Martin Tarr

Chief Executive Officer at Gulf Business

After years of hype and uncertainty around cloud computing a clearer picture is now emerging – as GBM has envisioned, the fundamental building block of digital transformation is Hybrid Cloud.

Research shows the region is ready. A recent IDC market perspective report finds private on-premise clouds are increasingly becoming pervasive across the Middle East, thanks to their ability to “reduce costs and simplify operations, making them more agile and efficient.” But now businesses are “seek[ing] a full range of cloud services and “positively inclined toward multi-cloud environments,” where “organizations maintain their own critical data and applications on premises but utilize public cloud services for non-critical applications and processes.” In other words, they want hybrid infrastructure – which IDC expects to grow by more than 30% per year over the next five years.

For organizations in the Middle East, who are rightly sensitive about where their data resides, going straight to public cloud was anyway often seen as a risk. Further concerns include long-term cost issues and whether to entrust IT availability to a third party. At the same time, a purely private cloud can be inflexible. However Hybrid Cloud offers the best-of-both, enabling businesses to combine the benefits – and remove the risks – of private and public cloud.

The IBM Global C-Suite Study of March 2018, which interviewed more than 2,100 CIOs on how they are tackling change, found 31% felt the need to transform the enterprise is highly urgent. The report finds many CIOs believe “IT is not just an enabler; it is the driver of enterprise reinvention” and it is a hybrid cloud solution that can provide the key building block for businesses to embrace digital transformation and turn their IT cost centers into profit centers.

GBM is today already enabling businesses to digitally transform with Hybrid Cloud – to have the flexibility to scale up and down on demand and optimizing across on-premise and public cloud platforms depending on the ‘best-fit’ – and to provide the key building block to support the continuous innovation and re-engineering of business processes within the enterprise’s digital transformation journey. We are the partner to guide businesses on every step of their journey: from consultancy to design, from integration expertise to security and services.

The transformation element is key. As IDC notes, “the need for datacenter transformation is recognized in every industry” and having a software-defined, Hybrid Cloud infrastructure provides the right foundation for today’s value-creating workloads, including AI and Big Data analytics – it enables organizations to meet goals such as standardization, consolidation, virtualization, automation, orchestration, and security.

Hybrid Cloud is the answer to creating value with new technologies, reducing costs, simplifying IT and making systems more secure and aligns to support the digital transformation agenda of the businesses.