security issue with cloud has been at the forefront of many cloud discussions and conferences and HP has made security one of the core principals of its cloud technology solutions.

"We did a survey recently and it showed that 50% of respondents have had increased levels of cyber-attacks into their environment, [with the adoption of cloud] which is a big number. They are seeing more sophisticated types of attacks. Out of the people that responded, 30% of these attacks whether intentional or not, have been coming from an internal source and 20% have been an increase from external attacks," said Shihabi.

To combat such security problems, has developed a holistic approach, which the company says is differentiating them in the cloud provider market.

"We built in security as part of the core from the middle of our cloud technology. When we advise our customers on implementing cloud services, we don't only look at securing the cloud, but we look at securing the entire environment. We look at the environment itself from the basic entry points; the network infrastructure, we look at it from the events that are coming in, we look at the application itself and the way we do this is through our strong portfolio of products though our strong acquisitions over the last three years. We don't look at security by only securing the cloud," said Shihabi.

The third barrier for enterprises wishing to implement cloud is the loss of IT control. IT departments think that if they migrate into cloud they will lose control of the IT environment.

"Another barrier is related to compliance and regulation, some entities have certain compliance and regulatory rules that they must make sure they adhere to before making a move into cloud and the challenge is how can they make sure that when they move into the cloud they are compliant," said Shihabi.

The last barrier is the complexity of their current environment. Companies are finding it a challenge to migrate from their existing set-up to the cloud.

HP is providing a one-stop service to get companies into the cloud, called Cloud Start. From the implementation date of this service, it will take 60 days before any company is up and running in the cloud, according to HP.

The service offers complete start up and analysis of companies existing infrastructure and provides special offers on cloud applications.


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