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Middle East use of datacentres improves dramatically

Survey of EMEA companies finds management of IT systems has improved by 20 per cent in region over just six months

According to the latest study from Oracle, datacentre management has improved drastically in the Middle East over the last six months.
According to the latest study from Oracle, datacentre management has improved drastically in the Middle East over the last six months.

Some of the largest companies in the Middle East have made enormous strides in managing their IT infrastructures more efficiently over the last six months, an investigation into datacentre practices around the world has revealed.

In particular, businesses in the financial sector, utilities, and telecommunications stood out in the EMEA-wide survey of 949 companies with revenues of over $100m a year.

According to Oracle, businesses in the Middle East saw an increase in systems management of over 20 per cent against its metrics, compared to the study it carried out six months ago. During that investigation, the region came bottom.

The increase in management has meant that the region has overtaken Italy, Iberia, Russia, and Ireland.

Marc Heger, senior director of hardware for the Middle East and Africa at Oracle said that part of the reason businesses in the region will have leapfrog their rivals in more developed markets was a result of the financial crisis. However, he also said it would be wrong to downplay the impact improved management of IT systems had had.

“Years ago in the Middle East, there wasn’t so much of a desire from management to keep Opex under control,” he said. “Following on from the recession, that has changed, and the impact of that change is still being felt. The better management and utilisation of systems is one example of that.”

He also said that the fact that many companies in the Middle East are building datacentres from scratch has also meant they are at an advantage to their more established counterparts in Europe.

“Many of these companies are coming from a greenfield situation,” he said. “They don’t have to deal with legacy systems in the same way their counterparts in the UK, Germany, the Nordics and so on have to.”

However, he warned that businesses in the region must avoid becoming complacent.

“They must keep investing,” he stressed. “Results of the survey showed that organisations in other EMEA countries are struggling to keep up and are sometimes falling behind with the need for more capacity and management.

“There is also the risk that if they sit back now and don’t ensure their IT infrastructures are built with flexibility in mind, when the financial situation goes away and European companies begin looking at expanding again, they will be unable to compete,” he added.

Heger said that the companies are in a unique situation within EMEA because they have largely been sheltered from the financial headaches their counterparts in Europe have been suffering from.

He said that while financial services, utilities and telecoms companies had done well in increasing how efficiently they were utilising their datacentres, other areas such as education, healthcare, the media, and the public sector were falling behind. He singled out the public sector as being the weakest at addressing the issues surrounding effective management of datacentres.