The Emerging Wave of Cloud Computing

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Gone are the days of carrying important documents in floppy disks, or falling short of storage space. Today, everyone is talking about cloud computing technologies and its game changing possibilities that can help in transforming businesses. To meet ever changing business needs, organizations need to invest time and budget to scale up their IT infrastructure such as hardware, software and services. From an IT perspective, cloud technologies help in offloading complexity and burden.

When it comes to cloud, thousands of organizations have started pursuing digital business strategies and the number is augmenting with each passing day. According to a Gartner report, 50% of enterprises will use hybrid cloud by 2017.

Some of the key reasons why organizations are turning towards cloud include:

  • Flexibility
  • Scalability
  • Availability
  • Utility
  • Lower Cost of Operations

While there are multiple merits of implementing a cloud solution, the road is not entirely smooth. Some challenges identified by enterprise leaders with regards to seamless deployment of the cloud infrastructure include:

  • Configuration
  • Customization
  • Reliability
  • Security
  • Privacy

To achieve an enhanced maturity model, cloud infrastructure requires both – configuration and some level of customization. While a cloud computing infrastructure will automatically distribute and balance processing loads, you still need to place the data close to the processing site and identify its optimal storage strategy. Another major concern is reliability. Whenever a huge number of nodes compete for compute resources, node failures are bound to happen. Difficulty in customizing cloud-based productivity apps often delays their adoption in larger enterprises.

Moreover, efficiency, consistency and communication scalability are the major roadblocks for an application developer working on a cloud-based application. Due to shared networks and unidentified topology, cloud infrastructures display internode latency and bandwidth fluctuations that often have an effect on application performance. For example, during the peak season (April to June), an online ticketing service suffered from heavy traffic that caused slow response time. The traffic for off-peak season is normally about 60 million to 80 million hits per month. In the peak season, the traffic usually doubles up.

The cloud technology is not limited to the IT sector, banking, financial and healthcare sectors are also trying to exploit potential opportunities of growth with the help of cloud. In 2013, cloud accounted for 54% of total data center traffic, and, by 2018, cloud will account for 76% of total data center traffic. Individual consumers can also benefit from cloud computing through online data storage programs like Google Drive and Dropbox.

A decade ago the lines between different channel stakeholders were a lot more clearly defined. Whether you were an Independent Software Vendor (ISV), a reseller, a distributor or a system integrator, you knew your role and how you fit into the overall ecosystem. But a paradigm shift is happening; the channel structure is changing and that is also altering the value chain.

Though the uptake of cloud technologies in the Middle East and Africa region has been slow, it is gradually gaining momentum and developing at a faster pace. The region is still crawling behind the big players like Japan, Australia, and United States, but it is soon expected to make its mark.

A look into the regional cloud infrastructure

Cloud business is growing in the Middle East. Oracle is soon to mark its presence in Abu Dhabi. Furthermore, Ingram Micro recently announced that they have joined Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program in the Middle East region. The program is designed to fortify customer relationships and expand cloud growth. Other major players that have entered the region include eHDF, Amazon Web Services, ASPGulf, etc.

Key Reseller Takeaways

  • Due to the local cloud infrastructure, the larger conglomerates may look at this positively. Hence it would be advisable for the resellers to build their competency for cloud configuration & implementation
  • The government, BFSI and certain large privately held organizations may not opt for public cloud, but may settle for private cloud
  • The vendors are gearing up to have their offerings suited to private cloud as well to gain customers with such mindset

 

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